5 Tips Guaranteed to Ease Your Memorial Day Travels
Here are a 5 straight forward travel tips you can use to make your trip more comfortable (which makes you a happy camper), not just for this holiday weekend but for travel throughout the year!
1. TIME. Figure out how long you need to get to the airport and through security before your plane is scheduled to take off—and then add a buffer of at least 45 minutes (if there is bad weather add more time). If there’s a traffic jam on the road or a traveler holding up the line, you’ll be more likely to stay calm and collected if you don’t have to worry about missing your flight. Its a lot easier to be patient with other travelers when you have time on your side. If I end up with extra time at the airport, I like to find the Business Lounge and relax until boarding. It’s a great way to start my trip.
It’s probably too late for this Memorial Day, but if you travel often, think about joining a Trusted Traveler Program such as NEXUS, SENTRI, or Global Entry to get you through security faster in the future.
2. CLOTHES. Wear clothes that are going to make it easier for you to get through security (and comfortable to fly in). In terms of security, that means either no belt or if you wear a belt, just keep it in your carry-on bag until after screening, wear easy slip-on shoes, and no watch or jewelry. The less you have to take off, the better off you’ll be. My trick is to put my watch and jewelry in a see-through plastic zip bag and carry it in my purse. That way I know it won’t get lost and I can easily put it on once I’m safely through the check point. For comfort, don’t wear anything too tight (jet-belly), and take a scarf, wrap, or sweater. Planes are usually cold in-flight, especially by the emergency exits, but there’s no reason for you to be.
3. BAGS. Pack efficiently, which means either sending bags ahead or taking the minimum and only a carry-on bag. Or if you need to check your luggage, make sure you have a carry on the essentials — medications, work materials (plus your moblie chargers), and an emergency outfit to wear in case your luggage goes astray. The less you carry with you, the quicker you’ll get through security and the more likely your bag will fit in the overhead bin. Essential Tip: Try to board the flight as early as possible, because when those bins fill up you will have to check your bag.
4. FUN. Bring your own entertainment (and chargers). Airports seem to be all about waiting, so make sure you have a book, a couple of magazines, some movies, good music, and a game or two—preferably on your iPad, laptop, or mobile device.
5. FOOD. Bring your own food/snacks. Granted, the food selections in the airport terminals have improved tremendously over the years. However if you are making a B-line to the gate you may not be able to wait in a line for a snack. You don’t want to be grumpy because you’re hungry, and if you bring your own food at least you’ll know you like it. Plus, airline snacks are often sparse, usually fattening, and always expensive. A few easy shelf-stable snacks you can carry – instant oatmeal, protein powder shakes (that require milk or water, usually easy to get from the flight attendant) and instant soup mix. You can ask for a cup of hot water, which is almost always available. Also tea bags and hot chocolate (clearly not a snack, but nice to have your favorite comfort beverage on hand).
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday weekend.