May 29, 2019

We all know the infinite perils of air travel. First the booking, then the packing, and finally theactual physical traveling. There can be a lot of bumps along the way (and we aren’t talking turbulence), so we’re sharing our seven favorite air travel hacks to help you tackle any challenge that comes your way.

1. Book the bookends

If you’re traveling as a couple, pair, or partners, book both the aisle and window seats, leaving the middle seat vacant. Sure, it’s a crapshoot -- and there’s no sure way to know if a middle-seat lover will snatch the spot -- but if the flight isn’t full, then the chance of having the row to yourselves is pretty darn high.

Worst case: Someone books that middle seat, and upon getting to the row, you offer the stranger an aisle or window seat. They’ll likely be elated to have any seat other than the middle, and you’ll get to sit next to your travel pal as if you’d booked to tandem seats, side-by-side.

2. Stay hydrated (on the cheap)

We’re not quite sure if anyone travels without a reusable water bottle these days, but if you don’t,do.Not only are the reusable bottles better for the environment, but they’re also cheaper than buying overpriced H2O at the airport.

Bonus: Bring a double-walled, stainless steel, vacuum copper-lined bottle to keep your liquids nice and cold (or hot!) while on the go. Not quite sure where to find one of these fancy bottles? We knowXactly where.

Fun fact: You can’t bring more than 3.4oz of liquid through the TSA line, but you can bring frozen liquids. Traveling with kids? Freeze milk, juice, or other needed liquids that can’t successfully pass through the TSA line. As long as they’re totally frozen, you’re good to go!

3. 1-800-Skip-The-Wait

We all hate 1-800 telemarketers, but the airline 1-800 numbers can actually be a useful. When forced to rebook amidst a travel crisis, the agent on the phone has all the capabilities as the agent at the customer service desk -- without the long line. Want to work the system? Stand in line waiting for an in-person desk agent while dialing the airline’s concierge number and see who can help you first.

Bonus: If you have status with an airline, there’s likely a dedicated phone number for elite members. Make sure to know all of your status perks, helping you travel as smoothly and stress-free as possible!

4. Wear your clothes

And we don’t mean the basics (we’re hoping you already have that part down). We’re talking about the clothes that make your suitcasejust over the weight limit. From boots to coats, pick out your heaviest items and wear them on travel day. It’s so much easier to wear your things, instead of making your carryon heavier with those last-minute items that evacuated your checked baggage. Once you’re on the plane, you can always place your bulky jacket or boots in the overhead bin -- putting them out of sight and out of your way. 

5. Get a pic of parking

“G6, yeah -- I’ll remember that.” Well after 4 days exploring the Big Apple, 7 nights in Paris, or 15 days hiking the Himalayas, G6 is likely much less memorable upon your return. As you arrive, snap a picture of your parking stall (including the floor and section) before heading off to the terminal. When you return home, you’ll be able to quickly scroll through your camera roll and find your parking information. You’ll be thankful that in the past you were looking out for future you.

6. Think right, go left!

The natural human tendency is to veer towards your dominant side. With 90% of the population right-hand dominant, there’s a good chance that when faced with two options at TSA, most people are heading right.

Pro tip: Head left! You’ll be going against most travelers’ instincts, and those right-handers will be left in the dust as you breeze past them through security, and on to your adventure.

7. Work it out

All the travel details of course. But we’re talking about your body! Studies have shown that getting a quick workout in before heading to the airport will keep you more relaxed and less stressed during your travels. Whether it’s a redeye flight or a midday trek, you’ll be ready to rest and relax in the air, no matter how many hours you’re up there.