You’ve booked your flights and got the best deal on the hotel. Now, to pack and fight your way to the airport for stress-free travel. Actually, getting to the airport doesn’t have to be so stressful if you follow these simple rules of navigating your way through packing, security and finally waiting for your flight.
Maybe a week or so before your trip, start thinking about what you’re going to need. Do you have sunscreen if you’re going to be by the beach? A hat if it’s a ski resort? Also, are you checking in or carrying on? If you’re carrying on, do your liquids follow the FAA guidelines? Once you’ve thought about these things, make a list of what you have and will need to buy, then get to the stores.
Make copies of your credit cards, flight information, travel documents and ID/Passport (especially if you’re traveling overseas). Give a copy to someone back home, keep a copy in the hotel safe and one to keep with you.
If you’re going overseas, call your bank and credit cards to notify them in advance of your travels and the dates. You can also find out if there are any fees associated with using your cards in different countries.
The night before:
Packing your bags using the ‘Rolling Method’ ensures less wrinkles and more room in your suitcase for souvenirs!
How to do the rolling method:
Pants: fold in half and roll from the top-to-bottom
Skirts: fold in half or three depending on how full then roll from top-to-bottom
Shirts: fold in three with arms back, then roll from top to bottom
Bring a blanket and travel pillow. Some airlines now charge for these.
The day of:
Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the airport. Some airports suggest you arrive at the airport two hours before the scheduled boarding time for domestic flights and three hours for International flights. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that easily slip on and off, also wear socks if the idea of walking barefoot through security skeeves you out.
Be prepared. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting behind someone who isn’t ready…don’t be that person. Take off your belt, shoes, jacket/sweater, remove keys and phone from pockets. I try to stay away from wearing belts to the airport just to save on taking off and putting back on. If you’re bringing your laptop, remove it from its bag and lay it out into a tray to go through the X-ray machine. If you have liquids, make sure they are in 3 oz bottles and stored in a quart size clear zip-top bag.
While you’re allowed only a limited amount of liquids through security, you can pack a meal. If you’re not fortunate enough to nab a first-class seat, you’ll want to bring your own food with you. Pack a sandwich, some fruit and bring an empty water bottle. You can fill the bottle at a water fountain once you’ve gone through security.
At the airport:
Since you’ve given yourself time, you’re ready to start your ‘vacation’. Most airports now have more upscale restaurants where you can sit and some offer free wifi. My sister and I once had an eight-hour layover in between flights at the Detroit airport. We ate a delicious meal, split a bottle of wine at Vino and got massages next door at a day spa. We felt fabulous and ready for the seven hour flight that was awaiting us.
3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.
Listing of baggage fees
More details on how to pack a suitcase
What are your tips for stress-free travel?
Co-founder | Scarlett Rocourt