Between visiting family on the East coast a couple times a year, going to and from school on the West coast, and being lucky enough to do a bit of traveling for fun as well, I’ve been a pretty frequent flyer for much of my life. Over the course of my travels, I’ve learned many tricks that both help reduce the stress and obnoxiousness of air travel. Read on for hilarious gifs punctuated by my own expert
Wear sneakers. Many people will tell you to wear your biggest/heaviest shoes in the airport so you don’t have to fit/carry them in your suitcase. That seems like a fantastic idea until you’re running to the furthest gate at the furthest terminal in high heeled booties that are a little too small but very cute. Not fun, my friends. Not fun. PRO TIP: make sure that your outfit actually goes with your sneakers.
Avoid bringing a computer. Computers are basically the only thing that you have to fuss with and take out of your bag during security so it’s best to just avoid them. This also helps you avoid doing any work while on vacation. If you want Netflix, bring an iPad/tablet, which doesn’t have to be taken out at security. Or your could skip it all and spend time enjoying the scenery at your final destination!
Walk the line when it comes to hydration. It’s important to stay hydrated when flying. However, peeing in an airplane bathroom is one of the worst things you can put yourself through, so you want to try to maintain the perfect level of hydration without drinking enough to have to pee. Hydrate yourself in advance, pee before you get on the plane, and sip slowly on water throughout your flight. As long as your flight isn’t longer than 4 hours or so, you will probably be able to hold it. If you’re going to have caffeine or alcohol, don’t break the seal!!!
Headphones will save your sanity. I hate talking to strangers I’ll never see again, especially on planes. To fight this, I put my headphones on as soon as I sit down, which sends a signal to my row-mates that I’m not trying to talk and is a great excuse for why I “can’t hear” their small talk.
The “liquids and gels” rule is a joke. No one really cares how many tiny bottles of shampoo you have or whether or not you take it out of your bag, so feel free to go nuts. I’ve never once had a problem with extra liquids as long as they were in tiny bottles. Interestingly enough, most mini bottles of alcohol are less than 3 oz. Use that information as you wish.
Set the right out-of-office message at work. I used to include lots of ways to contact me and pledge to try to check email as much as possible while I’m out. However, one time I received an out-of-office response that just said, “I am out of the office until X day. I will respond to your email when I return.” Brilliant! This message eliminates any obligations to work and allows you to truly enjoy your vacation. PRO TIP: don’t do this if you actually need to be reachable by work while you’re traveling.
Choose your seat intelligently. If you want to sleep or don’t plan on getting up, opt for a window seat so you won’t block people in. If you pee a lot or have super long legs, go for the aisle so you don’t have to force the whole row to stand up so you can empty your tiny needy bladder. Never choose a middle seat unless you’ll be between two people you’re traveling with and can lay on them for comfort. Even then, try to get one of your dumber friends to take it.
Don’t bring a baby. Just don’t. Unless it doesn’t release any type of sound or bodily fluid.
Snacks! Bring them.