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For quite a few people, flying can be a stressful experience. Even folks who’ve been doing it for years will tell you that. Not only do you need to be savvy passenger that organizes everything in advance, you also need to be prepared for the unexpected. Some people even follow a strict schedule in order to be one step ahead.
However, this method isn’t always enough; there are certain things we tend to forget. For example, are you aware of the things you should never do before flying? (Like filing your taxes or robbing a bank? Just kidding. ) Well, for those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, here are a few pointers about what you should avoid.
#1. Putting your documents in a small bag. Having your passport, plane ticket and some cash in a small bag might seem like a practical idea. However, there are several issues with that. Let’s assume you already have a backpack and a carry-on bag that you’re taking with you on the plane. If you also have a small pouch with all your important documents, not only is it hard to keep an eye on them, it’s also very easy to lose.
Think of it this way: If you lose your backpack at the airport, you have a good chance of finding it because it’s large. A smaller bag will be more difficult to spot, and if an opportunistic thief spots it, it’ll be easy for them to hide.
#2. Not checking-in online
We see the process of checking-in online as a minor obligation that we don’t want to deal with…just yet.
However, it’s more important than it seems. It’s no secret that most airlines overbook their flights, and sometimes passengers are denied boarding. But, with the online check-in options, you somehow guarantee your arrival at the airport for your flight. So, the sooner you do it, the better. Another reason why this little nuisance is important is because you get to pick the seat you want, and you’re sometimes guaranteed speedy boarding.
Of course, we shouldn’t forget about the minimalist travelers who like to pack light. When you only have a carry-on, there’s no reason for you to go through the check-in desk. So, the online check-in will allow you to go straight to the security check-point. It’s a win-win for everyone.
#3. Paying for over-weight luggage While we’re still on the subject of carry-on and luggage, let’s talk about your baggage weight.
It’s common for travelers to pack an overweight bag and assume that they’re within the weight limits. But when they put their suitcase on the check-in scale, they’re in for a big shock. Then, the dilemma begins: “To be, or not to be” oh, sorry, not this one! “To pay or get rid of?” To avoid being in such an embarrassing situation; you can always weigh your luggage at home, or you can restrict yourself from packing some necessities that are already available at the airport.
Let’s say you packed a bottle of shampoo, shaving gel and deodorant. Depending on their size, they might weigh up to 2.5 pounds. If you were to pay for that extra weight, you’d be charged 3 times the amount it would cost to purchase new ones. So, save yourself the trouble, and start shopping.
#4.Not looking up the seat plan
It might not seem very important for many people, but you don’t want to be stuck in a confined space for several hours without even being able to stretch your legs. So, right before your long-awaited journey, make sure you check some websites that show you the secret. For example, which seats have more leg room, which ones are closer to the exits, which ones are away from smelly toilets, and which ones are close to a power port.
#5. Wrapping your suitcase
Many passengers cover their suitcases in plastic wrap to add one extra layer of protection. Either to stop baggage handlers from opening it, or to protect it from scratches and general damage. But, not only is this method bad for the environment, it’s also inconvenient for the passengers themselves.
Let’s say you’re all ready to check in, but you realize that your passport is in your tightly wrapped suitcase. Unfortunately, you have no other option but to cut the plastic film off, get your documents, and get rid of it. It’s better to invest in a good quality lock for security, or try a reusable cover that can keep your luggage nice and clean.
#6. Going to the first security check-points
Right after passport control, the most stressful part of your journey begins, and that is: the security check. Many people automatically go to the first check-points that tend to be overcrowded. They stand waiting in line for ages, while paradoxically, other checkpoints are empty.
This can happen for a couple of reasons. The main one is that the last checkpoints don’t have a queue, and passengers assume that they’re closed. Then, some other passengers prefer not to walk all the way to the last point to go through the security, resulting in some delays. So, next time you’re at the airport, remember: Don’t follow the crowd!
#7.Keeping liquids in their carry-on
Since we’re still in the security check, (Yawn) Let’s not forget the strict rule about carrying liquids on a plane. Every person and their grandmother knows that you can’t bring more than 3 Fl oz in your carry on. The problem isn’t that people don’t remember this law, but that they forget what they’ve packed.
For example, things like perfumes, shampoos and hair products, somehow manage to make it into the carry-on bags because they’re too heavy for our suitcases. And security personnel tend to toss them away. Other times, people assume that they can transport less than 3 Fl oz in a larger container, but that’s not allowed either.
Since there’s no quick way to measure how much liquid is in that container; security prefers to get rid of it. So, next time you travel, make sure you double check the amount of liquids you’re taking, and place them in a transparent pack to speed-up the process. And that’s where the next point comes in:
#8.Relaxing after going through security
Right after that daunting security check, you can treat yourself to some gifts from duty free. Well, this is a problem – and I’m not talking about consumerism. You see, most airports have ginormous duty frees; in fact, some of them are so large, that even if you have two hours to spare, you won’t be able to go through them.
So that means losing track of time. Many flights get delayed because passengers are still wandering around thinking they have plenty of time.
#9. Trying unusual dishes
I know the feeling. Right when you’re about to start your new journey, a voice in your head is telling you “hey, since I’m in the mood, why not be adventurous with my food?”.
Don’t listen to that voice yet. When trying a new cuisine or a new food, you don’t know how your stomach will react to it, and doing that right before a flight is a huge no-no. But it doesn’t end there. When you’re on a plane, you’re twice more likely to develop indigestion. This happens because the air pressure in the cabin falls lower than it is at sea levels, and the gas begins to expand.
So, not only might you experience the discomforts of indigestion, but also feeling bloated is inevitable. The good thing is, there are some foods that can help you out with that. You can try potatoes, turmeric, or for all you fruit-lovers, pineapple.
#10. Forgetting about turbulence
Everyone responds to flying differently.
For example, some people can’t tolerate turbulence and it upsets their stomach. Not only that, they go through the whole flight feeling dizzy, nauseated and unsettled. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry, because there are a couple solutions for that. The best time for turbulence sensitive passengers to fly is during the winter, in the morning or late at night.
And if you’re wondering why turbulence has the luxury to pick it’s time to shine, let’s get into some sciency stuff. Turbulence is caused by air parcels, or bubbles of air. When it’s warm, these air parcels rise in the air until they reach a height where the temperature is the same or cooler than the air around them.
While they rise, they create pockets of air, which we all know as turbulence. So, in the morning before the sun shines, and late in the evening, you’re less likely to experience it on a large scale.
#11. Ditching the anti-bacterial wipes
I get it, not everyone is a germophobe. But the airport is one of the most infectious places you can be in.
Even the trays you use when going through security check have more germs than a public toilet. So, having some anti-bacterial wipes and sanitizer to protect yourself is literally life-saving.
#12. Not thinking about jet lag
93% of flyers experience jet lag. So, the best way to avoid this is by adjusting your watch, and maybe the time on your phone, to the time of your destination.
You can also prevent it by sleeping on the plane half-way through the flight and then staying awake for the rest of it. You should also remember to stay hydrated. And, if you want to take it one step further, remember to snack on water rich fruits such as watermelons, celery, cucumbers and strawberries.