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It’s no secret that traveling by air can provide some of the most stressful moments in life. Dealing with airport security while trying to make your flight on time can be enough to make you want to pull your hair out. Even the most prepared travelers find themselves wanting to scream in aggravation after dealing with the throngs of people streaming from one end of the airport to the other. While there is no surefire way to ensure your foray into air travel goes off without a hitch, there are ways to make it as smooth as possible.


The first thing you should consider when preparing to fly is the outfit you will wear on the day you head out. While you want to be as comfortable as possible, you also don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed. You also want to wear something that will make the security process go quickly and with minimal embarrassing undressing in public. It’s almost a given that you will have to take your shoes off, so wear slip-on shoes. Don’t go with flip-flops since you may need to run to your gate if you get behind. Wear as few layers as the weather will allow ensuring the TSA pat down can be done quickly.

Your carry-on should have everything you may need during the flight. If you have a tendency to get air sick, be sure to pack some Dramamine in addition to any other medications you need to have immediate access to. Staring off into space makes for a horribly boring experience, so pack a book or magazine to entertain yourself on the long flight. Lately airlines have been notoriously lacking for in-flight meals, so pack a snack or two as well. Just be sure to clear your selections with the TSA!

Since you will be shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers, please, for your and their sake, indulge in some serious personal hygiene. Just because you won’t be partaking in strenuous exercise on the flight doesn’t mean you won’t be prone to some less than desirable body odors. Bathe beforehand and go overboard on the deodorant. Your in-flight neighbor will thank you!


Once you’ve made your way through airport security and are now waiting to board your flight, take advantage of the quirky options airports have to pass the time. Bypass the regular boring fast food joints for your pre-flight meal and check out one of the regional restaurants to appease your appetite.

If you’re not exactly the best flyer and have a tendency to stress out once the plane leaves the runway, indulge in a drink or two while waiting for your flight to board. Just be sure not to go overboard as they tend to look down upon belligerent drunkards disrupting the other passengers.


Depending on where you happen to be traveling to, it is possible you will find yourself on the plane for at least a few hours. Your in-flight neighbors will be your new friends for the better part of the day or night. Just remember that not everyone wants to indulge in an eight hour conversation about conspiracy theories or politics. The golden rule applies on airplanes, too. Treat your fellow passengers how you would want to be treated.

Airplanes are not known for their leg room, so before you slam your seat into a reclined position, ask the person behind you how far you can go back before you are infringing on their personal space. It will make for a less hostile traveling environment which is incredibly important at 40,000 feet.

Above all, be patient. No matter where you are during the process of air travel, you are bound to encounter setbacks. Don’t let the stress of other passengers get to you, and just relax. Getting upset and yelling along with everyone else won’t get you to your destination faster. The old saying about attracting more flies with honey than vinegar rings true in air travel as well. You are more likely to get what you want and get where you want faster and happier by keeping a level head and being patient through the entire process.

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