If your knees are knocking at the thought of flying by yourself, take a deep breath and exhale the anxiety. Believe it or not, traveling alone is a liberating experience that can’t be duplicated.
The confidence that comes from globetrotting by yourself will stick with you for the rest of your life. You got this!
However, in order to make your flight a success, there are some things that you should do to avoid mishaps. If you follow these tips for first time flyers, the transportation part of your trip should be A-OK! Keep reading to learn more.
1. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can enroll your vacation with the closest Embassy or Consulate in the country you’re visiting. This program—also known as STEP— is a service that’s provided by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
By registering, it allows the U.S. Embassy to contact you if there is an emergency, natural disaster, or civil unrest. They’ll send important updates from the Embassy regarding safety conditions about your destination country. Therefore, you can make adjustments to your travel plans if needed. If you’re nervous about safety, this program offers an extra layer of security.
Consular services are available in other countries as well. Check your nation’s consulate website for information on international travel programs.
2. Triple Check Your Itinerary
If you’re flying internationally, it’s imperative to thoroughly look over your flight itinerary. If the date or time is formatted in a way that you’re unaccustomed to, be sure to verify the correct departure and arrival times.
Most countries operate using military time, and if you book a flight through a foreign airline, chances are the time will be based on a 24-hour clock. Be careful! The same goes for travelers who are not acquainted with a 12-hour clock.
3. Check for Entry Requirements
Speaking of checking your itinerary, one of the primary airport travel tips is to check entry requirements for the place you’re visiting. Depending on the country your passport is issued from, a visa may be needed to enter. Before or after you book your flight, verify if additional documents are needed.
4. Yellow Card
Some countries require a yellow card document proving that you don’t have yellow fever. If a yellow fever vaccine is required for the country you’re visiting, make sure to get it. Otherwise, customs won’t allow entry.
5. Pack Wisely
As a first time flyer, you’ll have your fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong. Unfortunately, mishaps happen and luggage gets lost sometimes. If you plan to check your bag, pack a carry-on that has your essentials and clothes/undies that can hold you over until your luggage arrives.
6. Check Carry-On Requirements
Another one of the smartest airport travel tips is to verify the carry-on requirements. Some airlines have size requirements for carry-on bags. You don’t want to run the risk of paying a fee or having to check in your carry-on luggage. So, make sure your baggage isn’t too large.
Also, it’s important not to pack liquid in bottles that are over the size limit. Every nation has different rules, so try to use bottles that’ll meet the standard for all of the places you’re visiting. Otherwise, travel security will through it away—that’ll ruin your trip before it gets started.
7. Be Careful of What You Eat
This suggestion is one of the best tips for first time flyers. Don’t eat anything that could cause your tummy to rumble mid-flight. Plus, if your stomach is going to be a ball of nerves, eating the wrong food is a recipe for disaster. Pack some medication just in case you need it.
8. Check-In 24 Hours Before Departure
Checking in online before departure saves time and confusion. The process allows last-minute purchases, and it gives you an opportunity to pick a seat if there are a few available. Not only that, checking in online provides your boarding pass. That way, you’re all set once you get to the airport.
9. Arrive Early
You want your first flight to go as smoothly as possible, and arriving early allows you time to mentally prepare yourself. Furthermore, if security and customs lines are long, you won’t be nervous about missing your transport. The day before leaving, take the time to prepare for your flight to reduce mishaps.
10. Dress Comfortably
You’re free to dress any way you’d like, but an airport is a place where comfort is key. Remember, you won’t have anyone to hold your shoes if your feet begin to hurt. Plus, being comfy will make you feel better and reduce your anxiety.
11. Make Sure You Have Your Essentials
The last tip on the list is to ensure that you have your essentials. Continuously checking your items might feel a bit like paranoia. However, it’s better than losing your belongings.
When you use your passport, put it back in a safe place. Verify that you have your phone, and look to make sure you didn’t leave your carry-on bag. There’s lots of activity at airports, and it’s easy to lose something important.
Tips for First Time Flyers: Are You Ready to Go?
Hopefully, reading this article made you excited about your upcoming trip. Traveling is an experience that you can’t put a price tag on, and you’ll forever treasure the memories.
Choosing to vacation alone is a big step, and you’re amazing for making the decision to step out of your comfort zone. Seriously, you’ll never go anywhere if you wait on other people to tag along. If you have an itch to explore the world, just do it!
Did you learn something from these tips for first time flyers? If so, that’s awesome! Take a stroll through the other content on the site. The blog covers a variety of topics that’ll have you packed and ready to go!