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10 Tips to make flight travel easier

10 Tips to make flight travel easier

The last thing you need when you're heading off on holiday is a stressful airport drama, or problems cropping up with your flight. From booking the flights to actually getting on the plane, here are ten tips to make flight travel easier

What's the worst thing about flying? Losing your luggage? Paying for expensive parking? Standing in long security lines? Missing your flight? The choices are endless! But if you follow the tips below, you'll be on your way, with little stress and lots of powerful knowledge. 

Buy your ticket midweek for less 

A woman excited holding flight tickets Credit: Prostock-Studio

Planning a trip? Check ticket prices on Wednesday—starting early in the morning—if you're looking for a bargain. If you can be flexible about when you fly, check ticket prices at any time for last-minute deals. Airlines sell tickets at bargain basement prices a few days (or even hours) before the plane is scheduled to take off.

Purchase a parking package  

Many airport hotels offer “park-and-fly” packages that can save you time, money,and hassle. Particularly appealing if you have an early morning flight, these packages offer a night at the hotel before your flight, a morning wake-up call, transportation to and from the airport, and free parking at the hotel during your time away.

"Many airport hotels offer “park-and-fly” packages that can save you time, money, and hassle"

You may even be able to find a package that costs what only a week of parking would cost you at the airport.

Park in the nose-bleed section 

Car park storey Credit: ErsoyBasciftci

In other words, drive straight to the top level in the airport parking garage. You’ll have better luck finding a parking space—even finding one closer to the walkway or elevator that takes you to your airline’s check-in counter. 

Join rental car rewards programs

Why? Not only will you get special savings when you rent a car, you’ll also get to bypass the long lines at rental-car counters. You get to either stop at a specially designated counter (with no lines) for rewards customers, or in many cases skip the counter altogether and go straight to your car.

Divvy up your duds 

Packed suitcase Credit: seb_ra

Since tens of millions of checked bags get lost or delayed every year, you know that you should carry a bag onto your flight containing vital medicines, toiletries, and a change of clothes.

"You should carry a bag onto your flight containing vital medicines, toiletries, and a change of clothes"

Here’s an even smarter tip: if you’re flying with a spouse or friend, take two suitcases (one for each of you), but put half your stuff in your bag and half in the other. That way, if one of the bags gets lost, you’ll still have half your stuff for your trip

Ditch delays with early morning flights

You may not be an early bird, but you’ll be happy you traded a little sleep for an on-time flight. Flights early in the morning are more likely to leave on time, since they probably aren’t following an already backed-up flight leg. And choose the days that are least crowded for flying—Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (when business travelers are least likely to fly).

Play the security game

A man putting shoes into a tray on an airport security belt Credit: monkeybusinessimages

You may dislike all the rules governing airport security, but you’ll get through security faster if you play by the rules—so visit the Transportation Security Administration’s Website to make sure that what you pack (particularly in your carry-on luggage) follows the TSA’s guidelines.

"You’ll get through security faster when you fly if you wear slip-on shoes, leave your belt at home, and avoid bringing pocket change"

Remember that you’ll get through security faster when you fly if you wear slip-on shoes, leave your belt at home, and avoid bringing pocket change.

Fly direct 

Try to avoid layovers, whenever you can. You're less likely to lose your luggage, and you won't need to worry—or even think about—missing your next flight.

Make your luggage stand out—and tag it right 

A tagged suitcase on a luggage conveyor belt Credit: Bet_Noire

Since every traveller seems to have the same rectangular, black suitcase at baggage claim, either buy an unusually colourful bag or wrap decorative ribbons around the handle of your current suitcase.

Be sure to take off old tags from recent flights, and confirm at check-in that the new tag will send your luggage to your final destination, not just to your layover. 

Consider a travel package, simply for the flight

If high airfares are getting you down, think about buying a travel package that includes a flight, hotel, and rental car. You might be able to get a great deal on a package in a last-minute sale—making your airfare more affordable—and you don’t have to use the hotel or the car. 

Banner credit: anyaberkut

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