Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a novice, I think it’s safe to say we can all benefit from any tips that will help us thrive during air travel. No one enjoys excess time in the airport, especially if it’s due to delays or cancellations. Here are a few tips we’ve gathered through personal experience and the advice of other travel experts.
Delays and cancellations are an unfortunate occurrence in air travel. Collectively, my husband and I have more stories than we could fit in this blog. From faulty air equipment to bad weather, sometimes the situation simply cannot be avoided. I would certainly rather be safe than sorry, but is there anything one can do to get the advantage when it comes to getting out as soon as possible? I do believe in travel miracles, though they can be few and far between. These aren’t guaranteed, but it can’t hurt to try these tips:
Download the Airline App. Not only will the app warn you of delays immediately (sometimes sooner than announced), but they can be handy in getting on the next flight out in a timely manner.
It’s easy to get into sheep mode when you are in the airport. Everyone else is in line, so I should be too right? Next time instead of just filing in line with the rest of the passengers, try calling the airlines reservations line and see if they can re route you to an earlier flight. You may get the advantage on the rest of the folks still waiting to chat with a gate agent.
Don’t wait around, get on standby. It may be noon and your flight leaves at 5pm. Perhaps there are two flights leaving in the meantime but they are booked. You have time, get on standby and wait, you might just get on!
Pay to leave sooner. If you have a longer lay over than you like and there is a flight leaving earlier that you can make. Check with the gate agent and see if there is room. Usually they will let you on for a fee of around $50. Time is money, how much is yours worth?
2. Money Saving Tips
If you are a semi frequent traveler you may consider investing into a membership at the airline lounge. These mysterious lounges offer a relaxing atmosphere to chill out and maybe get a little work done. An array of snacks are available to nosh on and in some cases, guests enjoy an open bar. Annual memberships can be steep, however if you are going to be in the airport all day consider looking into a day pass. Some airlines offer these for around $50. It could just save you a little money in airport concessions.
Tired of spending $4 on a bottle of water? Bring an empty reusable bottle and refill at water bottle stations found at the public water fountains. Genius!
3. Nursing/ Pumping Moms
For moms traveling for business or pleasure the job of feeding baby can be a stressful one. Take the stress out of feeding and add a little comfort with airport nursing rooms and lactation pods. I’m in no way saying you can’t feed in the airport, on the contrary, I think moms should feed wherever they like. These rooms and pods simply add a bit of privacy and comfort to the situation, especially for moms who are pumping and detest the idea of doing it in a public restroom.
Also, this handy app will help you find lactation pods available in an airport near you.
4. Battery Life
The dreaded dead battery sign is enough to put even the toughest of us at a serious low. So much of our travel planning revolves around our phones from checking in at the gate, to staying in touch with loved ones, to ordering that much needed Uber. To make sure you stay in the green, consider this advice:
Look for USB ports on the plane. Many of the newer models are now equiped with places you can charge your phone right under the seat in front of you, or in the arm of your chair.
Find the charging stations located through out the airport. You may have to sit a little way from your gate if the crowd has alredy gathered, but as long as you can hear the overhead speaker, you are probably just fine.
Purchase a back up battery and stow in your carry on bag. It might just save the day.
Make sure to set your phone to airplane mode when you take off. This will consume less power and help save your battery life.
Close any apps you aren’t using. This is easy to forget but is a major player in how your phone consumes energy.
Getting through security can sometimes feel like entering a war zone. So many grumpy folks. So many lines. Add kids to the mix and it could reduce you to tears. Here are my top two tips for avoiding catastrophe in the security line.
Make sure to mark your electronics. We all have the same laptops, Iphones, Ipads, and nooks. My husband personally experienced the stress of having his laptop accidently switched with another man’s laptop while going through security. To avoid this disaster, mark your electronics with stickers, or a name tag. Make sure it is easily identifiable so you will notice if it’s not yours.
Sign up for TSA Pre Check . It’s worth it! An affordable $85 for 5 year membership and you are on your way to easier travels. With pre check you don’t have to worry about taking off shoes, liquids, removing laptops from your bags, or light jackets. Many times when you are traveling with kids they will give this to you automatically, but if you are a frequent flyer, don’t risk it. It’s worth the investment.
These are just a few of my favorite tips. I hope maybe you picked up a few that will save the day for you on your next trip.
Are you a frequent traveler with tricks and tips up your sleeve? I’d love for you to share your tips in the comments below!