Domestic flights have become exceedingly cheap and flying is still the safest mode of transport. Put the two together and what do you get? Well next time you are visiting family or friends within the country, look out for an economical flight option to get you there. Now as you venture into the world of hi-flier, there are some things we can share to help you make smarter choices and better decision. From choosing the right aisle in security checks, the best time to reach the airport and buying domestic travel insurance policies, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s start of with some of the basics, what to wear, when to reach the airport and some other tips around these. It’s always recommended to wear light and comfortable clothes when travelling and this applies for air travel as well. Now, you may want to look chic and trendy for those travel pics but when waiting in the departure lounge for a couple hours or passing through security where every shiny object gets scrutinized, we suggest you keep it simple. Also try and carry a jacket or sweater on you cause it gets handy when it’s too cold in the lounge or inside the aircraft.
In terms of reaching the airport, regulations stipulate a 3 hours in advance of the flight departure time. This is mainly because you need to get your boarding pass, check-in your luggage and pass through security check, which is busy hours can take quite a bit of time. Although in most of our experience reaching 2 hours prior gives you plenty of time but if it’s your first time flying, we suggest you come with plenty of time to spare as you may not be well versed with all the procedures and could use the extra time.
With your luggage, you’ll need to check-in any heavy suitcase or bags you are carrying and remember there is a weight limit, so check that with the airline before you leave for the airport. Although, you are allowed one small bag in-flight and we recommend you carry one with basic essentials. It’s very handy when you have a few extra items in hand and a small bag to put them in.
In terms of liquids and sharp objects, you cannot carry any of those into the flight. So if you have a lighter or extra bottle of water, be mindful that they will ask you to leave it behind at the security check.
Security Checks can be tricky for someone who is new to them but less scary than it actually seems to be. First off, you need to be metal free when you walk through those sensors, so take out your belt, rings, wallet, mobile, etc and put it in the small bag we asked you to carry along. If you don’t have one of those, they will provide you small trays at the security check entrance, you can place your items in them and let them pass those through the scanners. If you have a laptop, you’ll need to take it out of your bag and place it in one of the bigger trays to pass through the scanner. One thing most people forget is that you’ll need your boarding pass with you when you pass through the sensor. So while you can put everything in your bag or tray to pass through the scanner, just keep your boarding pass in the pocket for the security to stamp clear.
One of the things we tell all traveler is to take up insurance on their travels. It might cost a little extra but it’s always better than taking unnecessary risks. Travel insurance can be very helpful in situations where you lose your luggage or experience significant delays, theft or injury. An insurance covers damages and saves you a ton of trouble in unexpected situations. So make sure to buy domestic travel insurance policy, whenever you are flying within the country.
Now while you wait for you flight, there are plenty of things you can do. For one, depending on your airport, go around and explore the transit lounges. Some airports have really exciting art works and exhibition areas that will help you while away a few hours. Alternatively head to a bookstore and grab the latest edition of your favorite magazine. In some airports you might even be able to treat yourself to a nice foot or back massage.
There are always plenty of food options to choose from while you are at the airport and while they may be a bit more expensive from the restaurants outside, you can deny a good meal before a long flight. Also, since some airlines don’t provide in-flight food, it’s a good idea to grab something for the journey up ahead. I normally don’t like airline food so I generally grab something I like and then enjoy a lavish meal in the flight by asking the flight attendants to give me a plate and some cutlery. If you have a lot of pesky change lying around on you, this is the best place to empty those out.
For first time flyers, we also recommend you carry a pair of headphones for when you’re on the flight or waiting. You’ll be able to enjoy some music or watch some videos and cut away from the pesky noise of an airport. Although, when you’re plugged in, make sure you are near your boarding gate and keep an eye out for when the airline starts the boarding procedure. You definitely don’t want to miss out on your flight because of an engaging finale episode of your favorite TV show. Some airports are also silent airports, which basically means that announcements are rarely ever made on the loudspeaker system. At these airports they will not announce boarding and departure of flights. So make sure you are near your gate at the stipulated time. Another thing to keep in mind is that, certain airlines, close departure gates 20-30mins prior to departure, so this means they’ll board passengers well in advance. If you reach the departure gate late, you won’t be allowed to enter even though you have some time before the flight departure.
Well that covers most of the basics and some additional tips. You’ll pick up a lot more traveler knowledge as you frequent flights and airports. We hope you have a wonderful time in your journeys.