Airport and Packing Tips for the Unseasoned Traveler

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Hello again to my fabulous blog! I have missed you! It's been awhile and this has been a project of mine going on 3 years now. Started as a personal journal turned awesome blog! Lately I've been catching myself googling my recipes when I'm at the grocery store because I can never remember them so it's been great! There is nothing more that makes me happier than writing on my own blog and getting all these great comments and views! Keep them coming! :)

Today I find myself feeling alone.  My boyfriend is currently in the Amsterdam airport "relaxing" without me until he moves onto Florence for a 10 day trip through Tuscany... My Dad is traveling to Canada today to do some worth ethic research at a sister company, one of my good friends is going to Colorado in 2 weeks, another is leaving for the US Virgin islands, and another is living in Ireland! A few of my blog friends are in Istanbul, Paris, and Thailand. As for me? I am going to visit a very good friend of mine in a few days. Going to a small army town in North Carolina so there probably won't be a lot to blog about there. It doesn't sound very exciting but if you knew what we were capable of when we go out together you would think otherwise! We all have that friend we can turn to that will turn that frown upside down! There will be copious amounts of alcohol (probably sangria) and good good food! (cooking soothes the soul) So when I get back I should have some good stories, some good food, and drink recipes to write about.

With all of this being said I feel like I am constantly being flooded with traveling questions. Every time I log onto my facebook there's another message asking me something about traveling. Can you find me a cheap flight? When should I get to the airport? What is a good amount of time for a layover? What should I pack? What should I do if my flight gets delayed or cancelled? What can I bring through TSA? While I can't answer all of these questions in one single blog post I thought I could do a general post for the "Unseasoned Traveler." This is for the person who hasn't flown in years or not at all. Or maybe you are seasoned and just want to read along to see what kind of tips I can offer.



Starting off with booking your flight, my boyfriend Jay has wrote a great blog post for Angie Knows the Truth. It is one of the most popular posts! Click Here to read Jay's Booking tips for flights

Unseasoned Travelers may want to consider bundling their hotel, car, and flight. Click Here for Jay's tips and tricks for Bundling

Click continue reading below--- >




Now assuming you've got your hotel, flight, and car booked it's time to get down to business! Your leaving in 5 days and it's time to start thinking about packing. I'll let you pack your own clothes and give you some tips of other things I bring. Depending on where you are going you will pack differently so I'll give you my basics I take everywhere. The international list is a bit more extensive than what I would bring on a trip inside the Continental United States but you can pick and choose. Obviously if I was only traveling somewhere for 3 days I wouldn't bring all of these things. I would probably just go all carry-on so use your common sense with this list below.

I always pack for EVERY long trip in my checked luggage:
  • A few extra large zip lock bags- for dirty laundry, sea shells, or anything you don't want to contact your clothes like the swimsuit you wore in the lake or the pine cone or rock you stole from the woods.
  • Safety pins - For any last minute fixes on your clothes, a broken bikini string, purse strap. Pants are falling down. It never hurts to have these and they are basically weightless.
  • Mini sewing kit- Most hotels have these if you need them but they are so small and lightweight I usually leave one in there and mine is actually one I took from a hotel. 
  • Light-weight wine key- Never know when you'll find yourself in a pickle with a bottle of wine and no opener! A wineo must have! 
  • Lighter- No, I don't smoke I just feel like it's good to have. 
  • Light-weight flashlight- More for late night beach walks, or wilderness trips. 
  • A mess of OTC pills including the ones for diarrhea and allergies- Good for every trip that way if you need something you already have it available and don't have to find transport to a store and waste precious travel time! 
  • Travel febreeze is a MUST for the hotel bathroom it is not romantic when someone gets food poisoning and there's no fan in the room. 
  • A few band-aids and ointment - For obvious reasons
  • Light-weight pocket knife/multi-tool -good for cutting fruit or cheese in the hotel or whatever.
  • Lastly it's good to have some kind of laundry detergent you can put those tide pods in a zip lock bag or get some trial packs. One time we had to do laundry and the detergent was almost 10 EUROS for 1 load worth after that I feel like it never hurts to have them on hand. 
  • Dryer sheets- Throw a few dryer sheets in your suitcase, they can keep your clothes fresh and also act as a bug repellent if you need it. 
  • My own wash cloths- Some European hotels do not provide these and I just buy a cheap pack and leave them in the room when I switch hotels.
So now that you've got your bag packed what should you bring with your carry on?
  • Travel sized vodka bottles. I also make one with my special bloody mary seasoning so I can doctor up my bloody mary's on the plane! 
  • Evian spray for when I am feeling dry on the plane or just need a little refresher at the airport. You can buy travel sized at Sephora.
  • Freshly washed blanket from home!! This is not necessary but something personal to me as you travel from hotel to hotel it's nice to have a little piece of home to sleep with. I would only bring that on the week or longer trips it really helps when I'm feeling home sick and it's so cozy compared to the thin airline kind! 
  • Headphone spliter so Jay and I can watch movies together- try to find one with volume adjust.
  • Travel tissues and wet ones- Come in handy!! Just pack them! 
  • A change of clothes. Preferably something differnt than you are wearing. If you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt- pack sweats and a long sleeve shirt or something. Don't wear a dress and then pack another dress. 
  • Snacks- This could probably be a category it itself because I love food. Besides the obvious chips and granola bars.. String cheese and celery holds up well and pairs perfectly with a bloody mary.. Sandwiches from Brueggers are great too. I always pack some kind of generic cracker in case I'm not feeling well. The biggest rule here is to not pack things that have a strong odor. You don't want to piss everyone off on the plane by having stinky food and you don't want to smell up your bag or clothes. 
  • Be careful with foods like peanut butter, nuetella, or spreadable cheese. I've seen these confiscated before through TSA. 
Entertainment?
  • Load up that iPad or iPhone with any movies or music you like. I try to find movies or tv shows that were filmed in the place we are going to.
  • Download some game apps ahead of time that don't require wifi- Esp ones with 2 player.
  • Bring a really good book that you've always wanted to read or one that is about the place you are traveling to. 
  • Blog writing- This does not require wifi so if you have your computer and feel inspired go ahead and take this time to write in your blog or journal. 
  • Look into the wifi situation on the plane ahead of time. Most of them give you a wifi discount if you purchase ahead of time. 
  • Magazines are bulky and surprisingly weigh a lot when you are taking them everywhere. So I use the iPad for reading. 

What to wear onto the plane- 
Layers layers and layers!!!- I cannot stress this enough. Sometimes planes can be 75 F degrees and sometimes by the exit rows they can be 50 F degrees! You need to be prepared no matter what. 
I normally wear 1 of 2 things. A long maxi dress with a jacket, and a scarf. I would wear this with wedge shoes and pack a pair of flats. If I had a coat or a hat I was planning on packing I would wear this on the plane to conserve weight and space. Or... 
I would wear a tank top, leggings, a light over shirt, a jacket, and a scarf with the same shoe situation. Then I would pack the dress in my carry on. I personally like traveling in a maxi dress the most. It feels like your wearing a night gown and you can move around and spread your legs and not worry about everyone seeing everything. You also don't have to worry about your skin coming in contact with the seat.
How to travel like a Jetsetter on a coach class budget


Getting to the airport early has it's perks.
Take advantage of the airline lounges!  -Getting to the airport early means you will have time to sort through your things and get prepared for security and the flight. A true jetsetter just breezes through security because they know all the rules. Be prepared to have your bag searched by staying organized. -Don't be scared to join to the airline lounges they are gods gift to airports!! -I can't say the following is true for any other airline than delta but we pay around $35 a month for 1 person and your allowed to bring a guest for free so you just need to get one to share with your travel partner. Or if your not a world traveler you can buy a one time pass for $25. I think it's worth it. -This includes: Healthy snack options, junk food options, free alcohol drinks, wine, beer, quiet rooms, countless plugs, public computers and printers, and large comfy chairs. The international terminal lounges have showers with a wide collection of toiletries, better food options, and better seating arrangements.-Now.... Compare this to what you would spend eating at a restaurant waiting for your flight? With the way I drink it would be about $40 plus just for myself. The restaurants are more expensive and usually horribly unhealthy anyways. They don't tend to be very fresh because all of the food has to be inspected before entering the airport and they can't use proper prepping equipment.
-With that being said airline lounges are a good thing for us. Your away from the hustle of the airport with free drinks and snacks and you feel like a jetsetter because you get to go in the private club ;) When really your paying just $17 a person.
-You can leave a few minutes before boarding show up right on time feeling fresh and walk right onto the plane looking amazing.
- See more at: http://www.angieknowsthetruth.com/2013/08/how-to-travel-like-jetsetter-on-coach.html#sthash.LtvoLB61.dpuf

Random Tips-
  • Make sure everything is charged before you leave and you have the appropriate chargers you'll need and adapters. From your toothbrush to your cell phone. 
  • Buy a bottle of water after you get through security. I especially recommend this for long flights as you don't want to bother the flight attendants too much and sometimes they might not come through for a half hour after you push the button. So if your thirsty and the guy on the aisle row is sleeping it's nice to already have your own supply. 
  • Try to get everything you'll use for the flight out ahead of time and store it underneath the seat in front of you. 
  • Always know where your gate is before you wander around. Stay in that terminal and show up early to boarding. 
  • If there is a chance you might miss your connection let someone know as soon as possible..anyone!!! They might be able to arrange a car for you when you get off the plane to get you there in time. I have witnessed them holding the door for people before. 
  • Don't make many purchases at the airport if you can help it because everything is expensive and over priced. 
  • Save your calories for your vacation. Do what you can to stay healthy because airport food is horrible and it's even worse on the plane.. even if your in first class. 
  • Remember if your sitting in an exit row the seals are usually broken. I'm not saying air is blowing through or anything but it is COLD! This can be a good or bad thing. I've actually had a cold burn on my ankle from sleeping with my leg near the door. 
I hope I have provided you with some good traveling tips throughout your airport and packing experience. Please comment below if you have anything to add or if any of these tips have helped you on your journey. Happy Traveling!!