I fly quite a lot, both because I live on London, and my entire family is in Denmark, but also because I’m lucky enough to be able to travel regularly with my Job. This year alone I’ve been to Denmark twice, in Sicily on holiday, Cannes and Berlin with work – And now soon France, then Spain (with work) and another trip or two to Denmark.
Luckily I don’t mind flying at all. I felt a bit queasy after the latest accident, and did not enjoy flying over the Alps on our way back from Sicily (I kept asking Joel if those mountains weren’t a bit close). But overall it’s not something I stress about – I tend to quite enjoy it.
I do, however, have a need for being organised. There is nothing I detest more than faffing about with plastic bags and liquids when there are 20 impatient people standing in the line behind you, or not being able to find passports and boarding passes. Forget flying, THAT is my biggest fear right there. So over time I have developed a system. Most of it is probably something most people do already, but I thought it might be something that could be useful for some anyway.
- Always check in online, and print your boarding passes before hand. Or, better yet: download your airline’s app (plenty of airlines have an app now, amongst them EasyJet, Ryanair, and British Airways). The app lets you do pretty much anything AND keep your boarding pass on there, which means one less thing to keep track of. I am particularly fond of British Airway’s app. It informs you of traffic issues on the way to the airport, delays, and brings up your gate information as soon as it’s available amongst many other things. It’s brilliant.
- If you are checking in a bag, make sure all your liquids are in that bag. No need to struggle with the plastic bag of liquids at security of you can avoid it.
- If you’re not checking in a bag: Prepare your liquids in the plastic bag BEFORE leaving for the airport. How it can still come as a surprise to some people that there is a 100ml rule is beyond me. But remember that lots of things doesn’t need to go in the plastic back. Lip balms, lipsticks, and mascara don’t, for example. At least I’ve never been stopped when I’ve had these items in my bag rather than in the plastic bag for liquids. You do however need to keep shampoo, face creme, nail-polish, deodorants, etc. in the little plastic bag. Each item can be maximum 100ml big, and you are (mostly) only allowed 10 of these (a total of 1 litre of liquids). I recommend getting the travel sized versions of your favourite products, or buy small containers to keep it in.
- Make sure none of your bags exceed the weight or size limit. We have all seen those people scrambling around on the floor desperately trying to repack, with their stuff all over the place. It’s not a nice place to be in. Either stick to the limits, or pay for an additional bag. Tough, I know! (Yes, I like rules too).
- I recently discovered that you are allowed ONE disposable shaver (At least from UK airports – If you are not UK based it might be good to check with your local authority if this applies to your country).
- Consider your travel outfit. Wear something simple. You are not Victoria Beckham. Consider that you will have to take your shoes off if you wear boots. Always take off your jacket/scarf/hat BEFORE reaching security – Save yourself and others time. Don’t wear excessive jewellery, as no one likes to stand and wait while someone removes earrings, watches, ankle chains, and necklaces. Make sure your bag of liquids is easily accessible (preferably at the top of you bag, or in an outside compartment) so you don’t have to spend 10 minutes looking for it.
- Declutter! Make sure you have the important things within reach (e.g. wallet, passport, mobile phone, boarding pass, train tickets), but pack everything else away. If you don’t need a jacket, pack it in your suitcase (if there’s space). The less things you need to carry around, and keep track of, the better and smoother you will make it on to the plane and out on the other side. And, you have a spare hand for a cup of coffee (My mum would find this particularly convincing).
- If you are flying crazy early in the morning, I can recommend booking a cheap airport hotel to stay at the night before. I have done my fair share of 2.45am wake-up calls, and it’s just not worth it. Although a 7am flight is still early, it is a lot mote tolerable if you only just have to get up and walk down the road a few hours before your flight leaves. And, if booked well in advance, a lot of airport hotels are no more that £25 a night. Also, I have been told that it is helpful for people that are a bit scared of flying – Both because it take some of the stress away, but also because you have time to slowly get used to the airport vibe, and seeing planes take off and land easily.
Travelling and flying really isn’t that stressful, as long as you are organised. Organisation isn’t the devil. It will make your life A LOT easier. Enjoy!