Travel,  Travel Tips

10 Hacks for an Enjoyable Travel Day

Air travel can be exhausting and very stressful. So I have developed ways to reduce stress while traveling. Here are ten hacks for an enjoyable travel day:

  1. Pack the night before. Nothing is worst than waking up late and having to fight traffic to get to the airport a least 2 hours early. So I make sure I fully pack the night before. I am not a morning person, so this habit keeps me from leaving necessary things behind. 

2. Check-in Early. Check-in is available up to 24 hours ahead of time. It allows you to print your ticket or download it to your phone. I always do both just in case I lose one. If you have only a carry-on, you can bypass the check your bag line and go directly to TSA.

3. Keep all documents in one place. I keep all my documents in one folder so that I only have to look at one place in my carry-on for my necessary paperwork. After checking our luggage, the tickets go into the file until we are ready to board the plane. 

4. Get Pre-check certified. One morning we had a flight out of Denver, CO, so we showed up 3 hours early. We usually show up only 2 hours early to check in our luggage. But on this trip home, we were lucky that we arrived earlier than usual because the TSA line was so long that we only had 15 minutes to catch our plane. As we were standing there, we watched people walk past us and enter the TSA pre-check line. At that moment, I was determined to sign up for a TSA pre-check. In our state, the cost is only about $80 for five years, which, to me, is worth the peace of mind.

5. Check monitors frequently. This has saved us on quite a few trips. This tip is essential if the airport has more than one terminal and a tram train that connects them. We showed up early and sat down only to find out that only the gate had changed to another terminal. 

6. Get the Tripit App. This is the BEST app I recommend for travel. It allows you to keep all your information in one place, and if you sign up for pro, it will notify you by text when your flight has changed gates. So you can read your book or watch your movie and not worry about checking the monitors as frequently. It is not 100% accurate because it can be delayed due to a lack of signal on your phone. So still check monitors.

7. Bring an empty water bottle and snacks. Staying hydrated and warding off hunger is essential for a day of travel. I always bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after going through TSA. A lot of flights provide only one drink and one snack on board. Sometimes you don’t have time to purchase items at airport stores, and they don’t always have healthy options

8. Bring entertainment. I love to carry my Kindle since I love to read, and I also download my favorite podcast episodes. I love watching the onboard movie, but it is not available on every flight so I will also download a movie from Amazon onto my phone.


9. Mark your luggage. I bought black luggage with the idea that it would show dirt less after being thrown around. I soon realized that our luggage now look like everyone else’s luggage. So I purchased a luggage strap(mine is houndstooth) and bright colored customized name tag. This way, I recognize my luggage immediately and don’t have to pick up every piece of black luggage to see if it is mine. Next time I purchase luggage, I will choose a unique color.    

10. Plan a two-plus-hour layover. I guess most people like to get to their destination as quickly as possible, but my husband and I want to make our trip relaxing. So instead of rushing from one gate to another, we allow two or more hours between flights and find a sit-down restaurant the enjoy a meal. This habit also has been helpful on the days when our first flight is delayed so that we don’t miss the second flight. 

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