Flying solo is one of the best ways to develop your independence and learn more about yourself, but it can also be intimidating and stressful if you’re not prepared properly.
To ensure your trip is as smooth as possible, this is everything you need to do while flying solo to have the best experience.
1. Arrive early
One of the best ways to avoid anxiety while flying solo is to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare. You should arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight departs, allowing you to not feel rushed when going through security, checking any bags, and finding your gate for boarding.
It’s better to arrive too early than too late and risk missing your flight, so download some podcasts and find a comfortable spot to chill in the airport before your flight takes off.
2. Pack smart
When preparing for a trip, especially if it’s your first time flying solo, it’s important to pack smart. While packing light is definitely part of this, some other aspects include putting your liquids bag somewhere easy to grab so you don’t have to dig through your suitcase in the security line to get it, putting your important documents in your smallest carry-on bag, and making sure everything you may need (chargers, headphones, book) are in your carry-on and will be easily accessible throughout your journey.
3. Keep important documents close by
When flying solo, it’s important to keep all your important documents with you at all times, either secure in your smallest carry-on or even in your hands. I always carry my passport and boarding pass with me throughout the airport, which calms my anxiety since I always know where they are.
You should always know where your passport, boarding pass, and wallet are, along with anything else you need like visas or other forms of identification. Another way to ensure their security is to make copies of all important documents and have them in a separate place in case the originals get lost.
4. Don’t leave bags unattended
Though it can be annoying when you need to bring all of your luggage with you when you go grab a snack or head to the bathroom, you cannot trust anyone when you’re flying solo, so it’s crucial that you have all of your belongings with you at all times. Even if you’re leaving for 60 seconds to go to the bathroom, you cannot risk your bags being left unattended.
If this is too burdensome, make sure to pack light, travel with a backpack instead of another suitcase, and check any bags that are too heavy.
5. Charge your devices
If you’re flying solo, you and only you are responsible for getting to where you need to go, so it’s important that all your devices are charged while you’re travelling.
This obviously includes your phone so you can stay in contact with loved ones and access it in case of an emergency, but you should also be sure that any other devices are charged before your flight so you can be as comfortable as possible on the whole journey. This may include wireless headphones, tablets or laptops, eBooks like Kindles, and electronic watches like Apple watches.
6. Organise your liquids
The last thing you want to deal with when flying solo is organising your liquids before security or throwing things away because you went over the limit of liquids you’re allowed to bring.
Before you leave for the airport, pack all your liquids in a clear Ziploc bag and put them in your smallest carry-on so the bag is easily accessible for you to grab and take out at security.
Also, be sure that all of your liquids do not exceed the limit set by airports. Most airport security will not allow liquids over 3.4 ounces or 100ml, but you should double check this depending on the airports you will be travelling from.
7. Dress comfortably
When flying solo, dressing comfortably will not only reduce your anxiety and stress levels but it will also help you focus on more important things while you’re travelling, like getting to the boarding gate on time and staying alert of your surroundings.
Airport travel is not the time to dress cute, so wear something comfortable for the plane and save your best outfits for your actual destination.
8. Check airline restrictions beforehand
Each airline has individual restrictions about the baggage you’re allowed to bring on the plane, including the number of bags you can bring, its weight, and its size. Before you leave for the airport, check the airline’s website and ensure that your luggage meets the requirements for your ticket. The last thing you want to be dealing with while flying solo is reorganising your luggage at the gate so that you can bring it all on the plane, or having to pay fees to carry everything on.
9. Download the airline’s app
Since you are accountable for yourself when flying solo, it’s important to stay alert with your flight and any changes, including your boarding gate, boarding time, and departure time. Make sure to download your airline’s app before you travel as it will send you notifications on your flight and any updates in case your gate changes or your flight is delayed or even cancelled. These apps are always free and available on most app stores.
10. Act confident
The best way to ensure your safety and comfort when flying solo is to simply act confident, as if you were travelling with someone else. To avoid your belongings getting stolen and to protect yourself, don’t just slump in your seat, distracted, with your headphones on.
Instead, stay alert of your surroundings, don’t wear headphones or keep your volume low so you can hear announcements, and act like you’ve flown alone a million times before.
Which of these tips will you be using the next time you’re flying solo? What do you love most about flying alone? Let us know in the comments below.
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