Monday, October 14, 2013

travel tips: flying smart ✈

✈    flying.   
it can be the best or the worst experience. whether you fly often or only 
once in a while, it matters to fly smart so that you have the 
best experience possible. i actually enjoy flying, but that's only because 
i have come up with some good routines for when i'm on a plane. 
  • check in ahead of time. i used to be sketched out by this option, and would always go to the counter because i didn't really believe you could just check in online. now i've realized that you can literally check in the night before or a few hours before, and then just get to the airport and go straight to security.
  • carry on. i don't remember the last time i checked a bag. okay wait, yes i do- to china. but hey-- that was a few weeks, and it was free to check bags. for 99% of my travel, i refuse to check bags! i don't like waiting around for my bag after the flight, and it saves time before the flight if you have checked in online. if you can, pack light. {more on that here}
  • download the airline app. if you fly with one airline frequently, it's worth it to download their app. this allows you to check in, check your flight status, get reminders, and save your boarding pass bar code right on your phone. no paper ticket! you just set your phone on the TSA scanner, and that's it. you can also use airline apps to change your seat, track luggage, upgrade, etc. airline apps also let you save your ticket to passbook on the iphone. the nice thing about this is that passbook will add a flight banner to your lock screen, so as you go through security you just swipe that and your boarding pass appears. flawless.
  • download other flying apps. it can tell you all the details for your flight {schedule, gate, terminal, boarding time...} before the airport even has it up. it's $5 and i hate paying for phone apps, but if you're a frequent traveler this one is worth it. if you don't want to pay, get a similar free app called flightview.
  • keep your laptop in an outside pocket. every time we go through security {and i mean every time,} my husband forgets he has to take his laptop out and has to spend 5 minutes unpacking his backpack to get it out. bless his heart! save yourself the trouble and bring a bag with an outside lining for your laptop. my carryon bag has a perfect sized pocket for my laptop, so i just slide it out as i lay the bag down for security. also, don't worry about ipads/tablets. you only need to take out laptops by themselves on the scanner. ipads can stay inside.
  • dress smart. as you get dressed for your flight, think about going through security and taking layers off. don't wear boots with a million intricate laces, or a lot of jewelry you will have to take off for the scanner. i normally wear comfortable pants or leggings, a few layers on top with a scarf {airplanes always get cold} and flip flops or flats that are easy to kick off. no belts, big earrings, or jewelry for me when i travel. i try to have socks so that i don't have to walk on the ground barefoot, but then again chase says i am a little too worried about germs.
  • bring food with you. airports are starting to get better restaurants and food inside them, but it's always smart to bring your own food. even if you eat an {expensive} meal in the airport, you will still want to have snacks in your bag. there is nothing worse than being trapped on a plane with no food! airline food is expensive and oftentimes junk food- so pack some healthy apples, almonds, treats, whatever you need so that you don't resort to asking the flight attendant for 10 packs of peanuts.
  • hydrate. you get dehyrated when you fly, so it's important to drink water throughout the flight. also, if the airline offers drinks, be smart about it. i always ask for an ice water, and a can of something. i usually save the can for later, to drink with my ice. if i'm on a long or early flight i get a can of coke and keep it in my bag in case i get tired later that day when i land! if you fly often and want the best plane drink combo ever, ask for half orange juice and half cranberry juice over ice. it's worth it. sometimes the flight attendents are really nice and even put a little splash of ginger ale in too! i introduced this to chase when we were dating and he's a fan too. i love hearing him order it on flights now :) 
  • be prepared. along with bringing snacks and water like i mentioned above, bring vitamins, a toothbrush, contact case, or anything else you might need during the flight. if you do check a bag, at least pack one outfit and some basic toiletries in a carry-on so you have what you need in case it gets lost or you need it before you land.
  • move around. especially on flights that are 4+ hours, it matters to get up and stretch out your legs. sometimes it can be awkward to get up a lot if you're in the window seat and have to ask other people to move, so when you do get up to use the bathroom, take some time after and circle the plane or just stand in the back and stretch out for a second. as long as the seatbelt sign is off & the drink cart isn't in the aisles, no one will mind. if you're trapped sitting, you can still do something for your legs. move one leg up with your knee bent, then the other. stretch out your calfs by raising your heels while seated. don't let yourself get too stiff or you won't feel good!
  • use overhead bins. try to get on the plane semi-early so that there is still space in the overhead bins. if there is no space for your carry-on, don't be afraid to move a few things around like the flight attendants do! if someone has put their coat up there, just slide your bag in and put the coat on top of it. it's not worth being asked to gate check and waiting for 20 minutes after the flight to get your bag. there is usually more room than it appears.
  • bring headphones. i don't mind the sound of airplanes, but after a lot of flights it's so nice to have some music or a show playing. it takes me out of the airplane and relaxes me.
  • as for sleeping on planes, you've got me there. sometimes i can {very uncomfortably} sleep for a little bit, but i normally rely on good books and shows to watch. my husband is clever and figured this out, but that doesn't work for me :) i am a little tempted to buy one of these, haha it gets me every time! the ny times travel section had some good tips for sleeping in the air, so check that out here.
  • bring things to work on. flying is miserable if you're bored! i have 10 books loaded on my ipad and phone just so that i never get trapped with nothing to do on a long flight. bring your laptop, do work, write, edit photos, organize your desktop, delete photos on your phone, load movies to watch, download podcasts, just use the time wisely and a flight will fly by! plus, here is some good news regarding those electronic devices on planes.
  • lastly, be nice. this sounds dumb, but i'm serious. you are about to be trapped in a small space with strangers for anywhere from 1-12 hours, so be kind and polite. i've met some great friends on planes before! strike up conversation if the person next to you looks bored. every person has a story. and, be so nice to flight attendants. i have seen too many grumpy passengers take out their stress on flight attendants who are working so hard. be nice! they will probably repay you with some extra pretzels :)

    i hope something on this list helps you for your next flight.
    i'd love to know any tips you have for flying!
    happy travels! 

    ps. speaking of flying, i wish so badly i had been at the airport this day!
    ALSO- loved this clip, so true! keep the good attitude while flying!

    see all of my travel tips here.


  1. Travel should not be a luxury am I right? so I thought I let you guys know whenever i travel with my family on vacations or on business trips I use they will give you '80% off your hotel which is just crazy to me and they are a underground company so that's why they can afford to give those low rate. If you have time just check out their magical search Box and you will be blow away with the rates they give you thanks to my friend mazin for telling me about them and I hope I saved some of you guys money here good luck guys

  2. oh my gosh, that sleeping pillow. hilarious. you really should get one.

    1. haha right? chase and i laugh SO hard but at the same time both secretly want one.

  3. These are such great tips and make me want to go on a trip! I really love the last tip...a smile and a good attitude goes a long way.

  4. Great tips! Will be sure to reread this next time I fly!

  5. I can't sleep on a plane - even in business class. For some reason, my arms fall asleep.


  6. Nice tips, especially for the drink combo! I should try it sometime... :D
    Anyway, I never feel hungry when I'm on a plane. Usually my flights are either 12-hour non-stop flights or 1-2 hour ones, so either I feel like being fed all the time(and I mean, you paid for it already, so I often feel like I'm wasting my money if I don't eat :P), or I plan to eat after the flight.
    Zia from

  7. Awesome tips Emi! And once again, you have amazing timing. I'm riding a plane and traveling out of the country for the first time Thursday and was literally on google wondering what tips and tricks I should know about flying. So thanks :) Will definitely keep snacks in mind and going to go reread that packing light post of yours too :)

    1. yay, perfect! i'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear about it!

  8. This is a great list! I definitely think more people need to know these tips!

  9. Good tips! I totally get the OJ and cranberry too haha. The best. xo

    1. love that. great minds think alike!

  10. A lot of international flights have skybeds these days, which of course are MAGICAL for getting some sleep, and totally worth it if you get in at an hour when you would want to be well-rested. My only other favorite travel tip is that the best way to combat jet-lag is to eat and sleep at the same times as the people in the city around you. It's the quickest way to get your body to follow suit.

    1. very true! and love the jet lag tip...i forgot to talk about that! so important! xo

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