Ok, we’ve gone over packing and getting ready for the trip. Now, we’re getting ready for the airport.
Check in to your flight from home, visit the airline’s website and follow the instructions. Again, print out all documents.
When getting dressed, don’t wear any shirts with metal decorations or jeans with metal studs. You will have to go through a couple of extra security screenings with things that show up on the x-ray machines.
The airport will tell you to arrive at the airport 2 1/2 hours before departure. There is some leeway with this, at Denver airport, for example, there are two entry points for the whole airport. You will need most of this time. During busy flight times, you will need extra time. During slow times, not so much. It’s better to be early than late, though.
You will need to have a government-issued ID with your picture on it and your boarding pass. Have them both in your hand when approaching the security checkpoint. Wear shoes easy to get off and on and be ready to spill it all out in trays at the security checkpoint. Carry on bag in one, shoes, purse or wallet, EVERYTHING in your pockets in another. Follow the directions and if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask, there are plenty of people there to ask and they would rather answer questions than have to pull you aside and ask more questions.
DO NOT have bottles of water in your bag, but you can carry an empty refillable bottle and fill it at a water fountain in the airport past security and have them to drink on the plane.
Then, locate your departure terminal and stay within earshot of the PA so you can hear the boarding call, board the plane, find your seat, stow your carry on, and enjoy your flight. 🙂
While packing, remember.
You can have one quart sized zip bag of liquids and pills in your carryon bag.
Liquids must be in containers of 3 oz or smaller.
You can also have a bag of small liquids in your checked luggage.
Things you can’t live without or would be hard to replace should be in your carryon bag. Such as medicines or expensive or hard to find lotions. Things you could get anywhere, shampoo or deodorant, such like, can ride in your checked luggage. Still, use small bottles as they may leak in the unpressurized cargo bay on the plane. If they are not full containers, squeeze all the air out you can as this can keep them from expanding and leaking.
Pack at least one complete change of clothes in your carryon. That way if your luggage goes somewhere you don’t or you miss a connecting flight, you have something fresh to change into the next morning.
Also include in your carryon bag all the electronic accessories you will need. Chargers, e-readers, tablets, camera memory cards and cameras. If you can gather this all into one bag, even better. Especially all the little pieces and wires.
Always carry a second camera battery and more memory cards than you think you will need. It’s easy to get carried away shooting pictures in this digital age.
In your checked luggage, have one more change of clothes than days you will be gone. You never know. Things can get spilled on you or you could get caught in the rain.
Check the weather where you’re going and pack accordingly. Also include clothes for a change in the weather if you’re traveling in the spring or fall. Cold fronts can’t always be predicted accurately a week out.
Have an extra pair of shoes. You may need to switch it up every day or two for your feet’s sake.
Now, after having read all this, start your list making. Make several lists, and keep them with whatever they refer to. One list for carry on bag, one list for checked luggage, etc. refer to these lists often and mark things off when they ACTUALLY GO IN THE BAGS. Not just when you make a pile or buy something.
Last, and probably most important, print out ALL your documents. It doesn’t even hurt to have duplicates stashed in multiple places. If you can unfold a printed piece of paper and hand it over as proof, there’s a lot less argument if things don’t match up. If you’re using your phone app for a boarding pass, print it anyway. Technology does fail.