I've been flying a LOT lately.  

Especially on longer flights, airplanes can be a bit of a pain.  Even if you are an experienced flyer, the hassel of flying never seems to lessen.  I've compiled a list of my most useful tips for flying.  Enjoy!

1.    You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do.
Take it from someone who is always over-packed and under-prepared.  Those fancy heels that have lived in your closet for the past year do not need to come with you.  You will not wear them.  Trust me.

2.    Don’t get coffee on the airplane
Airplane coffee tastes like dirt, makes you dehydrated, and you will be sad.  Use those calories and get a ginger ale.  That way, at least your stomach will be happy.  And if you are lactose intolerant, the airline will not carry soy or almond milk.  Just a heads up.

3.    Download more than one genre of music
On long flights, you definitely don’t want to get caught with a limited music selection.  Sure, Kanye West may be the greatest artist of all time and his albums are groundbreaking, but 5 hours of straight Kanye is too much.  Maybe throw in some Chance the Rapper?  Venture out further and get that new generic pop album or chill indie music.  You’ll appreciate the options.

4.    Headphones and a sleeping mask will go a long way
Having a pair of comfortable headphones and a sleeping mask will save you.  The headphones will help block out the screams of crying children and a sleeping mask will come in handy if the person next to the window refuses to shut the blinds. 

5.    Be nice to the airport and airline employees
They deal with terrible people all day.  A please and thank you is the least you can do.

6.    Wear socks
Don’t show up to the airport in flip flops, or even flats.  You’ll have to take off your shoes during security, and who knows how clean the floor is.  When on the airplane, you can also take off your shoes.  You definitely should not walk around an aircraft with bare feet.

7.    Figure out how to get to your destination before you arrive
Yes, the people in the airport can be EXTREMELY helpful if you are not sure exactly how to get to your hotel.  But, you don’t want to miss anything or cause yourself any unnecessary stress if you don’t know where you are going.  Airport website will usually list the best modes of transportations.  When in doubt, there is always uber or taxis.

8.    Make sure all your electronic devices are fully charged before getting onto the plane
While most planes now boast about their personal seat power outlets, they will not all have them.  So, take it from someone who thought they could charge their phone while 39,000 feet in the air, charge ahead of time.  I am currently charging my phone though my laptop because silly me was overly confident in the marketing ploys of airlines.

9.    If you are new to flying, this is how not to piss people off:

  • At security, take your laptop out of your bag.  No other electronics need to be removed.  This includes your tablet or camera.  Also be sure to empty your pockets, remove your jacket/sweatshirt, and take your shoes and belt off.  There’s no need to take off jewelry or watches.
  •  Don’t be loud on the plane.  Chances are that people are trying to sleep.  Just be mindful of others.
  • When boarding begins, don’t rush up to the gate immediately.  It takes a long time to get everyone and all their things on the plane.  Just chill.  When they call your boarding number, proceed to the gate.  No need to fight people to get in line first.  
  • If you have a window seat, close the window shade during the majority of the flight.  Of course, watch take off and landing, but during the majority of the flight it’s just bright outside with nothing to see.  Shut the blind, let people sleep or watch a movie without glare.
  • If you are ever unsure about anything, just ask.  People are willing to help.

10.    Airplane food is sad, so bring your own onto the plane
This last time resonates most with me.  I’ve had some pretty terrible airplane food.  Unless your comfortably lounging in first class, chances are that you will be hungry and disappointed after your meal.  If I know that I will be in the air during a meal, I will purchase something in the terminal and bring it onto the aircraft.  Just be mindful that its not something too smelly (ex: a burger).  I tend to get a wee bit motion sick on planes and having a full stomach definitely helps. So, if that means shelling out $15 on some food so I’m not hungry or nauseous, I will gladly do so.  This is also important for people with dietary restrictions.  Airplanes try to cater to food needs as best as they can, but it’s not always the best.

Thanks for reading and have safe travels!