Some aspects about the airline experience will always be depressing, like the every day loss of thousands of brave 3.5oz+ liquids, lotions and quality creams who were just too much for their own good. Where's Sarah McLachlan when we need her most?!
But, it isn't all so terrible. Trust me kid, you too can conquer the madness of a big city airport all on your own.
Here are some tricks out there to help you make the sparkly best of your next airline experience, in the hopes that with some good weather, a little luck and these useful tips on your side, you'll discover that flying on your own can be more enjoyable than you think.
1. Red eye it like your childhood photos.
I specifically search for these flights because they're usually cheaper, security lines are shorter if not non existent and best of all, more room on the plane. Spread out those legs and rest easy knowing some guy named Gerald isn't going to be drooling on your shoulder for the next 6 hours.
2. Curbside check in is the bee's knees.
It is super easy and usually takes half the time of the stations inside. Carry 3-5 bucks to tip the guys saving you time and energy because unless there is no wait inside, it's worth it.
3. Check, double check & triple checkmate.
Keep making sure that you have all of your valuables, especially your wallet. You lose that driver's license with that terrible picture you hate and your get away weekend just became a one way trip, so before you leave the house, Uber, food court, security, bathroom, terminal, tram, plane, ANYWHERE: check.
4. Don't cut the lunch line.
If you're the guy who gets up to board in Zone A when you know damn well you are in Zone C, then I fundamentally have a problem with you as a person. You're not special. We all have to wait for our zone to be called, so sit it back down Jeffrey at wait like the rest of us.
5. Check the TSA wait times before you get there.
People only expect long security lines during peak travel periods like the holidays, but sometimes you run in to a few more people than you might have initially expected. Maybe there is a huge Micheal Bolton/ Sarah Jessica Parker look alike convention that just wrapped up and everyone is heading home to their real world accounting jobs. We can't know for sure, but what we can do is use websites like Ifly who can give you an approximate TSA wait time to help you navigate through the sea of SJP's and MB's with plenty of time to still make your flight.
6. Carry on my wayward son.
Why short yourself additional storage? Airline's let you take one carry on and one personal item (aka carry on #2 if you're smart). Grab your favorite tote bag, stuff the laptop inside and a backpack full of essentials and a few extra clothes and you're ready to rock.
7. Dress for success and by success I mean comfort.
Leave the onesies pajamas and your favorite club dress at home and find a reasonable middle ground outfit that can get you in and out of security as quick as possible. This means those 7 strapped buckle up gladiator sandals should probably just stay in your checked bag. If you have winter travel plans try my favorite traveling hack of all time the #blanketscarf. A big soft blanket is going to take up tons of room in your suitcase and you already have a personal item and a carry on. #blanketscarf. Put on your favorite peacoat, take your soft as heaven blanket and wrap it around your neck and tuck the ends inside the front of your coat. Trendy through the terminal and a comfort level increase of 87% on the plane. That's whats up!
8. Don't put any wrapped gifts in your carry on.
If you wrap your Mother's day gifts, Birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, Hanukkah gifts, Flag day gifts before you fly, they need to go in your checked bags. There is absolutely no guarantee they won't be taken out by the TSA and if that happens, you are stuck unwrapping a gift you bought yourself while no one around you cares like the saddest birthday party in the history of mankind.
9. Avoid soft black bags like the plague.
These basic bitches are more common than pumpkin spice lattes in the suburbs mid October. The best checked bags are hardtopped to protect any delicate items and above all UNIQUE. Do you really want to spend 20 minutes at the baggage carousel going on a roller coaster of emotions thinking every third bag is yours? Doubt it, so get a bag that stands out from the crowd like a rhino at a dog show, or at the very least decorate your bag with tags, paint or ribbons so no one walks away with those gorgeous gladiator sandals I told you to check.
10. Don't be a dick.
There are always exceptions, but for the most part if you're courteous to the TSA workers and airline staff, they'll be courteous to you. Be polite and follow the rules and most likely you'll have very limited interactions with these people. If your suitcase doesn't fit in the overhead bin, check it. If you fail the x ray test, get comfortable with the fact that a stranger will probably be feeling up your top knot bun momentarily. Getting an attitude about it doesn't help the situation. Besides, having a TSA agent take out 6 days worth of sweaters and underwear to get to a Christmas mason jar full of hot coco powder because your craft registered as a possible liquid bomb, makes for a pretty good story after you get to put all your undies back in your bag. #tistheseason