As a group of self-proclaimed vacation experts, our team has flown a LOT.
Collectively we’ve probably spent thousands of hours in airports across the country, whether flying to Disney World or taking an international trip. And all that experience means that we have a lot of advice to share! That’s why today, we’re rounding up our top air travel tips in the hopes that we can make your in-flight experience as smooth as possible.
Download the App
For starters, let’s talk about tech. Whichever airline you’re flying with – download their app! It’ll be very helpful to have all your flight information on your phone, and some of them come with airport maps and other useful info.
You can get alerts about your flight and sometimes even add your boarding pass to your phone’s wallet for ease of access. It can save you valuable seconds or minutes when you’re in the airport and give you a little extra peace of mind.
Check In As Early As Possible
Many airlines allow you to check in for your flight a day ahead of time. Take advantage! That’s how you get higher on the waitlist to be upgraded or get first choice at good seats (if you didn’t pick ahead of time).
This can also save you time at the airport, since you can skip the check-in counter or kiosk when you arrive. And if you check in online, you can often sign up to receive alerts about your flight, so you get information sent to your email or as a text message instead of having to wait and hear it announced in the airport.
Bring OLD Headphones
If you have an iPhone, you’re probably used to the new headphone jack that’s the same as your charger port. Or, at this point, you might be an exclusive user of Airpods. However, when flying on a plane (especially for a longer flight), you’ll need to pack differently.
If you plan on watching movies on the plane, you’ll need to bring an older pair of headphones with the traditional headphone jack. Some airlines will provide them if necessary, but they’re not always the highest quality, so bringing your own is a safe bet.
Gum, Gum, and Lots of Gum
We’re BIG fans of bringing gum to the airport, and there are SO many reasons why! First of all, it’ll help keep your ears from popping during takeoff and landing. That alone makes a big difference.
Plus, if you’re taking an overnight flight or you’re a plane napper, it’s nice to have an easy way to freshen your breath and make you feel a little less disgusting after your travels.
Pack Your Electronics Properly
When going through TSA security at most airports, you’re required to remove your electronics from your carry-on and personal item. In this case, it’s best if you keep them packed in an easily accessible place. Now is not the time for those complicated laptop cases, folks!
If you want to have your case on hand, you can always re-pack your electronics after going through security. Believe us, it’s really awkward to be the person holding up the line when unpacking your bag searching for your iPad, so just save yourself some hassle and embarrassment!
TSA PreCheck is a Lifesaver
If you’re a frequent flyer or just someone who hates waiting in lines, you NEED to enroll in TSA PreCheck. This program is available at more than 200 airports in the U.S. and offers trusted travelers the opportunity to go through expedited screening at security checkpoints.
At these expedited checkpoints, you won’t be required to unpack your laptop or small liquids, or remove your shoes, belt, or light jacket. SO much easier! You can apply online or in person, but you’ll need an in-person interview to set it up. The membership costs $85 and lasts 5 years, which could be totally worth it if you travel a lot.
Do Some Just-In-Case Packing
And finally, let’s talk about some preventative measures! Many of our team members have been in a situation where our luggage has been lost or delayed. We’ve also had our fair share of time staying overnight in airports! Because of this, we strongly recommend that you pack a small “survival kit” in your carry-on baggage.
What should that kit include? Well, a change of clothes (including undergarments and socks!), basic toiletries (like soap, shampoo, and toothpaste), as well as anything else that you would need if you suddenly went a day or two without your checked luggage. We’ve definitely had to use our backup supplies once or twice, and we were very grateful to have them on hand!
So next time you’re heading to the airport, use these tips to help you have a successful trip! We’ve flown hundreds of times, and we’ve got lots of experience to share with you for your travels, so stay tuned to DFB for advice on packing, airports, vacation hacks, and more.
If you want to do some planning before your flight (or even on the plane!), check out our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. We’ve compiled all of our BEST tips and tricks from years of Disney World travel into one eBook that you can download to your tablet or smartphone and take with you! We’re offering our readers 25% off with code WDW2022.
What’s your advice for someone who has a flight soon? Tell us in the comments!