The key for easy travel is to choose items that are versatile, travel friendly, colorful, and light-weight.
Make sure you have enough time between your flights.
Plan for delays. Carry a book or journal just in case, and you'll find that sitting down to read not only reduces your stress, but that of those around you!
If you don't have a bag to check, life at the airport is much easier. You don't have to worry about lost luggage, and won't have to wait for your luggage when you arrive at your destination.
Don’t just go with the flow! Keep in mind that many of the people around you are either non-frequent flyers or are first time visitors, therefore, may not know anything about the airport that you don’t know.
Make reservations early. The earlier you do, the more likely you are to get flights, hotel rooms and car rentals at the best possible prices. Schedule non-stop flights where possible. Travel during the least busy times of the day. Generally, the busiest airport times are early morning and late afternoon. If possible, plan your trip for mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Not only will you have a better choice of flights, but you’re also less likely to run into long lines and heavy traffic at the airport.
Pack only necessities in your carry-on bag. Typical items include wallets, passports, jewelry, cameras, cell phones, keys, cash, and laptop computers. You might also want to pack a change of clothes and basic toiletries in case your check-in luggage is lost. However, it should go without saying that you should avoid packing anything that can be viewed as a potential weapon, including razors, nail files, and clippers, and scissors. And remember, all liquid items you intend to carry on must be put into containers of three ounces or less and packed in no larger than one clear, quart-size, zip-top plastic bag. Before you try to pack everything you need, think about dragging your entire wardrobe behind you in an airport and then trying to stuff it into an overhead bin on the plane. See TSA's 3-1-1 for Carry-Ons.
Minimize the cash you carry. Use traveler’s checks and credit cards as much as possible. Keep enough cash on hand to handle tips, taxis, and miscellaneous expenses, but remember—traveler’s checks can be replaced and credit cards can be canceled. If cash is lost or stolen, it’s gone.
Arrive at the airport early. Airlines suggest you arrive at least 60 minutes early if you aren’t checking baggage and 90 minutes early if you are.
Minimize hassles at the security check. Have a photo ID available at all times during check-in. You will be asked to show it several times starting at the ticket counter.
Pack metal objects, like keys and jewelry, in your carry-on bag and you can always retrieve them after you clear security. Be flexible and willing to adapt. If something does go wrong, be ready to roll with it.
As far as packing your suitcase, here are a few suggestions.
Rolling your clothes minimizes wrinkles and takes up less space.
Make a packing list so you won't forget anything.
Check things off the list as you pack them.
Call the hotel, motel, friend's house where you're staying and ask the following: do they have a hairdryer, iron, ironing board, beach towels, bathrobes.
Check temperatures and events at your destination.
Wear your heaviest shoes, sweater, and jacket. That way, you don't have to pack them.Only pack what corresponds---do not bring "just in case" clothes.
Tie pieces of colorful ribbon to the handles or zippers of your luggage. It makes it easier to identify it on the carousel, especially if you have common black suitcases.
For additional information, visit the Transportation Security Administration's website.
Also click here to download "The Smart Traveler's Guide to Preventing Identity Theft."