Three Things You Need To Do Before You Go To The Airport

Posted on: 18 February 2016

Air travel can be frustrating. Between things like making sure your baggage gets to the right location and ensuring that you make your connecting flight, traveling by air can get overwhelming real quick, especially if you aren't a seasoned flyer. Fortunately, you can make the process less daunting by doing these things before heading to the airport.

Check Luggage Requirements

Before you even begin packing, you need to make sure your luggage meets the airline's baggage requirements -- both size and weight requirements. Each airline has their own requirements, so if you don't know what your airline's requirements are, you'll need to call the airline or visit the airline's website for baggage information. If you have a connecting flight with a different airline, make sure your luggage adheres to the rules for both airlines. In most cases, travelers are allowed to have one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a laptop bag or purse. All other luggage needs to be checked at baggage claim. If you have luggage that you plan to check, consider checking your bags online. Not only will this save you time at the airport, but some airlines charge more for bags that are checked in person rather than online.

Pack Your Bags

When you pack your bags, you need to make sure you don't any items that are prohibited on planes and that the items you are packing make it into the right bag -- some items can be packed in a carry-on bag, but not a checked bag and vice versa. It's very important to make sure any liquid items that you pack in your carry-on bag meet the Transportation Security Administration's requirements for transporting liquids, and that your carry-on bag will fit into the on-plane compartment. Most airlines require carry-on bags to be less than 45 linear inches and weigh 40 pounds or less. Also, make sure you pack your travel documents in a bag that's easily accessible, such as your carry-on bag, laptop bag, or purse. Then, put copies of the items in each bag that you check. Some items that you should make sure to pack include the following:

  • Photo ID
  • Passport
  • Airline tickets
  • Boarding pass
  • Flight schedule
  • Hotel information
  • Transportation information
  • Important phone numbers
  • Baggage claim receipts/tags

Once you've finished packing your bags, weigh them at home. This way, if one of your bags weighs more than the airline allows, you can remove some things or shift some items around.

Create a Transportation Plan

You don't want to arrive at your destination airport without a transportation plan. Not all airports have taxi queues outside of the arrivals gate or on-site car rental desks, so you need to be prepared before you leave your house.

If you're staying in a hotel, the first thing that you should do is check with the hotel to see if it offers complimentary airport transportation to guests. If it doesn't, you will need to take a cab, rent a car, or hire a car service. If you're traveling to a popular tourist destination, you might be able to take an airport shuttle service to a location near your hotel.

The fact is, even frequent travelers can get frustrated when they travel by air. It isn't always easy. However, by preparing for things like checking your baggage and securing ground transportation before you go to the airport, you're less likely to run into problems along the way.