Use these strategies to make your holiday travel easier.
Surely there are people out there who love to fly. I’m not one of them. I tolerate flying. If it gets me from point A to point B quickly, then it’s a good thing. But it’s not fun.
SmarterTravel.com just released a list of tips to help travelers fly like the pros. Some of them are more like reminders, but good ones to have in this holiday travel season.
1. When traveling with a companion, book window and aisle seats in the same row. The middle seat is usually the last one that passengers want, so if it remains empty, you’ll end up with lots of extra room! This won’t work if the flight is full or almost full, but you could always offer your window or aisle seat to the person who takes the middle seat, and end up sitting next to your travel buddy.
2.If you don’t mind waiting for your bags at baggage claim, ask the gate attendant to check your carry-on bag, especially if the flight is full or nearly full. That way, you won’t have to fight for space in the overhead bins, and when you navigate through the airport after you land, you’ll have fewer things to lug around with you.
3. Use a few different browsers and/or devices when searching for flights. It’s been said that sites deposit “cookies” on your device that can track your interest in a particular flight. Try deleting your cookies or even using a couple different browsers or devices when searching for flights to ensure you’re finding the most accurate price.
4. Order one of the airline’s “special” meals. When you want to get as much sleep as possible on a flight, consider ordering one of the airline’s “special” meals, which are usually served and cleared first.
5. Keep your belongings with you. In-flight theft is more common than most people realize. If you put your things in an overhead bin, keep the most important items — your wallet, passport, and any highly valuable items — with you, even if you take a quick trip to the bathroom. Also check on your stored items right before the plane lands. If you find that something has gone missing, alert the flight attendants and handle it before any passengers have left the plane.
6. Book a seat away from the bulkhead seats. Mothers of small children usually book bulkhead seats, so book yours further away to avoid a screaming, unhappy baby.
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7. Be the last person to board the plane. If you don’t care about having to check your carry-on bag at the gate, try boarding the plane last. There might not be an abundance of space available in the overhead bins, but you’ll be able to spot any empty rows or side-by-side empty seats to give yourself more space. If you have carry-on luggage but don’t want to risk losing space overhead, wait until 10 minutes before boarding starts and ask the gate attendant if there are any seats with empty ones next to them. Those seats probably won’t fill up at that point, so you could move to one of the open ones.