Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Solo Flights

When it's your first solo rodeo, flying alone can be intimidating. I've flown alone and mostly alone (with a miniature companion who needs all the bells, whistles, and car seats) several times. That first solo flight was my second time on an airplane. It was stressful and I felt lost the entire time. Here are a few tips to help you find your in flight zen.

Organize your carry on for an easy TSA check.
In a nutshell: I basically pack for survival on every flight. I always insist on carrying my skin care regime. If I find myself trapped in an airport, the comfort of clean skin is necessary. Keep your liquids in easy to access location. Anything that must be removed from my bag, fits in an outside pocket, or within reach, without fully opening my suitcase.

Pack anything you need to remove from your person in your carry on.
I don't wear jewelry or belts through security to save time. My flight shoes have elastic "shoelaces" turning them into slip-ons. ("shoelaces" meaning just random craft elastic from storage because I haven't gotten around to buying these)

Electronics! What about them?
They can be heavy, or maybe you don't want to remove the extra items during security screenings. They can also be great multi-tasking boredom busters. (A possible reason were all addicted.) As electronics have gotten smaller, so has leg room. I suggest skipping the laptop and taking advantage of AmazonPrime and Netflix instant downloads on your phone/tablet. Episode binging and solo flights are 2 peas in a very small pod. With apps like Spotify, you can download playlists pre-flight, so you can discover new music in flight. You can also go old school with game aps (Snake, anyone?) and Kindle books. Of course, this is all given that you aren't planning to pay for in flight wi-fi. If you are, then throw it out the window (the advice, not the device). Whatever you decide, don't forget the external power bank. We have more than 1 power bank, but this is my favorite.

"Always keep clean underwear in your glovebox, in case you get into an accident."
My Grandmas life advice applies to flying. I always pack a change of clothes in my carry on. (Except for that time we were stranded overnight...) Even if I don't need to wear them, they work as blankets or something to sit on if all the seats in the terminal are taken. Don't sit directly on the floor, or you may end up needing that change of underwear.

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