Throughout this past semester I’ve learned a lot about flying to different countries outside of Spain. I don’t have any flight anxiety but I’ve had my fair share of slip ups to learn from.
- Holding up the line at TSA security because I couldn’t find my drivers license.
- Fumbling my laptop and shoes when loading up my baggage.
- Regretting my choice to bring too many clothes and bags for the trip.
Just this past weekend, I came back from Rome and I noticed how much I improved with my travel skills.
- I only brought a single backpack instead of a huge duffel bag and luggage.
- I kept all of my boarding passes and passport information organized.
- I didn’t feel super groggy and actually felt patient with everyone in the airport.
Here’s the quick breakdown of my tips for traveling:
Before The TSA Hassle (Everyone’s Favorite Part of The Airport Obviously)
- Figure out the cheapest way to get to the airport beforehand I asked a friend last week to show me the different metro stations and bus lines I could take to save money. I had no interest in using all of my savings on solo cab rides. PS: General rule of thumb/tips for traveling is to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight.
- Pack as light as possible without sacrificing your must bring items. It’s easier to walk around with just a backpack when you’re traveling for a short time. For longer trips don’t overload with a backpack, duffel bag, guitar, and skateboard (I’ve done this a couple of times already, it’s annoying)
- Download all of your favorite songs that’ve been in your head for the past few days…this is one of my favorite tips for traveling.
- DON’T BURY YOUR LAPTOP AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BACKPACK, otherwise you’ll make everyone mad as you go through all of your stuff to take it out for TSA.
- Get a sufficient amount of sleep. For my personal preference I don’t want to be cranky at a crowded airport where people are bossing me around where to check in and what not to bring etc.
- Eat plenty of food before arrival, so that you don’t have to drop 12 bucks for a tiny sand which that probably doesn’t even taste good.
- Check in online and print out an extra boarding pass so your future self won’t curse your name because you’re waiting in a crazy line if something goes wrong.
- Screenshot your boarding pass and flight information on your phone, and do this 3 or 4 times so it’s easy to pull up when you’re stuck in line and can’t find your printed out boarding pass
- Make sure that your government I.D. and boarding pass are easily accessible, you don’t want to fumble through 3 different bags and your own pockets to find your documents.
AT THE TSA FIASCO
- Place all of your change and watches in your backpack so that you don’t have to put it all in a separate bin and potentially lose your drivers license (almost happened to me).
- Wear slip on shoes or something easy to take off so that it’s not a hassle in line to remove it for security
- Put all of your toiletries and soap bottles in a bag so that you can easily place it outside of your backpack for security to say it’s all good.
CARRY ON ESSENTIALS
- HEADPHONES– leaving your headphones at home is just a sad feeling to have. Along with remembering your boarding pass information, this advice goes up with the other top tips for traveling.
- LEGIT SNACKS– peanut butter and chocolate nutrition bars or something as simple as a Subway Sandwich is better to have than a tiny bag of peanuts.
- EMPTY WATER BOTTLE- so you don’t spend 6 bucks to buy a bottle of water after the flight
- LAPTOP LOADED WITH BOOKS AND SOMETHING TO WRITE WITH– so maybe one day you too can publish your own blog article about “Tips for Traveling.”
WAITING FOR YOUR FLIGHT!!!!!
- Find an outlet A.S.A.P. even when you feel like you have enough battery life on your phone or laptop. If you get lost and have to use G.P.S. you’ll thank yourself later.
- Stay alert and watch for gate changes because everyone knows that airports are the most organized place in the world and are not subject to sudden flight changes…..right….?
- Don’t be a follower…just because everyone is lining up doesn’t mean that the staff called up your boarding group.
- Treat yourself to ice cream or a smoothie…if its cheap… this always puts me at ease after a headache experience in the airport. I’ve had terrible experiences getting carsick, throwing up at the airport, not knowing where my gate is, and rushing to make the boarding time…but a smoothie makes it alright.
After the flight!
Remember to say NO to nearly every opportunity that requires money immediately after landing. There’ll be sharks ready to prey on you as a foreigner. If you’re confused and have no idea where to go you’ll be an easy target for rip off cab drivers. Save yourself the cash and headache by researching how to get to your destination beforehand. Walk a couple of blocks away from all of the crowds of people so you can find a different cab driver.
PS: Here are my preferred websites where you can book your next flight. Book on Tuesday mornings to save cash.