“Book A Normal Ticket First”: 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible

Despite being a real marvel of human engineering ability and skill, air travel kind of sucks. It’s uncomfortable, irritating, and often plagued with delays and cancellations that can single-handedly ruin a trip months in the making. 

So perhaps in an attempt to insulate themselves from the worst of it, one netizen asked travelers online to share their best tips and trips for the future. We also got in touch with Haley, Dog Mom, lifestyle, & dog travel expert to share her advice. So get comfortable, be grateful you aren’t on a redeye right this moment, and be sure to upvote your favorite bits of advice. And if you are on a redeye flight, be sure to comment below. 

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“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Before you hand your bags over to the airlines, use your cell phone and take a couple of pictures of them, and if it has an extendable handle, shoot one with the handle up, and one down. If your bag is damaged in transit, you now have evidence that it was not in that condition before you gave it to the airline.

Colin Povey , Dimitri Karastelev Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible If you want cheap(er) first class seats, book a normal economy ticket and then check the airline’s website and most of the time, you can get a first class upgrade for $150–200. I do this for myself and even did it today for the flight I booked for my boss. I went back to check and compare for first class tickets and this method was over $1,000 cheaper. Seriously. Book normal ticket first and then look for a separate upgrade. Best value you can get for great seats.

Molly French , Torsten Dettlaff Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible To clear security quickly pick the checkpoint that is farthest to the left. Most people are right-handed and subconsciously choose checkpoints to their right which makes the queues on that side longer.

Rushali Ramteke , Phil Mosley Report

Bored Panda got in touch with professional traveler Haley, from Olive the travelier, who has been all over the globe, with her dog! So before talking about travel in general, we were, of course, curious to hear her best advice for bringing a furry friend on a journey, as that’s not something even most seasons travelers have experienced. 

So to start with, she gave some preliminary advice. “It is crucial you train your dog to be comfortable in a travel carrier. If you do not practice the carrier with your dog, you’re setting yourself up for a very long flight. There is a lot of contradicting information about flying with a dog, it’s hard to know what is allowed and accepted. I have even spoken with airline employees who contradict their own airline policies, it’s tough! Luckily, I have so many resources available on my platforms to answer all those questions!” You can find her Instagram here and YouTube channel here.

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Put a photo of a baby and a dog in your wallet – people are more likely to return lost wallets with either in, hedge your bets and put both.

Liam Delahunty , frankieleon Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Use incognito mode in your browser when searching for flight tickets, because if you don’t use, the airlines might make the ticket demanding and increase the price.

Suhaib Khateeb Report

We also were curious about her take on the plethora of travel tips one could find online, so we asked what she thought of them. “Travel tips are NEVER overrated. There’s a balance with it though. You need to come prepared, but there is only so much you can prepare for, especially when flying with a dog. Things always happen when you travel (with a dog or not), you need to count on it. I to this day have things happen that I never in a million years would have thought about. Know what you can and can’t control, this goes a long way.”

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Have you forgotten something at home like a charger or adapter? Simply go to an airlines desk and ask if they have it in the lost and found. If items are not claimed within 30 days most airlines are allowed to give them away. If you ask nicely you may just get what you need. 🙂

Allen Lee , YuriArcursPeopleimages Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Always pay attention during the safety demonstration

Yes, yes I know these can be quite boring but the reason why I do this is because different aircraft will have differences when it comes to safety equipment (life vests and seat-belts) and though they may be slight it might make a world of a difference if needed in an emergency.

Chin Sau Yong , Alejandro Quiñonez Report

As per her last point, there are always those things even the most experienced traveler can’t account for, so we wanted to hear some examples from Haley. “One of the top horror stories though was when I was traveling with my dog and a little boy was curious about my dog. I asked him if he wanted to pet her, and he came over and kicked my dog in the face on purpose.”

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible When you are on a flight, and you start getting the feeling that you’re getting close to your destination, the first time you feel the airplane slow down from cruising speed you will have about a half hour before landing. That would be a good time to use the lavatory, because the “Fasten Seat Belt” light will go on soon, and you won’t be allowed out of your seat until the plane reaches the gate. You never know if your landing or arrival at the gate will be delayed.

Mark Benders , Suhyeon Choi Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible While waiting for everyone to board, I download a bunch of articles to multiple browser tabs on my phone before I have to put it in airplane mode

Brandon Boyle , Daniel McCullough Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Charge electronics before leaving. There is no guarantee that outlets at the airport will be available, especially in the holiday rush.

Pallavi Gupta , Steve Johnson Report

“Luckily my dog was okay, but I was enraged, mostly because the parents never even said anything. The airline employee had to get security over, and he gave us direct access to the front of the TSA line (that was nice). I am VERY aware of children now with my dog when flying,” she added, which, again, is not an experience almost anyone could have predicted until they traveled with a dog for the first time. 

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Never exchange money at the airport. They have the highest fees and worst exchange rates. Research online, and most probably the bank you are currently with should have good exchange rates.

Uma Maheshwar Reddy , Eduardo Soares Report

Try to wear the heaviest clothes eg: Jackets, Jeans etc that u need on u. Once u have weighed your luggage and got your boarding passes, u can stuff them into ur bag or hang them on ur luggage handles. That big jacket doubles up as a pillow when u try to catch a nap at the airport, becomes a blanket for u inside the plane (it gets colder inside the aircraft) and gives u free luggage space to pack other stuff.

Thomas Mathew Report

So if you plan to travel “off the beaten path” in any way, it can’t help to seek out those few people who have done it before you. There can be a certain degree of adventure to just winging it, but a foreign country without a plan or a two-day layover is going to suck a lot more in person than it seems on the drawing board. Fortunately, the internet allows us to do all sorts of preparation beforehand, so it would be a bit silly to not use such a useful tool. 

It never hurts to ask. If you are friendly and patient you’d be amazed how much leeway gate agents, car rental counters, hotel receptionists, etc. have. If they like you and have the inventory it’s easy for them to help you out, give you a better room, car, seat, etc.

Al Bunshaft Report

If your connecting flight is in another timezone, change your watch to that timezone as soon as your current plane takes off. This keeps you from missing your next flight because of a false sense of punctuality.

Brandon Boyle Report

Write a pack list a week or so before you go. Update it as you remember extra things. Pack according to that list. Keep the list as a template for the next trip.

Jon Green Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Zip-loc bags. Lots of them, in different sizes. Use them to bag your clean undies and socks, your dirty laundry, your cables and chargers, anything else that makes sense. They weigh almost nothing, but you can compress the air out of them once filled, to make packing more efficient.
Bonus life hack: if you’re bringing an iPad or other tablet, a double-zip bag big enough makes an excellent way to use the tablet safely in the hotel bath. Or put the tablet in one bag, and that in another bag.

Jon Green , Anthony Easton Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible For years I didn’t sleep on planes: too noisy, too uncomfortable, too everything disruptive. I can’t afford first-class (more’s the pity) but on the overnights I splurge on “economy plus” (or whatever the airline calls their slightly-roomier-than-plain-cabin-class).
 
I get a window seat (I can’t worry about people on the aisle – if I need to get up, I ask them) because I need something to lean against when I sleep. Aisle seats don’t work for me. (Someday maybe I’ll try one of those weird neck pillows that supposedly really support your head.)
 
I also have downloaded several versions of “nature sounds” – you know, ocean waves, falling rain, nighttime forest sounds. As soon as it’s bedtime (remember, on these kinds of flights there’s at least one and sometimes two meals served) I turn off my overhead light, turn off the seatback screen, pop in the earbuds, and start the nature sounds on a continuous loop.

Kasey Coff , eric fotos Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible Bring your everyday pillow from home instead of a travel pillow. airplane policies mention that you are allowed to bring a pillow onboard, however they fail to mention which type of pillow is allowed which is to your advantage as this allows you to stuff extra clothing inside the pillow. I even had my pc keyboard stuff in there on a couple of occasions and never had any problems.

Wilmer Diaz , THIS IS ZUN Report

If travelling internationally, find a debit card account that offers no withdrawal fees from foreign ATMs and no fees for transactions in other currencies. I use the UK’s Starling offerings; there are several others available. Your country may vary, so research what’s around. Internet-based banks are ideal for this.

Jon Green Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible I like to use the location trick – faking your location to get the best deals. As many airlines are targeting certain countries, making them think you are actually somewhere else may decrease price a lot! Worked several times!

Anya Mary , Thought Catalog Report

If you are going to have an extended layover in an airport between flights, ask the flight attendants for a recommendation on the best place for food. Chances are we have some great suggestions. Just don’t ask us where baggage claim is, as the odds are we have NO idea, that’s better asked of the gate agents.

Scott Colquett Report

“Book A Normal Ticket First": 30 Air Travel Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible You can sometimes raise the aisle handlebar by finding a latch that moves back and forth on the underside of the arm, towards the connection point.

Diane Strutner , Athena Report

For security pack your keys and other metallic objects in a single clear zip-lock bag so you can hand them over easily and pass through the metal detectors.

Liam Delahunty Report

Try to travel in the ‘shoulder’ season (that’s right before or right after the high season). Not only is travel less crowded, it’s also more affordable.

Siori Hojo Report

Note: this post originally had 64 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.