Traveling by plane can be a source of stress and nerves, often due to ignorance of the process, change of a rule when arriving at the airport, or because we are not sufficiently prepared.
Traveling by plane is not complicated. You just have to know what to do before arriving at the airport, where to go once at the airport, and the basic rules for taking the plane.
In this article, I explain the whole process, and I also give you some advice if you are afraid of flying.
For me, flying has always been exciting and enjoyable, but I have friends who have suffered anxiety when flying.
They explained their tricks to me, and I share them with you at the end of this article.
Things you should know before boarding
Preparing the suitcase can be one of the most frustrating things on the trip:
Do not forget anything
Do you have everything you need?
Will I have problems with the suitcase?
Thousands of questions can appear in your mind.
It is best to pack with time because stress does not let you think clearly.
In case of doubts about what you can take, all companies have the rules and rules of luggage on their website, check them out. It is one of the tips for traveling by plane.
When traveling by plane, you may carry hand luggage and checked luggage.
What is the difference between hand luggage and checked luggage?
The hand luggage is the one you can take with you on the plane.
Checked baggage, you will give it at the check-in counter, and they will put it in the plane’s hold.
Check what baggage includes your plane ticket.
Keep in mind that, today, many airlines make pay to check baggage in the warehouse.
When you travel by plane you can carry hand luggage with you.
Dento this suitcase, make sure you always carry with you all the essentials: medicines, snacks.
Make sure you do not carry non-prohibited objects (sharp objects, explosives), and if you carry liquids, make sure you comply with the regulations:
You can carry liquids inside your carry-on bag in containers of less than 100 ml. (up to 1 liter).
They should go in a clear plastic bag with an opening/closing system.
Only one bag per passenger is allowed.
In any case, check the requirements of the company with which you fly before flying.
I would recommend you even check them before buying the flight if you never flew with them.
The first time I traveled with a Hungarian low-cost company, I was surprised that their luggage measures were much lower than usual.
I saw many people who had to check their luggage and pay extra for not having consulted the measures.
3. Visas and letters
In according to which countries depending on your nationality you will need visas to travel or letters of invitation.
For example, to travel to Vietnam, you need a letter of invitation.
In the case of Vietnam, it is easily achieved online.
Without that letter, they will not let you get on the plane.
Always inform before the trip if you need a letter or visa and do not forget to take the document with you on the day of traveling by plane.
As with visas and letters, there are countries that you will not enter without a specific vaccine.
For example, for Brazil, the yellow fever vaccine is needed.
If you do not show your card with the indication that you have the vaccine, they will not even let you enter the plane.
Make sure you take the vaccinations, as well as the vaccination card where it says you put them.
The eternal dilemma of the traveler. ¿ Safe travel contractor you do not need?
In my case, within the European Union, being European, I do not buy any additional travel insurance.
When I travel to other countries, it depends on what I have planned, I contract an insurance.
Many times, if you have a visa card or private health insurance, they have coverage for trips abroad.
Check what includes your cards and insurance and decide if you prefer to take out additional private insurance. It is one of the best tips for traveling by plane.
The comfort is relative, each one supports more or less the heels, narrow clothes, various accessories …
Whenever I see a woman with a heel at the airport I think:
I usually go flat, so when I travel I assure myself that I’m wearing sneakers or a flat shoe.
When I have planned only one weekend of girls, on short trips, I have dared to wear the heels at the airport.
In this way, I saved space in the suitcase. And I went preparing to endure the heels for the night of partying.
The most important thing is that you wear comfortable clothes and you dress layers.
You never know what temperature will be on the plane and at the airport.
Do not forget to add a foulard and some long sleeves.
At least make sure you carry it in your carry-on luggage.
Personally, I’m a fan of wearing a sweatshirt on long trips.
I can not count how many times the hood of the sweatshirt has saved me from a cold.
Plan to arrive 3 hours before your flight to have enough time to check-in, get to the airport and take the plane.
Normally, when you have the online check-in done, you need less time.
Check-in online or in-person check-in?
The online check-in is to enter all your data online before the trip.
In many low-cost flight companies, you must check-in online. Compulsory
Normally you can check-in until one hour before the flight.
When you must do the physical check-in, you must go through the check-in desk.
The worker will ask for your passport and enter your data.
In most companies today you can perform online billing.
Check your ticket and company. It is one of the tips for traveling by plane.
8. I arrive at the airport. Where do I go?
Before arriving at the airport you should know which terminal you should go to.
This is very important in large airports.
For example, from terminal one to two in Barcelona there is a difference of about 10 minutes with shuttle bus. Add some weight. You would need 20 minutes between terminals.
Make sure you know which terminal you should go to before leaving home.
Once you enter the airport, you will see several screens with flight information.
Find your flight by checking the flight number on the screen. It is one of the best tips for traveling by plane.
It will indicate to which counter you must go to check-in (if you have to check-in)
9. Security control
Once checked in, you should go to the security control.
Follow the boarding symbols at the airport.
You must show your plane ticket.
At the security check, they will verify that you do not carry any prohibited items in your carry-on baggage.
Take one of the plastic trays to put your belongings.
The suitcase will go through the scanner and you will have to cross through the metal detector.
You must remove the laptop or tablet from the suitcase.
Liquids in hand luggage for boarding:
You can carry liquids in your hand luggage in containers of less than 100 milliliters (up to 1 liter).
It means, that you can carry 10 bottles of maximum 100 ml. each.
The liquids must go in a transparent plastic bag with an opening/closing system.
Only one bag per passenger is allowed.
The bag with the liquids you must remove it from the suitcase. Put it on the tray with your other belongings.
You must also pass through the scanner the metallic elements :
Take off your belt, mobile … Sometimes, they will make you remove boots or sturdy shoes.
If you pass through the security checkpoint, do not get upset.
Maybe you forgot your belt or some coins in your pocket.
Follow the instructions of the security personnel.
If you close your hand luggage with a padlock, I recommend that you take it open at this time.
The process will be easier and more agile.
Once past the security control, you will be in the boarding area.
The most common question is:
Boarding: where do I go?
You will see that there are many screens where it indicates the number of your flight and the boarding gate.
If you did the check-in, they will have told you which door you should go to.
Anyway, look at the screen and make sure they did not change the door.
On the way to the boarding gate, it is very normal to find shops, restaurants, vending machines, bathrooms …
Normally boarding is done 30-45 minutes before the plane. It is one of the tips for traveling by plane.
If you go ahead, you will have time to relax, go to th door, and even go shopping, but do not get too busy.
Note: Take the opportunity to visit the bathroom before takeoff
I summarize the steps to board :
check-in (face-to-face or online)
11. Boarding the plane
During boarding the plane, they will check your ID and your ticket.
Have the documentation ready for the process to be faster.
At this time, they can check that your carry-on bag meets the measures required by the company.
Tip: make sure your suitcase meets the measures and weight required by the company to avoid problems.
For international travel, it may be that you have to go through emigration and immigration.
Before the flight, you must show your documentation.
Once landed, you must go through immigration with the corresponding documentation.
Normally, you must fill in a paper with the data. You must also show your passport or identification document.
I advise you always carry a pen with you.
The pens that are always busy, or work fatally.
Normally, during the flight, they pass with the documents you need for migration.
In this way, you can fill it in peacefully during the flight.
If you did not notice, do not worry, when you go to immigration you will also find the necessary forms.
Fill all the data.
They usually ask for your identification data, as well as the flight data.
You can also ask for the accommodation information where you will stay.
Have your plane ticket by hand to fill in all the required information, as well as the information of your accommodation.
13. Jet lag
Mentalize and get ready for jet lag.
Everyone is affected by changes in time zones.
To overcome jet lag, it is best to get mentalized as soon as you arrive at the airport and think what time it will be in the destination area.
Act on the basis of the destination time and you will suffer less jet lag.
It is very important also hydration. Do not forget to drink water.
When you go to buy a plane ticket, check whether it is a direct flight or there are stops.
In case there are stops, it’s good to know how much time you have between flights if it’s the same company …
If you fly with the same company, they will send your checked baggage directly to the final destination.
If you change companies, you must collect your luggage and re-check-in / check-in.
All these details are factors to take into account to know how much minimum time you need between flights.
It is also recommended that you inform yourself if in the waiting time you can (or it is convenient for you) to leave the airport to visit the city.
I never dared to leave the airport on a scale.
The truth: between immigration, customs, and stores, the waiting time passes quickly. It is one of the best tips for traveling by plane.
Print or secure your boarding pass in advance.
If you checked in online, you can access the boarding pass through a mobile application or print it.
Make sure you checked in and carry the document with you if you travel with low-cost airlines.
If you do not have it, you can face an extra cost.
If the check-in is in person, the counter staff will give you your boarding pass at the time of check-in.
16. Tail before boarding
Did you see all the people who stood up to the board? They put pressure on your mind, but do not worry.
Do not bother waiting in line for boarding.
Virtually all airlines send passengers on a specific order or by zones.
In addition, the seats are numbered and insured. No hurry. You will have time to get bored on the plane.
It’s not worth queuing until you call the passengers in your specific area.
Meanwhile, sit back and relax.
17. Technology in the plane and airport
The technology on the plane is allowed but restricted.
At the time of takeoff and landing, you must turn off electronic devices so as not to interfere with communication signals.
I’m including mp3, laptops, e-books …
During the entire flight, you must have your mobile in airplane mode, unless they offer Wi-Fi on the plane.
There are more and more companies offering Wi-Fi (in most of them, Wi-Fi is paid).
At the airport, you may have difficulty finding a place to charge your technological devices.
Many people want to charge their gadgets, and current draws do not abound as much.
18. Airline ticket
Take the plane ticket and your identification with you in an accessible and safe place until the luggage collection.
The flight information (number, boarding time …) appears on the plane ticket.
There is an SQL code with all the flight data and your personal data.
For this reason, I recommend that once you reach the destination, if you have not had any problems, destroy the ticket before throwing it away.
In case of delay, you will need the ticket as proof.
Do not get rid of the plane ticket until you’re at the destination.
Food on the plane is not always included.
Normally, in low-cost airlines, it is offered as an additional service. You will have to pay for the food.
However, you can take with your snacks and food (a sandwich, a Tupper with rice …)
How it feels to travel by plane for the first time
If it’s your first flight, relax!
Thousands of people take daily flights, it’s nothing extraordinary.
No special physical condition is needed.
It’s never too late to take your first plane.
Each airport is different, but the processes are very similar.
You must take into account the size of the airport. If the airport is very large, you may arrive at the boarding gate once check-in is done. It is one of the best tips for traveling by plane.
For example, at the Kuala Lumpur airport, from the security checkpoint to the boarding gate you can take 20-30 minutes without distractions, while at the Minorca airport, which is tiny, you will be in a jiffy.
Quiet, I explain the whole process of traveling by plane at this point so you know what to expect
1. Nerves the night before
Surely, the night before you will be somewhat nervous. It is totally normal.
You can feel a tingling in the stomach.
A couple of tips:
Check that you do not forget anything before leaving home.
Check where you should go before leaving for the airport (terminal, departure time)
Go to sleep soon. Try to take deep breaths to help you fall asleep earlier.
Check that you packed everything you need before going to sleep, so your mind will be calmer.
Put everything you have to bring together in one place in the house to avoid having to go around the next day.
You can download my travel list so you do not forget anything.
Try to go to sleep soon the night before.
Sleeping the recommended 8 hours will make your body and mind more rested. It is one of the best tips for traveling by plane.
2. Arrive at the airport in time
Arriving at the airport with enough time in advance will save you stress and nerves.
It calculates to arrive 3 hours before.
Once at the airport, go to the departure terminal and look at the boarding passes.
They indicate the counter to do the check-in.
Go to the counter to check-in and check the luggage you want to embark.
At this point, weigh the suitcase to verify that the checked suitcase meets the company’s standards.
You may also weigh your hand luggage, which will go with you to the plane.
Eye! In low-cost airlines, you may have had to check-in online. It is one of the tips for traveling by plane.
4. Security control
Pass the security control, keep in mind the process and the liquids accepted.
You can read everything you need to know about the security control in section 9.
Remember that there are prohibited materials. Here is the list of prohibited items in hand luggage.
5. Wait for boarding
Once passed the security control, you should go to the waiting area indicated on your ticket or screen.
Check on the screens that they do not change the flight boarding gate.
It is time to enter the plane.
Locate your seat and look around.
If you have questions, the hostesses will help you locate the seat.
Choose a window and so you can see the images of your first flight.
I also recommend that you ask for a seat in the first rows of the plane.
In front of the wing, you will enjoy the aerial landscape without mechanical distractions.
7. Pay attention to the stewardess
Before taking off, the hostesses will explain what to do in case of evacuation.
It is a completely normal procedure.
Do not be overwhelmed by the explanation.
Surely there is a brochure with all the explanation on the seat in case you have doubts.
Fasten your belt and … It is one of the tips for traveling by plane.
8. Enjoy the takeoff
It’s like climbing a roller coaster, with a bit of a feeling of emptiness in the stomach.
Quiet, it’s just the announcement that you’ll spend an incredible vacation
9. In the air
Read, talk, watch movies, listen to music or take a nap.
Depending on how long the flight is, you will need more or fewer distractions.
Compression and height change:
Maybe you notice the changes in height because in the plane there is compression.
You can feel pressure in the ears.
Bite candy, squeeze your nose with your fingers … and your ears will be uncovered.
You will feel a tingling in your stomach again.
Perhaps you hear several noises: mechanical movement of the wings, the wheels that come out, lights that turn on.
Do not focus on them, look for distractions. It is one of the best tips for traveling by plane.
11. Check your belongings
Check that you carry all your carry-on and that you do not forget anything on the plane
On long trips, you may have to go through migration.
During the trip, notice several people on your flight.
You can check which direction they are going and follow them or ask them in case of doubt.
13. Baggage collection
Once landed, you must go to collect your checked baggage. You just have to follow the instructions.
They usually indicate it as “luggage”.
In the baggage claim area, there will be a screen where you will indicate why the luggage of your flight departs.
Look at the flight number on your ticket and see why your luggage will be shipped.
If you did not invoice your suitcase, you should not wait for your luggage.
You’ve reached your destination, so now you just have to go out and discover.
Overcome the fear of flying
As I commented, my friends have suffered anxiety when flying.
Taking a plane should not distress you. The plane is one of the safest means of transport. It is one of the best tips for traveling by plane.
Anyway, here are some recommendations to overcome the fear of flying:
When we are informed, we have more sense of security.
Think that the plane is one of the safest means of transport.
2. Arrive at the airport in time
The rush and fear of losing the plane generate stress.
Make sure you leave early enough at home to go quietly.
3. Use your imagination in your favor
Imagine several situations and your actions.
Imagine the situation and how you would act in the most peaceful way helps if you find yourself in that situation have a plan.
4. Avoid negative thoughts
It is true that there are plane crashes, but the probability of it happening is minimal.
Try to keep negative thoughts away from your mind.
5. Look for distractions
Read, watch movies, or talk with the partner next door.
Try to look for distractions during the flight so that your head does not have possibilities of spinning other subjects.
What if there is turbulence? Calm down and take a deep breath.
That there is turbulence is not a symptom of anything bad.
Breathe deeply and slowly: a slow, deep breath helps calm down.
You can search audios of guided meditations on the internet and listen to them during the flight.
8. I saw it comfortably
Get dressed so that you feel as comfortable as possible.
The tight garments hinder blood circulation, so try to go baggy.
Do not forget to drink and hydrate before, during and after the trip
Drinking alcoholic beverages dehydrate, so it ends up being harmful.
11. Try to sleep
You are aware to sleep, so the time will pass faster.
12. Think of the destination
Flying is just part of the process, soon you will be at your destination and you will be able to enjoy your vacations.
Conclusion traveling by plane
In summary, traveling by plane is not as complicated as it seems.
Of course, the first time you travel by plane you feel nervous.
In fact, I feel nervous every time I have to take a plane: fear of losing it, of making mistakes …
For this reason, it is very important that you plan to arrive at the airport in advance.
If you follow the advice for traveling by plane and know what to do before boarding, you will be prepared to face air travel without problems.
Remember Practice makes the teacher
The earlier you start, the more practice you will have.
If you are buying the plane a person in advanced age and traveling for the first time, I give you a trick.
You can request a transfer service and escort at the airport.
This service is free and must be offered to people of advanced age, with physical mobility problems, or physical disability.