You’re too busy to do it, aren’t you? Planning for your flight isn’t much fun, and who has time, but you have to do it. If you don’t, you’ll end up either spending way too much money or you’ll just not get to where you’re supposed to be. Here’s how to nail it every time.
Plan Your Flight At least 6 Weeks In Advance
It all starts with your itinerary. Plan out your flight at least 6 weeks in advance. Make a checklist and stick to it.
Book your tickets online, if you can. And, book them between a Tuesday and Wednesday. Why? Because this is when flights tend to be the cheapest. It’s when airlines release the new flights for the week. Actually, they release them on a Monday, but some of the booking sites don’t report the new rates until late Monday or early Tuesday.
So, this is when you should check. Get an advanced guide to Matrix ITA so that you can rack up the maximum amount of frequent flyer or rewards points for your flight.
A note about booking flights: Mornings tend to be the best time to book since this is the most unpopular time of day to travel. Between 6AM and 7AM, before the late morning rush is ideal. Most people don’t like flying this early because it means they have to get to the airport by 4AM (TSA often recommends getting to the airport 2 hours in advance for security checks).
And, if you have to get ready before your flight, you might be getting up at 3 in the morning. Obviously, this is not going to sit well with most passengers. But, if you don’t mind being the early bird, you can save a lot of money this way.
Also, if you have the opportunity to, plan a non-stop flight. This will minimize the potential delay and is the best choice if you want to get somewhere in a hurry and you don’t want to mess around with long layovers. Even if it costs a bit more, it’s usually a good idea.
With flights that have multiple stops, your chance of a delay increases with each stop.
Also, pack food for the flight. Never assume that there will be food on the flight unless you’re flying internationally.
Make sure you ask about, and understand, airport security. It’s serious business and it applies to everyone – even babies. If you have a young child, make sure you bring a separate bag for baby with the formula and any medications you need. The TSA will likely want to do an enhanced inspection, but they shouldn’t prevent you from bringing the formula on the plane, even if it’s more than 3 ounces.
All other containers with liquids must be kept in containers that hold no more than 3 ounces.
Your children cannot bring toy guns with them, nor will they be allowed any toy knives or any weapons for that matter. You cannot bring any sharp objects on the plane with you either.
Your carry-on bag is limited to a size of no greater than 45 linear inches.
If your child is over 18, he or she has to bring their own ID with them for photo identification. They must also have their own boarding pass. Additional screening must take place at the gate.
Bring Something With You To Occupy Yourself
Bring something with you, like a book or a tablet, so that you can read or play games to keep yourself entertained and occupied. If you’re bringing children, make sure they have something to do as well.
Charge All Your Devices
Don’t leave home with half a charge on your phone or tablet. Not only do you not want to have your phone die, you don’t want to run out of juice on the plane and have to sit there, bored, for the entire trip.
Have A Travel Plan When You Arrive
When you get to your destination, make sure you have a plan for how you will get around. Will you take public transport? Will you rent a vehicle? Have this worked out before the wheels touch down. That way, you’re not paying inflated rates for last minute rentals or being left behind because you didn’t know the bus schedule.
If you plan on taking a taxi or using a ride-sharing service, book it as soon as you’re off the plane so that, by the time you grab your baggage from the baggage claim, you’re not waiting around for a ride.
Lewis Morrison always seems to be travelling! If it’s not for business it’s with his young family. He enjoys writing travel articles and uses his experiences to help others plan trips away whether for business or pleasure.