It’s that time of year, folks! The holidays are coming, which means that most of us will soon be heading home. Maybe you’re lucky enough to be able to drive back to your hometown, but to those of you (like me) who cannot, you have a dreadful flight ahead of you. Not to mention the extra concerns you have to think about due to COVID. Here’s the truth: no matter how much fun it is when you get to your destination, you must first go through airport hell. I’ve compiled a list of tips that can make your trip a bit easier, internationally OR within your country.
No, I’m not saying to stop eating meat. That’s just crazy. I like a good hamburger as much as the next person, but listen: When you’re on an international flight with a hot meal included, resist the urge to order the meat. When the lady comes around and asks, “Chicken or vegetarian?” ORDER THE VEGETARIAN. You know why? That chicken is going to have the consistency of rubber and the taste of plastic and your vegetarian lasagna is going to be cheesy and spinachy and everything good in the world. So trust me, meat eaters, vegetarian plane food is worth it.
2) Window Seat
I’ve always chosen the window seat, but sometimes you can’t help what seat you’re given. However, if you do have the option, GO FOR THE WINDOW. In this seat, you can decide when the blinds are closed or open (we all know that asshole that leaves the window blinds open the whole time and the sun shines perfectly into your retina when you finally get comfortable enough to sleep). Speaking of sleep, when you have the window seat, you are given more options to find that (limited) comfort you require to do so. There’s the wall to lean on, for one. You can also put down your tray table and lay your head on that, in the traditional school-desk-napping style, without blocking your neighbors from the bathroom. HOWEVER, if you have the pleasure to sit by the window, don’t look out the window when you’re over the ocean. I don’t care how macho you are…looking out into a vast sea of emptiness can make you hyperventilate faster than the amount of time it takes for that adorable baby next to you to stop being adorable because it’s screaming its head off.
3) The Security Line
I have a few pointers to help make the security line less annoying.
-Hats: Don’t wear them for your flight. I get it; they’re cute and cosy! But as soon as you get in line you have to remove said hat and your hair is not going to be okay. Trust me.
-Shoes: You have to remove your shoes in line and I’ve learned the hard way to never wear your lace up combat boots or your converse that are tied so tight that you can’t slip them on and off. You’ll be holding up the line and fumbling and throwing things everywhere…just wear something easy to remove and put back on.
-Water Bottle: I always carry a water bottle with me because hydration is important (duh!), but I’ve made one mistake a thousand times– leaving water in my bottle when going through airport security. I know you can’t have liquids, so I’m forced to chug an entire bottle of water in about a minute so that I can keep my reusable bottle. It’s kind of like an episode of Fear Factor: drown yourself in drinking water in an airport. So don’t do that. Also, why don’t I just throw the bottle away?? Because buying a new one in the airport is going to cost me $20 and I’m not about to waste that. Just bring an empty water bottle through and refill it on the other side.
-Carry on liquids: You should all know that there’s a limit to how much liquid you can have in your carry on. However, don’t forget to put them in a Ziplock before you leave home! Some airports keep these baggies on hand for you, but many do not. Therefore, say goodbye to your tiny hand sanitizer and lotions. OH and if you carry a purse or a small bag daily that you plan to bring on the flight, check for any over-sized bottles of liquid beforehand! I have lost SO many expensive creams, sprays and even cough syrups because I forgot they were in my purse and was forced to throw them away. Trust me, it’s not a good start to your travel experience.
4) Waiting to Board
This is so boring, right? Sitting by yourself in an uncomfortable chair for hours is not something many people enjoy. My advice is obvious: take advantage of the wifi and for god’s sake remember your phone charger and head phones. The most important thing I can tell you to do, though, is to talk to your traveling peers. You’ll know who is willing to talk. I’ve had many interesting conversations with people that I never would have met if it wasn’t for the waiting time at an airport. It makes time go faster and also they’ll probably watch your bags so you can go pee without lugging your life along with you. (PSA: don’t just trust anyone with your bags…use your intuition. Most people have good intentions, like you.)
** 5) COVID
This section only applies to us “frequent fliers” while Coronavirus is a very real threat. Honestly though, I’m unsure if this will ever change. Anyway, in your taxi, in the airport and on the plane, WEAR YOUR F*%!ING MASK. Also, be sure to carry hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in your carry on. Oh, and keep your distance from others, please! I won’t go into detail about why this is so important because I’m not your mom. I’ll end it with this: follow the guidelines.
Safe travels and happy holidays! xx