Many of you enjoyed my post detailing what it’s like to fly during the pandemic. We’ve actually been on a lot of business flights since last spring when this began and things have continued to change and evolve in regards to travel. I’m currently on a business trip right now and I thought it would be a good time to just break down my top air travel tips during the pandemic. None of this is meant to express an opinion about the current measures. They are what they are- and some are now a federal law- so here are my top tips for air travel right now.
Pssssst……..If you want to skip to my travel essentials they are at the bottom
1. Relax & Plan Ahead
Seriously, air travel is stressful enough without a pandemic! But relax.We have to do the best we can and still move on with our lives. Do as much as you can ahead of your actual day to fly. After you book your ticket, plan your travel to and from the airport on both ends. Know if you’ll be checking a bag and know what the weight limit is for your airline. Check the type of plane you’ll be flying on- is it really small? Will your carry-on fit in the overhead bin? Plan your food and drink for the day of travel (before you leave home? At the airport? ) A hangry traveler does not fare well, lol. Planning things out ahead of time will not only prevent delays, but it will make your travel so much smoother and less hectic. Be sure you have a comfortable mask. This is important because you’ll have it on the entire time. I bought these soft 100% linen ones for our family. While you’re trying to social distance and not touch anything and keep your mask on (now a Federal Law enacted by Executive Order!) you’ve already got a lot going on, so plan everything else out that you possibly can. I suggest having a few individually wrapped disinfecting wipes in your bag. There are disinfecting solution stations placed throughout the airport and they are easy to see and use. Arrive at the airport 1 1/2- 2 hours early.
2. Breeze Through Check-in
Check yourself in online the day before you travel and choose your seat. The earlier you check in, the more seat choices you will have. If you need to check your luggage, you will use touch screens at the airport to check your bags now through most airlines. You can do this using your ID, confirmation number or the credit card that you booked your flight with. Have one of those out and ready when you enter the airport and you’ll get your bags checked quickly and head to security, hitting the hand sanitizer station on your way by.
Pro Tip: Make sure your luggage is easily identifiable with a bright tag or a sticker, etc. You don’t want bag mix-ups at the baggage terminal. Our favorite luggage is here with a 100% money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. No One EVER mistakes our bags now! I’ve written about them here and here.
4. Breeze Through Security
You’ll be asked to show your id and boarding pass so have them ready. I always use the boarding pass on my phone, but I keep paper boarding passes as a backup in my bag. Dress for the airport with security in mind. If you have belts, jewelry, etc it’s best to keep all of that in your carry-on tote and then put it on after you’re through security. Wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on and have your lap top or Ipad easily within reach since you’ll need to pull that out and place it in a separate bin to head through security. Any liquids still need to be placed in a clear, separate bag and pulled out as well so thats another one you want to be sure is easily within reach. Slip off your shoes, coat and then wait to step through the screening machine.
Pick up your items on the other end, just slipping your lap top and liquids back into your bag, slipping your shoes on and grabbing your coat and carry on. Hit the hand sanitizing station as you are on your way to your gate.
*To Note: If you have to take a tram to get to your gate, no social distancing is being followed. Everyone just crowds on as usual and I see no way around this at some airports. If the airport is busy, the trams will be full.
5. At The Gate
Find a spot away from everyone else. That may mean sitting in a nearby empty gate. I don’t, but you can take a sanitizing wipe and wipe down your seat handles, etc if you’d like. This is the time to hit the restroom, put your jewelry on, etc and of course……..wash your hands. Grab some water and/or some food to take on the plane with you. My rule of thumb is that I wash my hands or hit the sanitizer after every new “space” I’m in. And I’ll be honest- thats not all that different from the way I travelled pre-pandemic! There’s all kinds of nasty germs in the airport, y’all!
If you can help it- don’t pile on. Some airlines (United and Frontier) are loading the plane from the back rows to the front rows. So you can just wait until your row is called. Be prepared with your boarding pass, because you’ll be scanning that yourself as you board.
7. On The Plane
You’ll be greeted and handed a sanitary wipe as you board the plane, which I always find kind of funny. You can use that to wipe down your seating area, tray table, seat buckle etc. Again- I did this PRE- pandemic and I highly recommend it. You don’t have to take too many flights to become a germ-a-phobe, lol. You’ll be reminded almost constantly about the Federal mask law and about “in between sips and bites”-(not kidding. It actually says that.) But you can eat and drink as you could before, so I do recommend having at least some water with you to avoid dehydration.
8. When you land
Some airlines are deplaning a few rows at a time, so you can stay seated until your row is called. When you get off the plane, I suggest heading straight to the restroom and washing your hands. After you pick up your luggage, hit the hand sanitizer and head to your transportation.
If you will be renting a car, sign up for their membership program when you reserve your car. This is a big one that will save you a ton of time waiting in a long line at the airport to get a car. All of the main car rental companies allow you to check in online and then head straight to pick up your car in the garage. If you are getting an Uber, know that you will be required to wear your mask in the car.
10. Relax and Enjoy Yourself!
Wash your hands when you get to your destination and relax and enjoy yourself! Just do the best you can and get on with your life. We can’t operate from a sense of paralyzing fear. And hey- go put your feet up and enjoy some sunshine…….UV light kills coronaviruses.
My Travel Essentials
I hope that you found these tips helpful for air travel during the pandemic. Let me know if you are flying yet and how you feel about it even if you haven’t flown yet.
Thanks so much for reading! Please come and follow my page on MeWe. I post inspirational tidbits, health, wellness and beauty tips for women over 40 and lots of pics from around beautiful Colorado.
Don’t miss my once-a-month newsletter- (I’ve got a new one about to come out!)just pop your email in the box below. It contains encouragement, outfit inspo, recipes, beauty & wellness tips etc all specifically for women over 40.