I’m siting in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport with a few hours to kill between flights and started thinking about ways to make air travel a little more tolerable. I don’t travel frequently, but have a few tips to share:
- Buy internet before you’re on the plane. I just learned this! Thirty minutes of gogo wireless was $7 on my first fight, but I happened to open the page and saw that if you buy before you fly, you can save big time. I can get twice as much time (1 hour) for $5!
- Know your comfort limits. I find it really tough to sit still for long periods of time, so even though a direct flight can be nice, sometimes I need a layover just to get off the plane and stretch.
- Invest in a small blanket and travel pillow—BEFORE you get to the airport. I have a pillow at home and was kicking myself on this trip because I forgot it. After a night of three hours of sleep, I had to part ways with$18 at a Hudson News.
- Do a quick search for dining options. I’m a die-hard Starbucks fan for food, but sometimes I need something a little more substantial. I’ll hop on Foursquare or just do a quick Google search to see what else is in the airport.
- Bring headphones. I manage to forget them almost every time I travel and then get frustrated when I can’t watch a video online.
- Offer up your seat for some sweet rewards. If your plans are flexible and it’s requested, offer up your seat to catch a later flight; airlines will usually offer pretty nice rewards. On this trip, two flights needed people to give up seats. One offered a $500 voucher AND a first class seat and the second offered a $300 voucher. (I wasn’t able to take advantage of the first and they didn’t end up needing people for the second. I’ve done this in the past, though, and have gotten a FREE flight.)
- Bring gum. If you suffer from ear popping like me, you’ll be begging for it on the descent. If you nap, you’ll want something to freshen that just-slept bath.
- Get suitcases with multi-way rollers. One of the best investments I’ve made was buying a set of nice suitcases years ago with thick, multi-way rolling wheels. It’s so much easier to maneuver through the airport and down the plane aisles.
I have a few flights in the future, so I’d love to know our travel tips! Anything to make it easier?