Organize your carry on for an easy TSA check.
Pack anything you need to remove from your person in your carry on. these)
Electronics! What about them? this is my favorite.
"Always keep clean underwear in your glovebox, in case you get into an accident."
We all have baggage.
It's possible to fly with just a carry on, but I prefer a crossbody personal bag as well. All the important documents are easier to access. I try to leave room in the carry on for extra junk. You know, food you didn't finish eating pre flight, random stuff you somehow accumulate, things from your carry on that became disorganized, but suddenly you have to board your flight with no time to fix things. I guess we could call it a scramble. Just toss everything in. It's kind of the same process when the plane lands. I'm not in the mood to put things back where they go, so it all gets scrambled. The empty space means it's the things and not my stress levels the end up a mess. (p.s. with baby in tow, I carry an extra pocket bag for the scramble, as there is no space left in anyone's carry on)
Advice from the professional.
Arrive early. It's better to spend your time waiting, than rushing.
Bring movies for the trip.
Get drunk before boarding! (Just kidding, he only said order one drink and stay close to the terminal).
When you get off the plane, follow the crowd to the baggage claim/exit.
The basics. I'll send you to this comprehensive article.
They key to surviving a solo flight is to buy yourself as much time as possible. That means getting through security quickly and accepting that snafus will happen. You're not the first or last passenger to feel overwhelmed. It just takes one flight to be a pro.
Happy Travels! xoxo