Tips for a Smooth and Enjoyable Flight

Preparing for a flight can be a very detail-oriented process. From remembering how much liquid you can pack to choosing shoes that are easy to slip off at security checkpoints.

­There are a few things that you can take along to make your trip a little easier.

Dealing With Airport Check In

Checking in at the airport can be one of the most tiring parts of air travel. To minimize stress, print out your boarding pass from home prior to flying. Most airlines allow this, and you will skip the long lines snaking around the ticket counter. Have your photo identification ready and make sure to tag all of your checked luggage with tags that show your name, flight information and a contact phone number.

Liquid Containers

With the Transportation Safety Administration cracking down on liquids that are allowed on airplanes, packing the wrong item can mean major airport delays. Besides the obvious liquids such as water, juice or perfume, there are other liquid restrictions that can tie up your time in the airport as well. Gels such as hair gel, jelly or jam, hand sanitizer and lotions are prohibited on flights unless they are in approved containers. The 3-1-1 rule allows each passenger three ounces of liquid or gel, in a one quart zip-top clear plastic bag. Only one bag is allowed per person.

Carry-On Baggage

For the smoothest trip possible, pack light. Avoid bulky and heavy bags that may be difficult to fit into overhead bins. Most airlines have restrictions on the size of your carry-on bag, so keep your carry on bag as small as possible. Check any additional luggage with the airline and only carry on what is absolutely necessary. Make sure to pack all medications or medical equipment such as inhalers, glasses or prosthetics in your carry on luggage.

Avoiding Jet Lag

When you're traveling across time zones, it may take your body time to adjust to your new schedule, which can result in a jet lag. Help your internal clock adjust to your new time by preparing ahead. Several days before your flight, set your clock to match that of the new time zone. Modify your daily wake and bed times to synchronize with the sleep cycle you will follow in your destination. While this may mean you will be sleeping during the day and waking at night, getting used to it beforehand will lessen the effects of jet lag during your trip. While you are flying, try to nap and eat according to the time at your destination. This will signal to your body that a change is occurring and the transition to the new time zone will be a smooth one.

Make your next flight a smooth and enjoyable one. By planning ahead and knowing what to expect, you will arrive at your destination ready to embark on a new adventure.­



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