As you know we just got back from an amazing European cruise vacation. I want all of you to try it, but I know that some of you won’t because you’d have to fly to London.
You can get around the expense, but you can’t get around the new security rules. What if you say the wrong thing and get thrown off the plane? What if you bring the wrong thing and get taken to security in front of everyone? What if they won’t allow you to get on the plane with something you need or want, and your choice is to throw it away or miss your flight?
Because we’re experienced travelers, we don’t worry about that at all.
If you want to get through the airport and onto that plane without stress, do what we do.
1. Make parking reservations – I can’t stress this enough. What if you planned on leaving your car at the airport only to get there and find the airport lots are full – now what? We park offsite with a reservation – no hassle. They even have a frequent stayer program and we get one night free for every 7 we pay for. The best perks? They have a shuttle to the terminal and if it’s cold outside, they warm up car when we arrive.
2. Sign up for text or email alerts – They’ll offer it when you make your reservation. We set up a text alert for 4 hours before the flight so we can avoid waiting at the airport for a plane that’s been cancelled or delayed. If you didn’t do this when you bought your tickets, I am sure you can add it now.
3. Weigh and measure your luggage – there are so many rules and regulations. Here’s what you should know before you go: What is the size limitation of carry ons and checked luggage? What are the maximum weight restrictions? There is nothing worse than having to repack at the airport to avoid fees. Measure your suitcase before you start to pack, and weigh it after you’re done. Don’t waste your money on a luggage scale, you can use your bathroom scale.
4. Plan your carry on bag – Are you checking your luggage or carrying it on the plane? Checked luggage goes in the cargo hold, so you can pack any size toiletries. Carry ons stay with you, either at your feet or in the overhead bin. If you are carrying any luggage on, pack your toiletries according to the TSA regulations and place them in an easy to access area (i.e. on top of your clothes or in an outside pocket). This makes the security check point so much easier. Check out the TSA website for the complete rules and regulations
5. Charging electronics – not all seats in a plane have power ports. Check your seat details by going to SeatGuru.com and looking up your airline, flight number and date of flight. Sometimes airlines will change planes and you won’t have the power port you expected, so make sure all your electronics are fully charged before you leave home.
6. Check in online – You should do it before you leave home. Our airline lets us check in 24 hours in advance. I do this to the minute to possibly snag an upgrade. Some airlines make you wait until check in to select your seat assignment.
7. Preplan your layover activities – If you know you are going to have a layover, check out the airport in advance (many have apps). When flying British Airway into or out of Heathrow, you can schedule a massage during your layover. You can purchase a day pass to an airline club. We’ve done this and had a great experience with good healthy food choices, free Wi-Fi, and a comfortable place to relax.
These simple plan-ahead tips make flying easier, so relax and make those reservations.
What do you do to make your trip less stressful?