Flying can be brutal, especially in 2022. Economy seats are shrinking, airports are becoming crowded again and rules seem to change every minute of the day. While mask requirements may be gone soon, passenger shaming is at an all-time high. Hopefully we’ll have a little less fight, and a lot more relaxing. For now, here are tips on how you can have the best flight ever.
First, let me tell you: some things are out of our control (like your flight running out of Diet Coke). Passengers can avoid heaps of stress if they plan ahead. In fact, some of the most stressful parts of flying can start before you board the plane, including finding the cheapest flight, packing and knowing airport conditions. You could have the best flight ever if you take the right steps.
Our friends at Quill put together an infographic with the best travel hacks to have a seamless flight. These travel hacks will not only help you avoid possible challenges, they’ll put you closer to your destination snag-free.
Here are the 14 ways to have the best flight ever. Feel free to bookmark this page for the visual infographic check-list that will come in handy for your next trip.
- Consider an airline credit card. Corresponding with No. 1 in the infographic below, an airline credit card can get you perks, including priority boarding, which I discuss in this story on 4 early boarding hacks.
- Book 7 weeks in advance. Airfare is generally cheaper the more you book them in advance. Check the infographic below to see how many weeks to book in advance based on the destination you plan to travel to.
- Choose the right time. FYI: Fridays and Sundays are generally the most expensive times to book airfare.
- Set airfare alerts. Flight websites, like Google Flights, can send you alerts when airfare drops or rises. I discuss this more in my video: How To Travel The World For Super Cheap.
5. Download a “farecasting” app. This is basically an extension of No 4, but some apps like Kayak will predict when fares will drop and tell you when to book.
6. Allow enough layover time. It is very unlikely a flight will leave without connecting passengers, but it is *very* likely they will leave if your flight comes in extremely late. Make sure you book a flight with ample layover time.
7. Don’t shy away from exit row or bulkhead seats. These are the best seats in coach. You’ll pay more for them, but if legroom is important, it’s worth the extra spend. If you still need more room, shoot for an upgrade.
8. Check out seat maps. SeatGuru offers plenty of information on the seats on your plane with visual charts. Definitely take advantage of this.
9. If you have a large carry-on, book in the back of the plane. If you’re flying in coach, and having your carry-on in the overhead bin above you is the most important thing in the world, and you’re OK being next to the engine (in the back of the plane) as well as the bathrooms (in the back of the plane), book the back of the plane! Your chances of getting overhead space if you’re not in business or premium economy is pretty high.
Here’s Amazon’s amazingly sturdy and lasting carry-on suitcase that is PERFECT for any trip. Trust us… we were surprised how amazing it was too!
10. Double-check that your carry-on will fit. Check with your airline to see what dimensions they allow for carry-on bags.
11. Pack your carry-on right. I always pack water with electrolytes on my flight. It’s the most crucial item! Here’s why:
12. Look up airport food and drink options before you get there. I can’t help but think of that Shark Tank episode where that entrepreneur was pitching an app that lets you see what food is being sold at airports (he did not get money, and he cried on national TV). While we wait for his app to work well, just Google for now.
13. Check airport conditions. This is a great way to determine any snags you might run into in your city. Ubers and taxis in NYC are not afraid of rain, but traffic gets backed up in Atlanta if there’s a rain drop.
14. Pick the checkpoint farthest to the left. I’m a leftie, so don’t come crowding my space! But yes this could be true.
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