15 Airport Travel Tips

I love to travel.

I love seeing new places, taking obscene amounts of photos, walking 8-10 miles a day exploring, and trying things that scare me. But sometimes it can be a real pain. You know – delayed flights, lost luggage, car troubles, trying to actually sleep on a flight, watching as a woman gets escorted off your plane by 3 police officers (okay so maybe that one isn’t super common!) Regardless, you understand my point.

Since graduating at the end of 2014, I’ve really stepped up my travel game. Especially since moving to California, I have spent a good amount of time in airports and on planes. It seemed fitting to share my tips for making airline travel easier since I just got off a plane yesterday and will be hopping back on another in 9 days.

Without further ado, 15 tips that make my airport experience more streamlined & less stressful (in no particular order):

1.) Bring an empty reusable water bottle.

It saves you from buying a seriously overpriced Dasani at the nearest shop, helps the environment, and you can use it your whole trip. I like to bring this Sip by Swell 15oz bottle because it keeps my water cold, doesn’t leak and fits easily in my purse/bag.

2.) Make your luggage easy to spot with a colorful ribbon

(or just have obnoxiously bright luggage like me)

It will be easier to spot your bag on the carousel, in the overhead bins and pretty much anywhere else. I’ve also seen cool suitcases that are neutral with brightly colored wheels (this would be perfect as well).

3.) Wear easy on/off shoes with socks

I’m not a germaphobe, but the thought of walking barefoot around an airport makes me cringe. I always end up in sneaks or ankle boots. This outfit is pretty much my go-to travel outfit now.

4.) Pack snacks (or bring outside food)

Airport food is overpriced and generally unhealthy. You can bring a good amount of food items into the airport – no joke I’ve taken a boxed Panera salad through security (more than once). I did learn the hard way that peanut butter is a liquid though – don’t bring it.

5.) Wear your heaviest pieces on the plane

This can sometimes be annoying but it saves a ton of space in your suitcase!

6.) Keep the essentials in your backpack/carry on

Ask yourself – could I survive 1-2 days with what I have? There is always a chance your luggage will get lost or delayed so make sure you have what you need on you  (socks, undies, t shirt, contacts, makeup, toothbrush, etc)

7.) Wear layers (and definitely pants)

Temperatures always flucuate on planes and in airports so I always have layers with me. Also – stick to some sort of pant or capri. I’ve traveled in dresses before and my legs feel so unbelievably germ covered afterward

8.) Check security wait times before heading to the airport

You can do so on this website!

9.) Check in early & have your boarding pass on your phone

So there is one less thing to keep track of.

10.) Get yourself a neck pillow

I swear I’ll shut up about neck pillows after this but really, get one. TJ Maxx always has cute options for under $15.

11.) Keep your ID and debit/credit card in a zippered coat pocket for easy access

I like to pull my ID and debit card out of my wallet before I get into the airport then zip then into my jacket pocket. For me its much easier (and less stressful) to keep my wallet put away the whole time and have those two cards easily accessible. The last thing I want to do is leave my whole wallet in the airport bathroom.

12. Keep your laptop easily accessible

If you’re traveling with a laptop please, for the love of everyone behind you at security, make sure you can easily pull it out of your bag. Truly, I think making you take out your laptop so it can go through security alone is one of the most annoying things, I only travel with it when I have to.

13.) Have a phone charger with you (ALWAYS)

You never know what could happen.  We will leave it at that.

14.) Fly at weird hours if possible

Less people, less money. Need I say more?

15.) Know where you’re headed

If you’re a nervous or anxious flyer, prepare yourself – look at airport maps, terminal maps, know where you’re flying in and out of. If you have layover you can scope out that airport ahead of time as well. Do whatever makes you feel calmer.

Bonus tip –

Use Skip Lagged (not sponsored.) But my friend Lizzie told me about the killer flights she got off here and I can’t wait to use it!

These are all I can think of for now (truth be told I’m having a very unfocused day so even getting these 15 was a struggle!) Any other tips you would recommend? Share with me in the comments – I would love to hear them.

xo, Maddy



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1 Comment

  • Reply katie

    Love this airport tips! I fly often and the best thing I ever did was get a 360-degree rolling suitcase.

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    February 8, 2017 at 2:32 am
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