At SellMyTimeshareNow.com, we’re always discussing cheap ways to travel. The thing is, when we talk about that, we focus highly on airline travel. Due to the decrease in ticket prices, airline travel is more popular than ever before.
But while we encourage airline travel, we’d also like to take a step back and provide an intensive list for some flyers who might be traveling for the first time. Sometimes fear of flying doesn’t come solely from the act of flying itself, but from the stress and bustle of those busy airports.
We’ve built a comprehensive list together of some easy to remember tips for a first time flyer. We’ve compiled everything you’ll ever need to know—from purchasing a ticket to collecting your baggage in a new destination, in eight simple steps.
The easiest way to search for prices and book your tickets are through online services. A number of airfare search engines exist, including Kayak, Expedia, CheapOAir.com, and more. Enter in all the information required, including departure and arrival dates, departure city and arrival city. Once you buy your ticket, the airlines will typically send you an email confirmation and an e-ticket number, which you should keep with you for quick reference in the baggage claim, security, and the boarding time.
Depending on where you’re traveling, different ID requirements are needed to travel. Domestic travel requires photo ID only, but if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need a passport. Typically, you’ll want to bring both if you feel comfortable, and passports should be valid for at least six months from the date you travel.
No matter what time you’re flying, it’s always best to give yourself at least two hours in between your arrival at the airport and your flight departure. This gives you plenty of time to deal with security, get some snacks, find your gate, and get everything ready for your flight. Most airports do offer parking, and free shuttles are available if the garage is far enough away. However, they can sometimes be quite expensive, so we recommend you take a taxi or an Uber to drop you off at your terminal. You’ll save costs and they have their own separate drop off points.
For the most part, airlines offer you one small carry-on bag to bring with you, no larger than 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches. You’re also able to bring along one personal item, including things like purses and computers. If you’re looking to check a bag or two, be mindful that some airlines offer one free checked bag. When packing your carry on, remember not to bring any weapons or any containers of liquid more than 100mL in a single, quart-sized, sealable, clear plastic bag. Double check on the official website of the airline you plan on flying with to see if these circumstances are different.
Out of all of our flying tips for first time flyers, this is one that stresses people out the most. But if you follow everything the TSA officers say and pack your bags appropriately, you’ll have absolutely no problem getting through. Make sure you remove your shoes, belts, hats, jewelry, empty your pockets, and put them in the provided containers for inspection, along with your personal item and carry-on bag. After that, you’ll simply step through the body scanner and if need be, a quick whisk of the metal detector wand by an officer. The whole process starts and ends in about 90 seconds.
The airport offers no shortage of information on anything. From large screens to friendly staff, there’s always someone who can help you figure things out if you get overwhelmed. After you get through security, the airports typically feature an enormous list of arrival and departure gates for flights in case your ticket doesn’t list the gate number or simply to reassure yourself. Find yours by time, arrival city, and the flight number you’re given on the ticket. Then follow the signs pointing you to the right direction and if you’re still not sure, they have attendants sitting at desks in every terminal, ready to provide you with any information.
The anticipation can be your worst enemy, but just remember to breathe and keep yourself distracted. Bring along a couple of books, keep your devices fully charged for work or television shows to watch—anything that will keep your mind focused on things that you are in complete control of. Now more than ever, treat yourself to something nice like a cinnamon roll or some candy keep yourself happy, and you can also indulge in a refreshing drink at one of the bars or on the plane, but please drink responsibly.
Once you’ve made it through your first ever successful flying trip, head down to baggage claim to pick up any bags you might have checked. Signs will point you in the right direction and each baggage carousel has an enormous screen over them to confirm which flight they came from. The luggage can take a little while to start unloading, so give yourself some time if someone plans on picking you up or you’re ordering an Uber. Be patient, grab your luggage once it gets close to you, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Now that you’re a master flyer, the next step is to find someplace that you can fly to. Practice makes perfect, so choose an annual vacation that you can’t wait to travel to year-after-year by browsing our timeshare resales and rentals from our inventory.