As an aviator and CEO of an airline, I understand the importance of travel. It is a necessary part of life and every person at some point will have to travel on an airplane at least once. Those who travel all the time are more than likely experts, or at least know how to travel efficiently; however, for those of you that rarely travel or have never even set foot on an airplane before, I can only imagine that you don’t exactly know everything that is required of you before you get on the plane. With that being said, I’ve compiled a list of some tips and tricks designed to help you travel a bit more efficiently.

 

Check Several Sites

Unless you are using a travel agent, chances are you will be purchasing your airplane ticket online, and that’s fine. However, it is very important to remember that there are dozens of airfare sites online and that you should not purchase your tickets from the first site you visit. You will definitely want to compare prices. Utilize the tools that are out there for finding the cheapest flights. Sites like Kayak or Priceline will be essential in finding the best deal.

 

Pack Your Luggage Efficiently

This is probably one of the most obvious tips on the list, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. With baggage fees as high as they are, it is in your best interest to bring as few suitcases with you as possible. If you can help it, try to pack only one suitcase; having one suitcase simplifies the entire process and will make baggage claim and check-in a breeze. This may sound easy at first, but you will soon realize that suitcases fill up quickly. Firstly, make a list of the essentials you will need on the trip (toothbrush, clothing, etc.). Secondly, learn some tips and tricks on packing those items as efficiently as possible. Folding your clothing in certain ways can add for far more space to your bag than you’d think.

 

Arrive Early

The airport process has certainly become a bit more complex and laborious than before, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible. You must get your tickets, check in your luggage and then go through security before you can make it to your gate. This creates long lines, and long wait times. Because of this, it is best to be at an airport at least 2-3 hours before your flight leaves. This may sound excessive, but when you have been waiting in line for an hour just to check-in your luggage, you will be grateful you came early. Also, coming early allows you to calmly assess your situation and gather your things before boarding the plane, as opposed to rushing to the gate and hoping that you have everything you need.

 

Flying can be a stressful process, especially if you don’t do it very often. But by going through this list and ensuring that everything is as prepared and ready as possible before departure, you will have less headaches and more time to think about the trip ahead. This list won’t make you an expert on your first try; in fact, you may have to travel a few times before you get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll be a pro in no time.