Konichiwa from Japan!
I’m currently bumbling around Japan for two weeks (a post on that is in the works) and it’s got me thinking about travel and stress and flying and airports and jet lag…
You know, the usual drag of flying.
The early waking up, the packing, the getting-to-the-airport struggle, the waiting to board…
If just reading that stresses you out, fear not. This is the post for you.
Over my years of finding myself hanging out in airports pretty frequently, I’ve picked up a few travel hacks that have made my relationship with flying a million times better.
Here are some of my ~exclusiv~ travel tips.
1. Skip all lines possible.
This means checking in online before getting to the airport, flying only with a carry-on when possible and scoping out the shortest security line. It’s a great feeling to get from the airport entrance to your gate in under an hour (and have plenty of time for a glass or two of wine before boarding 😉) .
2. Prep for the security check.
Please don’t be one of those people struggling to pack their liquids right outside security or unpack their entire bag to take out a laptop. I’m usually that super keen person who has out their liquids bag and laptop before even reaching the security conveyor belt.
The name of the game here is to have your liquids packed and ready to go in a clear bag (it doesn’t have to be a cheap ziplock bag, you’re allowed to have clear cosmetic bags!). And to have easy access to your laptop and other electronics.
3. If you check a suitcase, ditch the carry-on.
Hear me out: you’re still allowed a purse or backpack. But ditch the little roll bag!
Maybe it’s just me, but I hate feeling like a pack mule walking through an airport with (what feels like) a million bags and coats and bottles to carry. I’m a big believer in getting on the plane with only one bag.
4. If you’re travelling only with a carry-on, ditch the purse.
Again, here me out: you can always just flatten and pack a purse in your carry-on. Just keep stuff you’ll need to get out for security (see #2) and stuff you want to use on the plane near the top. When you get to your seat, load up the seat pocket in front of you with your in-flight entertainment and pop your bag in the overhead bin. Easy peesy.
Instead of juggling a purse, a carry-on, a coat, a passport and a boarding pass (or cell phone because I’m obsessed with airline apps), imagine walking off a plane with just one bag. Dreamy right?
5. Cull your carry-on/purse.
Do you believe me that travelling with one bag is the way to go? Awesome.
Now think about what you actually use on the plane. I always bring a laptop, headphones, a magazine, a book, a Kindle, chargers, creams, snacks and water in my carry on. And I only end up using 4/9 of those things.
When I get to my seat, I put my headphones, water, toiletry bag and book in the seat-back pocket and don’t touch my bag for the rest of the flight.
Leave your heavy computer charger in your suitcase and let’s be real, do you really need all that literature? Chances are either your flight is too short to acutally get through it all or there’ll be an in-flight entertainment system (I watched Coco on the way here… so many feels).
6. Plan your airport escape.
Getting though a flight is one thing. Getting from a flight to where you’re staying is another. Spare yourself some stress and plan how you’re going to get from the airport to your hotel/Airbnb/friend’s house ahead of time. Take screenshots, buy tickets, download Uber; do whatever you gotta do.
Just to be safe, I always assume I won’t have internet when I land too. NGL, I was v impressed with myself from getting from Narita (Tokyo’s furthest airport) to a hotel on the other edge of Tokyo by myself after a 24 hour journey. Fun fact: they really don’t speak much English in Japan.
I really hope these tips are helpful and don’t make me sound like a crazy traveller (seriously though, try the one bag thing).
I’m going to go track down some Soba noodles (#glutenfree!).
What are your go-to flying tips??
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