A trip to the airport seems to fill people with a sense of dread. First-time flyers are naturally anxious about what to do and where to go when they get at the airport, and those who haven’t been on an airplane in a long time might be surprised by all the changes that occurred in the last few years. Security is tighter, the lines are longer, and the airport seems like a scarier place.
If you are not sure where to go at the airport, you can now rest and kill time at an airport hotel and other major international hubs. For everything else, here are a few pointers for preparing for your first flight:
1. Arrange your paperwork
Most of the dread that first-time flyers feel stems from the feeling that they will not be allowed to fly. For starters, you have to arrange all the necessary documents to board your flight or leave the country.
The most basic documents you need are government identification and your flight boarding pass. For international flights, you also need a valid passport and a visa, if required. Your passport should have a minimum of three months of validity.
For ease of mind, you also might want to buy travel insurance in case of emergencies like flight cancellations and lost baggage. Keep all essential documents with you at all times. If you are used to paper tickets, you should know that some airlines now issue online boarding passes that can be shown on your phone or tablet.
2. Prepare your luggage
Even regular travelers can sometimes get confused about the maximum size and weight of their baggage. The first thing you need to know is the difference between carry-on and check-in luggage. You give check-in luggage at the airport check-in, and you bring carry-on baggage with you. Carry-on luggage is typically smaller and lighter than check-in luggage.
Always bring carry-on luggage with you containing all your money, documents, gadgets, and a change of clothes. In case your check-in baggage gets lost, at least you are not without your documents, money, and clothing.
3. What to do inside the airplane
Once you have checked in, gone past security, and boarded the airplane, the next portion you need to prepare for is the flight proper. Check your boarding pass and slowly make your way to your assigned seat number. Make sure your check-in luggage is safely stowed away. If you are having difficulty reaching the overhead bin, ask for help from a flight attendant. Fasten your seatbelt once you have taken your seat and wait for the lights to come off before standing up.
4. Follow the safety procedure
Before takeoff, the flight crew will demonstrate airplane safety procedures in the event of an accident like a water landing. Make sure to listen to every word the flight attendants say. They will show you how to fasten your seat belt, what to do in an emergency, and where the exits are.
It is normal to feel fear when flying. These pointers will help you overcome the first-time travel jitters and do everything correctly when flying. Most importantly, enjoy the flight and the comforts the airplane has to offer.