With the holiday season fast approaching we thought we would share some tips and tricks we've adapted to make your air travel experience as enjoyable as possible.
1. Utilize the airport lounge - free wifi, drinks, snacks, lounge areas and even movie theaters! Most lounges charge a one-time entrance fee, but certain credit cards will grant you access. If you use the same airline all the time, check the airlines website for the perks and more info. Here are a couple that will guarantee to make your layover much more enjoyable:
2. Precheck/Global Access - Skip the majority of the security line, leave your shoes on and keep your laptop and liquids in your bag. I signed up while waiting to board my plane in Atlanta Hartsfield and stopped by the TSA office at Tampa International when I landed. The entire process took all of 20 mins, costs $85 for 5 years and saves TONS of hassle! Trust me and sign up below for domestic and international travel:
3. Get Some Exercise - When you sit for a long time, whether on long car trips or airline flights, your risk of developing a blood clot increases. According to the American Council on Exercise, deep vein thrombosis typically originates in the legs. The website adds that DVT is sometimes called "economy class syndrome," because cramped airline seats offer little room to stretch. Simple exercises, done each hour during a plane flight, help to keep your blood flowing and reduce your risk of developing clots.
Visit these websites for information on different exercises you can partake in while traveling:
4. Start Early - Get to your gateway city as early as you can Since delays stack up as the day progresses, it’s smart to book the first flight you can into a hub if you have a connecting flight.
5. Drink Up - Water, that is. "Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate," says Jerry Bishop, a commercial pilot who's flown mostly trans-Atlantic routes for the past 18 years. "It's really just common sense, but you don't realize how much flying takes out of you. Try to drink a quart of water for every four hours you're in the air. I always travel with my own refillable water bottle from home (most airports restaurants will fill them for you) to hold me over until beverage service.
6. Block it Out - When it's time to get some shut-eye, two of the best things you can carry are some earplugs and an eye mask. Invest in a pair of high-end, noise-canceling headphones. The good ones also help drown out cabin and engine noise. And an eye-mask will keep your neighbor's reading light from keeping you awake. Chose a pair that has eyecups, rather than a flat mask, because they're both more comfortable and for mascara-wearers, they prevent makeup from smearing.
7. Beat Jet Lag - The trick is to get on the right schedule while in transit. Sign up for a personalized plan with the website http://www.stopjetlag.com/ which will give you an hour-by-hour schedule for meals, rest time, and even sunlight exposure, based on your travel itinerary.
8. Don't lose your luggage -
Spy on Your Suitcase: Plant it with the palm-size Trakdot ($50, plus $13 annual fee). The small box automatically transmits its location using a GSM chip, allowing you to follow your bag’s route via SMS, e-mail, or the Trakdot app and website.
Pick the Right Carriers: The airline with the best record for luggage handling over the past two years? Virgin America, which averages just 0.88 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Following close behind: JetBlue (1.88) and AirTran (2.02). American Eagle, on the other hand, averaged 6 incidents per 1,000 passengers.
Ship Your Bags: Consider sending your bags straight to the hotel (or golf course, or cruise ship) through a service such as Luggage Forward or Luggage Free. Overnight delivery of a 25-pound bag from New York to L.A. will run about $150—more than your airline charges, but considerably less than UPS.
9. Find a Better Sandwich - The GateGuru app has detailed terminal maps and restaurant reviews for more than 100 airports around the world.
10. Exercise Patience - We’re all anxious to get to our destination. After long lines and even longer flights, it’s understandable that everyone’s patience is running low. But attempt to hold on to your patience and trust the system. If everyone goes with the flow, things will go much quicker. Prime example: getting off the plane. Don’t rush to go before the aisle ahead of you. This will only slow things down. Same goes for the baggage claim area. Stand back until you see your bag. Standing close and blocking the area for others will only create chaos.
Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels!