15 Things Smart Travelers Always Do Prior to a Flight

Frequent fliers share their best tips to make your travel day smooth. Every editorial product has been independently chosen. We may receive a commission or be compensated if you purchase something through our affiliate links. …

Frequent fliers share their best tips to make your travel day smooth.

Every editorial product has been independently chosen. We may receive a commission or be compensated if you purchase something through our affiliate links. Prices and ratings are correct. Items are available at the time they were published.

Passport protocol

You can’t travel internationally if you don’t have your passport. Make sure you have your passport with you when you travel internationally. Patricia Hajifotiou who runs The Olive Odysseys small-group tours and has been leading European tours for 21 years, says that you should make a copy of your passport. You can reuse it on future trips.

Protect against mishaps

Many things can go wrong while traveling: trip delays and cancellations; delayed or lost luggage; travel accidents; emergency evacuations. However, you don’t have to give up on your dream of exploring the world. Leah Althiser of The Frugal South says that when I’m booking an international trip, I ensure I pay for my flights, lodging, and rental cars with a creditcard that reimburses for any inconveniences. Many premium travel rewards credit card cards have these benefits with an annual fee under $100. These benefits can save you thousands of dollar if something happens on your trip. We have a guide for how to get reimbursed in the event that your luggage is lost or damaged. These are 15 travel point perks that you may not have known existed.

Notify banks

Do you want to escape the grid completely? Even if you tell your mother not where you’re going, your credit card company should know. Tom Carr, founder and CEO at Preferred Vacations, states that banks take extra precautions in order to prevent credit card fraud. They will also block transactions that do not fit your normal patterns. “If you don’t travel often, it is a good idea to let your bank know where you’ll be. They will not want you to wait in line for a check or to pay at a place without you having a way to pay.

Avoid germs

Your travel day will take you to many surfaces: buttons, touch screens on escalator railings and security bins. You’ll also be touching tray tables, armrests, tray tables, security bins, armrests and seat belts. Dr. Spangler advises that you clean your hands every day and to carry a 3-ounce container of antibacterial hand sanitizer in case you don’t have soap or water. You can also bring a small amount of antibacterial wipes with you when you fly to clean up any surfaces around your plane, especially the seat-back tray table. This area has been found to harbour more germs than the airplane toilet.

Prevent jetlag

You can decrease the amount of time that your circadian rhythm is disturbed by a little foresight. Mitch Krayton CTA (owner of Krayton Travel, Denver) says: “Set your watch on the arrival time zone as soon you sit in the airplane.” You can then eat, rest, and act like your destination time zone. This will help you to manage jetlag and get you ready to go upon your arrival.

Wear compression socks

Although they may not be the most glamorous, compression socks can be a lifesaver and a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe. Dr. William Spangler is the Global Medical Director for AIG Travel. He has more than 30 year’s experience in emergency medicine. Deep vein thrombosis, which is the formation and maintenance of blood clots (especially in the lower legs or thighs), is one of the most common. While it isn’t painful, however, clots can cause serious problems if they break off. You can even walk up and down the aisle.

Charge electronic devices

It was possible to fly in the dark without using electronics. That would be unusual today, unless you have run out and are relegated back to the stone ages. Christian Eilers (founder of Dauntless Jaunter), says that making sure your smartphone, laptop, or other electronic devices are charged does two things. This ensures that you have enough juice to power your devices so you can work or entertain yourself during flight. A second advantage is that you will know where your batteries and cables are at all times, which saves you from having to call Uber to get them.

Register for TSA PreCheck

It would be wonderful to have a much shorter wait time and a less intrusive check when going through security. Jenny Smith, frequent flier and founder the blog How to Move to New Zealand recommends the TSA PreCheck program. The PreCheck program is easy to sign up for and you can complete an interview. You will need to pay a small fee to register, but it is worth it if your flights are not frequent.

Actual-time information

You just ran all the way to get to your gate, only to discover it had switched to another one that was closer to your starting point? Alissa Musso, professional singer-songwriter and traveling musician, recommends signing up for flight updates via your smartphone. “If your flight delays or security lines get long, you’ll receive updates in real time so that you can plan accordingly.” You can also sign up for text alerts and download the airline’s app.

Be sure to keep your must-haves in mind

It’s okay if you don’t know how to travel with just a carryon. However, there are some things that you shouldn’t check. Jeff Miller, who owns the travel blog Our Passion For Travel and is married to his wife and has been to 73 countries with it, said that you should bring your medication. If you take medication, make sure to bring it with you in your carry-on luggage. Your medication could be hard to find or expensive depending on where you’re going. You should also bring your passport, money as well as electronics, jewelry, lighters and lithium batteries.

BYOF – Bring your own food

It’s not worth the risk of getting a boring airplane sandwich, or having to wait in line for a greasy burger. Betsey, who is the founder of Midlife Millennials and a former wellness teacher, said that airport food is notoriously expensive and difficult to find healthy options. I always plan ahead and bring snacks and meals. You have many choices. I make my own salad on a regular basis. You can bring your own food so you can eat when you want, even if you are traveling between different time zones or have very limited connectivity.

Be careful when choosing seats

Although you may believe you have read the seating map correctly, you might find yourself seated right next the bathroom, with less legroom because of an equipment box, or that you accidentally booked a seat without an armrest (thereby reducing the seat width). Victoria Langmead (Safari Expert at Scott Dunn) says, “Refer to website Seat Guru whenever you book your seats on your plane.” The seat map of each aircraft will allow you to determine the right seat for you.

Visit an airport lounge

A lounge at an airport can provide a safe refuge from the chaos, whether you are on a long flight or just need to relax and take part in a conference call. Yuichi Nishyama, All Nippon Airways pilot, says, “Take advantage airport lounges because they’ll make you travel experience much more stress-free.” “Lounges can be a peaceful place away from the bustle at the gates. They also offer a range of services, from shower facilities to dining options to designated workspaces.” Many airlines will let you purchase a day pass if you don’t have enough airline status. Before you make your next trip, avoid these common airport mistakes.

Check travel alerts

It is important to understand what is happening in your destination before you travel. The U.S. Department of State publishes travel advisory lists for different countries, which explain which ones are safe to travel to and which ones should be avoided. These 13 things are not to be done in airports

Hydrate ahead

It’s not just that your lips are chapped and your throat and nose feel dry. The Cleveland Clinic says about half the cabin air is taken from outside air at 35,000ft. Anisa alhilali, co-owner of Two Traveling Texans has stamps for 41 countries in her passport and says that she always hydrates well before a flight. I try to drink as much water for as long as 24 hours before I travel. I make sure that I have enough water for the flight. It is a good idea to bring your own water bottle. Fill it up after you go through security.