by Jill Robinson, Greenheart Travel Social Media Coordinator
The holiday season has descended upon us. I would like to say that I have all my shopping 80% complete and am feeling calm about the next few months, but I’m not. I’m not even packed and ready for my flight that departs tomorrow on the busiest travel day of the year. The news has been a non-stop reel of updates on enraged passengers getting pat downs and boycotting full body scans and I’m wondering how I can make this process as smooth as possible. Thankfully, the Greenheart Travel gals have shared some of their personal tips on making the airport security lines and air travel as stress free as possible.
- Take advantage of online check-in, it saves time.
The more time you give yourself to go through security and find your gate, the less you will have to stress about the influx of first-time travelers holding up lines by not taking their laptops out of their bag. This seems like an obvious tip, but it can make all the difference in stress levels. Checking in online, packing efficiently and having ID and boarding passes ready are easy steps in moving one step closer to your departure gate.
- Choose a comfy airplane outfit that will zip you through the security lines! Try to wear pants that don’t require a belt, put on shoes that you can easily slip off and on (no laces), and leave the metals that make you beep in your bag.
This is always a dilemma for me. I want to pack no more than a carry-on will hold because I have no faith in airlines delivering my checked bag at the correct destination, but this means I am wearing my clunkiest boots and bulkiest sweaters. I suppose this is where I again refer to the first point. Allow for time.
- If you don’t really need a computer, don’t bring it. There are internet cafes aplenty and it’s a heavy and a risky travel item.
Hopefully, you aren’t planning on doing any work during your vacation, but I do understand this probably isn’t realistic, or you’re as hooked on Facebook and Twitter as I am. Netbooks are small and convenient, but if you do have to lug a heavier computer, please remember to take it out of its case!
- Also, airplanes can been really drying, especially in the winter months – bring chapstick and bring a water bottle to fill up after security. My friend just flew on a plane that almost ran out of water so be prepared.
With stress comes immune system meltdowns. Help yourself out by staying hydrated from the get-go.
- Don’t get too book happy. Just pack the current one you are reading and be ready to trade it at hostels or used book stores.
I’m guilty of packing hardcover books, three magazines and a notebook – just in case. Who am I kidding, as I also usually have an ipod. One book and if you must, one US magazine, and you should be set.
- Weird other tip. When I broke my wrist I always had to go through additional security screening for explosives. After about the 3rd time through I wised up and just took off my brace before walking through security.
Clearly this will only apply to a few individuals, but if you are standing in front of me in the security line I will be so grateful if you adhere to this tip.
- Pack a change of clothes in your carry on in case your checked luggage is lost. Or, if you’re traveling with someone else, split up your clothes between yours and the other person’s bag so that if one bag gets lost you’ll still have some clothes.
Happy Holidays and safe travels!