Find the Best Airfare

Trying to get the best air-ticket can be tension-inducing: how do you know if you really got the best airfare deal possible? Have you looked at every one of the nine million sources out there? Is now the best time to buy your ticket? Should you wait or lock down the current price?

Research is key here, and the more you can dedicate to hunting down inexpensive fares, the better. On top of that, if you can be flexible with your dates and times, you're far more likely to score a cheaper deal. Keep your options open and give the search for your Experience Travel agent who knows the job from the ground.

Get Your Ticket and Itinerary

This part is simple: after you buy your flight, you'll be emailed your booking confirmation and your ticket. This is one of the few travel documents you'll want to make sure you have to hand before heading to the airport.

Some airlines, , will require you print this out before you check in, but this is thankfully rare. For most airlines, you'll be able to show your ticket on your phone or laptop to the check-in staff, if at all. You usually just hand over passport, and that's all that's needed to check bags. 

If you're a carry-on traveler, you can load your boarding pass on your phone before you arrive at the airport, then head straight through security without having to visit the check-in desks first. This is one of the least stressful ways to travel through an airport, so highly recommend trying to see if you can minimize your luggage to fit in a smaller bag. 

Make sure your phone or laptop is charged before you head to the airport, just in case you do need to show your ticket to check in. 

Ensure You Have All the Travel Documents You Need

You will always need identification at the airport, both when coming and going. You will almost always need a Passport unless you're flying domestically. You'll also probably need a travel visa(you may be given a blank form on the plane). You will seldom need but may want to carry, travel immunization records. You may want, but *may* not need if you are renting a car at an airport abroad, an international driver's license.

 

Get the Best Seat Assignment

Getting a good seat on a short flight isn't completely crucial, but can definitely make flying more comfortable. The right seat can make a long flight,  much better, however. As soon as possible (while buying your ticket if you're likely to forget), choose a seat you want, like an aisle so you can stretch, or a window so you can sleep with your head against a wall.

Seat Guru is a useful website to check before booking, as it provides seat maps and diagrams for every plane you're likely to come up against, rating each seat so you can choose the best available. Did you know, for example, that there are often several seats on a flight that have power sockets for charging? That can make a huge difference to the quality of a long-hour flight if you can charge your laptop while you're up in the air. 

Understand Airport Rules

Airport rules have changed substantially  you'll have to remove your shoes off to get through airport security; believe it or not, you used to be able to arrive at the airport with seconds to spare and sprint onto a flight with just a ticket in hand, which might not have even been checked. Before you leave, make sure to read up on airport rules before you go -- like way before you go -- so that you don't receive any surprises when you arrive. 

Pack for Airport Security

If you've read up on airport rules, you know that the U.S., U.K. and Europe have implemented super-strict rules regarding what you may carry on to a plane and through airport security. It won't be painless, but it's possible to pack for airport security if you make sure you carry the right bags and attitude.

Remember: you won't be able to pass through security with liquids or gels in containers larger than 100 ml, and you'll need to remove your electronics to pass them through the scanner separately. Take as small a bag as possible, and putting any liquids or gels into a small plastic bag while you're packing. It's also worth putting all of your electronics into the same compartment of your bag, so they're within easy reach. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, and make sure you're not carrying anything in your pockets. 

Make Your Flight as Comfortable As Possible

The actual flying process is often cramped, uncomfortable, and stressful. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of all three. 

  • Load your laptop or tablet up with movies and TV shows before you leave. Flying isn't known for being particularly exciting, so you'll want plenty to keep you entertained. If you're going to be flying on a budget airline, you likely won't have screens on the back of your seat, so this is something to prioritize if you hate feeling bored. 

  • Bring a guidebook with you. you often turn up at a new destination without having done much research. Use your time on the plane to find out more about the must-see sites and get yourself excited.

  • Buy a travel eye-mask in preparation, especially if you'll be taking an overnight flight.  Pack a small overnight kit for the flight that contains toiletries to help you freshen up. Maybe travel with toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste. Also, you can bring a facial mist, a small tube of moisturizer, and a hairbrush. You won't believe how much these small additions help wake you up after an overnight flight! 

  • If you're going to be crossing several time zones, you absolutely need to purchase some No-Jetlag pills. They're worth the investment if you're prone to suffering from jet-lag in a bad way, as they'll help you adjust faster to your new time zone, so you can make the most of your trip without napping your afternoons away.

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