Whether seasoned or newcomer, some things make travel more comfortable, less stressful and makes use of occasional idle time.
It adds to a stressful journey when you cannot easily find things that should be within easy reach: pen, passport, wallet, light sweater, and so on. Worse, the wrong placement of such essentials increases the risk of them getting lost or stolen. Organizing your things before arriving at the airport is the key.
Have a dedicated set of travel clothes
Airport departure gates can be extra chilly, and wearing sneakers on long flights can be extra uncomfortable in your cramped economy seat. So having anticipated your tracks will help prepare what you need. These are clothes and accessories comfortable but presentable enough to wear while in transit. They include a light jacket or shawl placed prominently in your hand-held luggage for easy reach.
Partial solution to bulky or overweight luggage
In case your luggage exceeds the free baggage allowance the airline provides, consider wearing extra clothes to free up space in your bag. Thankfully, airlines only weigh the luggage, and passengers can be as heavy as they come and won’t get charged for weighing extra pounds. Heavy clothing such as jackets are among the most space-saving items to wear, especially when you’re bringing in more shopping or souvenir items on your return trip.
Small bag to hold essential items
Stash small items like earbuds, toothbrushes, flip flops, sleeping masks, writing pen, phone charger, wet towels, or disinfecting spray in a small bag, with another compartment for phone, passport, and boarding pass. Store such a small bag under the seat in front of you — never at the overhead compartment.
Have Ziploc bags handy
These plastic bags have plenty of travel uses: stow your snacks, keep your phone or lotions dry, extra vomit bag for motion sickness, and so on. They can be placed on outside pockets or smaller bags for easier reach, especially when they’re urgently needed.
Bring multi-plug electrical adapter
In a world where smartphones get the most attention, one likely occurrence is that they’ll soon run out of power. A vacant power slot can only accommodate one device charging. So bring a multiplug adapter that other members of your party can also simultaneously use when charging devices.
Wear shirts with front pockets (or photographer jacket)
Secure critical items such as phones, keys, and wallets at all times. And as you are pushing the trolley or lifting your bags, your hands need to free up items like passports and boarding passes. It would be good to have a small sling bag to hold these items. Placing your passport and boarding pass in your front pocket of your shirt keeps them within your sight at all times and can be pulled out quickly for inspections.
Bring empty water bottle
There are limits in liquid volume you can bring into the security area. So bring an empty water bottle you can refill at a fountain or refilling station once you get past the security screening area.
Economy class passengers: Choose lines close to premium class check-in counters
Privileged passengers receive the best service and most convenient experience, such as quick check-in procedure and red carpets (literally) at business or first-class counters. Follow the line in the economy class counter next to premium classes can get you accommodated faster. Fewer business class passengers might mean their lines are shorter or than those in the economy class ones. And once business class passengers have been checked in, counter attendants call on other passengers — like those from economy class queue — to serve them.
Avoid wearing metallic accessories
Certain airports require passengers to remove shoes, belts, watches, and other items they suspect would buzz inside the x-ray machine. If you wear a belt with a plastic buckle, you’ll likely skip the effort of taking them off.
Also, empty coins — perhaps loose change from your cafe pit stop earlier — from your pocket before getting through security checks. Adhering to such practice helps you from fumbling across your items in the middle of a security screening, increasing risks of misplacing or forgetting to retrieve your personal belongings afterward.