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Useful First Time Flyers Tips: How to be Prepared (2023)

Many first time travellers often do not know what to expect once they get to their travel destination. This might be intimidating to some. A lot of first time air passengers don’t know what processes they have to undergo before stepping inside the aircraft. 

Though airline personnel and aircraft crew take texture precautions to ensure passenger safety, the travel process may be daunting and oftentimes confusing to first time flyers. It is of course, the duty of flight attendants to brief passengers on the safety procedures and other air travel tips before take-off.

The increase global security challenges have made airline operators intensify security procedures at airports. It is therefore important for you to know that as a first time air traveller, you will be subject to different security and assessment procedures to ensure your safety. Airline travel agencies say most or all the travel information that you need are in your airline ticket.

They however, note that there are some tips for air travel written by experienced travellers and frequent flyers. Below are important remainder that you should know before you embark upon your first air travel, according to experts.

Print and bring long your boarding pass: This may sound simple, but some travellers do forget their boarding passes. You should print your boarding pass and bring it with you to the airport. It is also important you bring personal identification that matches the name on your boarding pass, as some carriers see this as mandatory. Experts say you may also bring a copy of your original flight confirmation. Many airlines will want you to be at the gate well before the departure time. Delta Airline, for instance on the international route, recommends that passengers should be at the boarding gate 45 minutes before the departure of their flight.

Pack a Portable Battery: One thing that I have found to be incredibly useful over the years is a portable battery for my phone.

There have been so many times when I’ve shown up at the airport, and the outlets don’t work. In turn, I spend the entire time trying my best to save my phone’s battery. Plus, some airplanes don’t provide you with outlets, such as those running shorter flights.

The worst thing is arriving at a foreign destination and not being sure if you’ll have enough battery power to last until you reach your housing accommodations. Remove the added stress and anxiety of low batteries by investing in a good portable battery.

Check in on time: This is one of the most important air travel guideline which first time travellers must take note of. According to experts, international air travel guidelines is that passengers go to the airport at least two hours before their flights so as to have enough time to put all travel documents, passport, and tickets in order. As a first time traveller, make sure you check the flight schedule from time to time so that you won’t miss the final call. Also, listen attentively to announcements made in the airport to avoid missing your flight. Don’t forget to check your luggage for the last time if you have what you need. If anything goes wrong, you still have enough time to check in with plenty of time to take a cup of coffee and relax.

Travel light: As one who is travelling by air for the first time, it is advisable to pack light. A renowned aviation expert and former President, National Cabin, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, notes that first time flyers should not put too many things inside their luggage, especially things that may get the attention of airport security personnel. According to experts, of you carry past the items then it will take much longer to get past the security check since they check if you are carrying deadly weapons or unauthorised items. As for your carry-on bag, bring only the necessary items like your passport, ticket, identification cards, credit cards, and mediations, experts say. Follow travel tips, air your concerns, and ask questions so that you will be guided accordingly during the travel process.

Pack a Light Jacket: Even if you’re headed to a hot and sunny destination, I recommend always carrying a light jacket in your personal bag or backpack. Airplanes get pretty chilly if they’re blasting the air conditioner.

If nothing else, they make a decent pillow if you don’t have a proper travel pillow. That being said, your jacket likely can’t keep you warm and serve as a comfortable pillow.

Bring Headphones: One of my most valuable first time flyers tips is to always bring headphones or earplugs. If you have noise-canceling headphones, that’s even better.

On nearly every flight, there is inevitably always at least one screaming child who makes sleeping a struggle. It’s during times like these you’ll want something to dim the noise, especially if you’re already anxious about flying.

Recently, I was on a flight where I kid you not, there were 30 children under the age of 5 on the flight. Literally over a fourth of the passengers on the flight were small children. Never in my life had I been so grateful to have canceling headphones.

Even when I’m not trying to sleep, having headphones to block out the external noise from the airplane itself makes the flight experience more enjoyable. Thus, I strongly recommend packing something to help block out the noises.

Eat before flying: Though there are many restaurants, cafes and food courts in the airport, experts say food is quite expensive in many airports. It is therefore an important air travel tip to eat first before you check in or pack a sandwich that you can bring on your carry-on bag. If you intend eating a full meal before your long flight to your destination, enjoy a healthy, nutritious meal. 
Keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of water or soft drink before commencing the journey. 

Relax: Clear your mind and relax your nerves. Do not be freighted by the fact that you are a first time flyer. Some people find air travel nerve-wracking for the first time.

If you have planned your itinerary spot on, then there is meal, arrived at the airport earlier than expected, and checked in your luggage and other belongings, then all you have to do now is to sit down and relax. Take time to read a best-selling novel, a newspaper or a magazine, or better still listen to your favourite music. There is no need to panic.

Exchange Currency in Advance: If you are traveling abroad to a location with a currency different from your home currency, I strongly recommend exchanging currency at least 3 weeks before your trip.

This is because foreign exchange rates at airports and abroad are typically worse than your local home bank. And even in the age of travel credit cards, it’s always a good idea to carry a little bit of cash on you in case of emergencies. Plus, small vendors and taxi drivers oftentimes only accept cash.

In general, I recommend getting $100 USD worth of foreign currency per week you’re traveling. When you request money from your bank, it usually takes anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to arrive via mail. Thus, make sure you give yourself ample time!

When it’s a couple of days before your trip, it’s time to start packing! Here are some travel essentials I bring every time I fly and encourage you to as well.

Get ready for take-off sensations: The force and rapid acceleration during flight take-off may cause numerous rattles in the cabin, and you may hear various mechanical sounds as the landing gear and wing flaps are adjusted. Your ears may app pop as the plane gains altitude. 

However, there is an air sickness bag provided in the unlikely event you suffer from motion sickness. First time flyers should expect some turbulence. Although, usually minor, most planes experience some level of unstable flight, experts say. It causes few bumps and shakes that can be unsettling, but it is a normal part of flying and should not make you shiver.

I know figuring out the whole airport process can be overwhelming and scary at times, but with my abundance of first time flyers tips, you will hopefully be able to fly with confidence.

Remember that you got this and success favors the prepared. When in doubt, simply ask for help because that’s what airport staff is there for. With that, I wish you a smooth airport journey and safe travels!

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