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Getting Out There: Tips for First time Flying and Traveling Solo

Admit it, you’re nervous aren’t you?It’s your first time on a plane, and you’re not sure what to expect. You know planes are safe, but still. You have to go it alone and it can be stressful. Here’s how to make it through the flight and come out on the other side happy, healthy, and ready for your next flight.Travel tips that will be useful if you are first time flying on your own.This article is filled with travel tips for traveling solo.

First time Flying
Photo by: Jon Nicholls

Tips for First time Flying and Traveling Solo

Buying Your Ticket

The first thing you need to do is buy your ticket. If you have a Chase Sapphire credit card, you can rack up serious frequent flier miles if you’re willing to charge the booking. Frequent flier miles lets you save money on future trips by letting you cash in your accumulated points (which you receive when booking or when flying and completing a trip) for money which can be used to purchase additional airline tickets.

Buy discounted tickets online through websites that help you negotiate the price of tickets and accommodations.

Pay Attention To The TSA Restricted List

When packing, make sure you make a checklist of all of the things you want to bring. And, check your list against the TSA list of restricted or prohibited items. If you show up to the security check with a prohibited item, you will not be allowed to carry it onboard. And, you may be subject to civil fines or criminal prosecution.

If you show up with a restricted item, and it’s not packaged properly, you won’t be allowed to take it on the plane with you.

The TSA allows you to carry some liquids and creams or pastes, but you must seal them in 3.5 ounce, or smaller, containers. And, they must be packaged in a sealed, zipped, bag.

Check Your Bags before first time flying

You can check bags with prohibited or restricted items, in most cases, and not worry about the restrictions placed on carry-on bags. For example, if you own a firearm, you can usually check this with TSA security and get it on the plane. However, security personnel will want to make sure that you pose no danger to any passengers or the flight crew so you will not be allowed to carry any explosives or firearms on the plane.

Checking your bags isn’t always ideal, however. If there are certain things you want to have access to on the plane and in the airport, you’ll want to keep them as carry-on luggage. These items may be medications, your phone, and personal effects like makeup, a toothbrush, or other toiletries.

Checking Bag Limits before first time flying

You can only check so many bags on a flight, and there is a weight limit set by the airline. If you exceed the weight limit or the number of allowed checked bags, then you will not be allowed to check excess weight or bags. If you arrive with 10 bags of gifts, for example, for Christmas, then you’ll end up paying a hefty price, and you may even be denied the ability to have them checked.

Anything over the limit will cost up to $75 or more per bag.

If you carry on items, and there’s no room for them, some airlines have a courtesy stow away service where they will stow your bags for free under the plane. Other airlines will check your bag for you as a courtesy. This means you’ll have to go to baggage claim to pick up your bag when you arrive at your destination.

Check Your Flight Before You Leave

Check the status of your flight the night before you leave. You can usually do this on the airline’s website or through their mobile app. Some airlines also let your check in up to 24 hours in advance. It’s a good idea to do this so you’re not waiting in line at the airport, trying to figure out how to get your ticket printed out at the last minute.

Arriving At The Airport before first time flying

You should arrive at the airport at least an hour or more in advance. If you want to be safe, arrive 2 hours in advance. This gives you plenty of time to make it through most security checkpoints. The TSA recommends arriving at least two hours before your flight.

What About Parking?

You can use the airport’s parking, or you can use a ride-sharing service to get you to and from the airport. You can also opt for public transportation.

Summer Bishop went on her first trip abroad, on her own, when she was 19. She hasn’t looked back since and encourages others to take a leap and get out there and see the world!

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