Whether you like to travel solo, or with a partner or group, it always helps to know a few tips to make your travel easier, so you are as relaxed as possible when you board the plane.
Families with young kids and even couples might have their own procedures that work for them, but for the solo traveler – it is up to you, to get from point A to B. And sometimes, it can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you don’t fly solo often.
Enter my Airport Travel 101: Tips for Solo Travelers.
The key to a stress-free experience will come down to time.
Before You Leave
- Sign up for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry.
- Set-up mobile notifications with your airline so you can have notifications of any delays before your flight(s).
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Schedule your pick-up so that you will have at least an hour at the airport, and arrive earlier, if possible. Check with your airline about recommended check-in times, as they vary for both domestic and international flights.
- Check in online if you can, before you leave for the airport.
- Check where your departure gate will be on the airport map, so you know how far you will be from Security. (You can check the same flight from the previous day or week too.)
- Pack in advance! And, if you can, pack with only a carry-on. This will alleviate any stress if you miss a connecting flight.
- Arrive early. Nothing will cause you more stress than being late to check-in and having to run for your flight, so don’t do that.
At the Airport
If you’ve already checked-in online, are only traveling with carry-on bags, and have your boarding pass on your phone, just proceed to Security. If not, heed these tips:
- Use a kiosk, if available, to check-in.
- Do curbside check-in.
- Are you flying Business or First Class? Do you have Top-Tiered status in an Airline Mileage Program? Use the dedicated (usually shorter) lines.
- Use the TSA Pre-Check line if you have a Traveler # and keep your shoes on, and laptop in your bag!
- If you are not TSA Pre-Check, or it is not open at the time of your travel, keep your toiletries/liquids and laptop in an easy to access place.
- Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
Waiting to Board
- If you have more than an hour before your flight, you might want to walk around (for exercise especially before long-haul flights) or have a meal.
- If you have more than two hours before your flight, investing in a day pass with your airline’s club could immediately lift your spirits! Club amenities usually include free wifi, food, showers, quiet lounging areas and business facilities.
On the Plane
- Don’t assume the entertainment on the plane will be to your liking and fill the time. Bring a book, magazine, or load up your iPad with music and movies you enjoy.
- Bring noise-canceling headphones. Since I like to keep my items as tidy as possible, I love the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, which fit snugly in the ear instead of over the ear.
Landing & Transportation
- Download the Mobile Passport app. This app is fantastic if you don’t have Global Entry, and are entering the U.S. from a foreign location. Set up your passenger profile before you leave. When you land, initiate a “New Trip” and answer the questions. Follow the signs at Immigration and Customs that say “Mobile Passport,” and you will skip the long lines!
- Have transportation waiting for you at baggage claim by either having the hotel where you’re staying pick you up, or a transportation service you like. Uber and Lyft are great backups too.
Your traveling comfort is most valuable! Take some time before you travel to prepare so that you are in a state of peace as much as possible. Remember to breathe throughout your journey, and you will be okay!
Have tips to add? Please share in the comments below!
Until next time, thanks for reading and Happy Travels!