Flying for the first time can make even the most ardent adventurer a little nervous especially when it comes to packing. It’s completely understandable to have your nerves a little shook, but traveling through the air is one of the safest modes of transportation.
So go ahead and pack your bags, get yourself to the airport, and leave knocking out the stressful bits to us. Here are some tips for packing, staying organized, airport etiquette, and of course, enjoying your first time flying.
Before you even get to the airport you’ll need to get everything properly situated for your trip. Make a thorough packing list of everything you’ll need while you’re away. Get your suitcase organization on point with some packing cubes. Find the right set to help keep you sane, organized, and make packing a breeze.
Your packing list will be essential for not forgetting everything you’ll need. Start with the basics and work your way up to the extras.
- Toiletries: (TRAVEL SIZED) shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, razor, toothpaste, toothbrush, skin care needs, Q-tips, cotton pads, etc.
- Makeup: make sure this is all packed properly in order to avoid spills and breaks!
- Clothes: UNDERWEAR, socks, shirts, pants, skirts, leggings, pajamas, bras, a pair or more of shoes, extra underwear, accessories, etc.
- Seasonal Clothes/Workout Clothes: jackets, sweaters, hats, bathing suits, tanks, sports bras, t-shirts, running shoes, etc.
- Tech: Phone, phone charger, tablet, tablet charger, laptop, laptop charger, camera, camera battery charger, headphones, mobile game device, mobile game device charger
- Carry On: Book, snacks, water bottle (empty until after security), extra change of clothes, phone charger, travel wallet, mobile game device, tablet, (Basically whatever you will need to keep busy on the flight and waiting for the flight)
- EXTRAS: This will be things like “skis” or “gifts” or even “equipment”. It really depends on where you’re going and why you’re going there.
Stay Busy, Stay Organized
Keeping yourself organized will help to manage the stress of your first plane ride. It will also make sure that you’re not bored out of your mind on your six hour, cross country flight!
Use your carry on as an overnight bag, as well as your entertainment. Knowing that you’ll be doing quite a bit of sitting around, you’ll need to be entertained. A fully charged phone, movies on your laptop, a really good book, or an exciting video game will be essential! KEEP YOURSELF BUSY.
You can use one of your smaller packing cubes to make sure you have your extra clothes in your carry on. Pack underwear, socks, a shirt and pants. Always a good idea to be prepared in case your flight is delayed and you checked your bag, or your luggage gets lost at your final destination.
There are some particular ins and outs of flying that everyone should know, and some you learn only through experience. People should already know things like getting to the airport two hours before a domestic flight, three hours before an international flight, and that checking a bag costs money.
Then there are things that no one tells you. Like don’t pack super smelly food so the entire plane doesn’t smell your roommates’ not so wonderful cooking. Or if someone has their headphones on, they are OFF LIMITS for a casual conversation.
One thing that I wish I knew before my first flight was that everything in the airport is in the style of “hurry up, then wait.” That’s right, you’ll hurry to park, then to get your bags checked, then to go through security. It’ll be a frantic rush if you’re less than two hours before your flight!
Then there is the waiting. A lot of it. Wait for food, for your flight, for boarding, for finding your seat, for placing your bag, you name it. Then you have to sit for an extended period of time on the plane. Once the flight is over, you do everything backward and you wait to get off, wait to get your bag, wait at baggage claim, and so on.
Just make sure to keep your wits about you. Kindness is free. Everyone is traveling somewhere, and everyone’s time is precious.
Stay Calm and Enjoy the Flight
Breathe. Stay calm. Take-off and landing are the most nerve-racking parts of flying, and you’re going to do GREAT! You have your packing list all checked off, your carry-on filled with things to do (and eat) and your etiquette on par with a seasoned traveler. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight!