Are you preparing for a trip that requires air travel? If you are, you may want to take the time to familiarize yourself with a few helpful tips. Some of these tips are outlined below for you and, when properly implemented, they may be able to save you both time and money.
Before leaving for the airport, as well as before packing your bags, be sure to familiarize yourself with airport security rules and restrictions. If you keep a close eye on the news, you may already know most of the rules, but you may still want to visit the online website for the TSA before leaving. This will result in you making it through airport security a lot quicker. Also, when you pack your bags based on existing rules, you are less likely to have to throw away any prohibited items, which can cost you money.
When packing your bags, be sure to pack with care. This is extremely important with your checked baggage. If you will have liquids in your checked bags, like shampoo or lotion, be sure to wrap them in a plastic grocery bag. This will be a lifesaver if anything spills or breaks open. If packing items these items in a carry-on bag, make sure that you are following all rules. For example, only small travel sizes are allowed and you are required to keep them separated in a plastic ziplock bag.
In keeping with packing your bags, be sure to keep anything of great value or importance in your carry-on bag. Laptops, digital cameras, and camcorders should not go into checked luggage, as the chances of damage are quite high. You never want to be separated from something that is valuable. Be sure to keep your carry-on bag with you at all times, never leave your bag unattended at the airport.
Speaking of the airport, be sure to arrive early for your flight. Generally speaking, you are asked to arrive about an hour and half to two hours before your flight is set to depart; however, you may want to do a little bit of research first. Most airports will outline on their websites how early you should arrive. Those larger in size may recommend arriving two hours or more early. It never hurts to be early for your flight, even too early. Always remember that you never know with wait times, especially where airport security is involved. Always arrive earlier than normal on weekends or holidays, as they are usually busy travel times.
Buy all snacks that you may want or need to eat ahead of time, not at the airport. As for drinks, you will want to buy them at the airport though. Unless a drink is for a child, chances are it will not make it past airport security checkpoints, but dry snacks will. Buying dry snacks and candy ahead of time can prevent you from having to pay outrageous prices at the airport. If your flight leaves during breakfast, lunch, or dinner time, try to eat a full meal before you arrive at the airport, as this can also save you a considerable amount of money.
When buying your airport tickets, be sure to give yourself enough time at layovers. Generally speaking, fifteen to twenty minutes or less isn’t a good idea. Most flights can average a ten minute delay. Yes, if you miss a connecting flight, you will be provided with other arrangements, but these alternative arrangements can through a wrench in the rest of your travel plans.
If you will be traveling with young children, you will want to arrive at the airport even earlier. This will give you the opportunity to teach your child about the airport security screening process or even watch others go through, so that your child will not be scared. For children just learning how to walk, strollers are a good idea, as they allow you to quickly move around airports, especially during short layovers.