Five tips for first-time air travelers

With the freedom of summer upon us, many of us have a list of things we want to do or accomplish. Among the exciting things on your list may be to travel to a new place.

But with all of the excitement comes the worry.

For some, the thought of traveling can be scary, especially flying. Air travel can be stressful and intimidating, especially for first-time flyers. To ease the worry, here are five tips for air travelers that will improve your trip from start to finish.

1. Know what you can bring.

According to tsa.gov, “planning ahead and packing properly can facilitate the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport.” To avoid last-minute chaos in the security line, visit www.tsa.gov and review the lists of prohibited items and liquids rules before you leave home.

2. Use an e-boarding ticket.

Many airlines offer online check-in to avoid the ticketing counter and a QR code that acts as your boarding pass according to delta.com. With this, you won’t have to worry about losing your ticket and you save time in the process.

Travel agent Kate Carlson from Travel Easy Inc. adds, “Just don’t forget valid identification, such as a driver’s license or passport that are not expired or damaged.”

3. Wear socks.

It’s an odd tip, but you won’t regret leaving home wearing socks.

“You need to step on security scanner footprints that a million people have stepped on,” said business woman and weekly flyer Emily Alverson. “Wearing socks will save you from foot germs in the airport.”

Wearing socks can also increase blood circulation in the legs, a part often prone to blood clots after long hours of sitting. According to thegaurdian.com, wearing flight socks cuts the risk of blood clots by 90 percent.

4. Bring chewing gum.

For first-time flyers, changes in cabin pressure can leave an uncomfortable feeling in the ears. Chewing gum can relieve that pressure. Jamie Kankaala, a junior at MNSU and frequent flyer, said that “if you chew gum, you are constantly swallowing, which helps keep your ears from getting plugged and relieves existing pressure.”

5. Give yourself time.

Cntraveler.com recommends arriving at the airport two hours early for domestic flights. Carlson echoed that recommendation, saying, “the most important thing to remember is to allow enough time to get through possible long security lines.”

Overall, don’t get too stressed while flying. After all, it’s only a fancy way to get from point A to point B.

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