let me adjust my ears podcast to make airline travel less stressful

Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks for your Airline Trips ✈️

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I did a full episode of, “Let Me Adjust My Ears,” with these travel tips, tricks, and hacks.  

packing tips for airline travel

We have just passed the 4th of July, which was the most people ever to travel for a holiday weekend!  That’s right the most people who traveled in a weekend EVER.  I think we’d be hard-pressed to not have heard about the delays and the massive FUBAR of Southwest Airlines last December.

I fly at least once a month. Recently, I flew 4 different times on 3 different airlines in 3 days. As Mr. Michele Visits Mickey likes to say, I love vacation and I hate travel.

Of course, I preface all these tips by saying there is no substitute for using a skilled professional travel adviser.

Here are some of my best travel tips, tricks, and hacks to help make your airline travel less stressful.

Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks for Before You Travel

  • Sign up for emails and loyalty programs from your preferred airline of choice. Every Tuesday, I get airline emails that tell me that the fare sales are live. I always try to make plans so I can travel on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday when it is the least expensive to travel.
  • Download and set up an account for the airline app for the airline that you are traveling on. You can do anything you need on the app, — which is a lot easier than standing in line with everyone else on your flight.
  • Take the earliest flight in the day. The planes are already at the gates from the night before, and they have the least chance of getting delayed.
  • Take the non-stop flight to avoid missing a connection.  No non-stop on the route you’re traveling?  Take the flight with the fewest connections.  It might cost a little more but it will be a lot less stressful.
  • Have a connection?  Watch your layover time. Say goodbye to the days of counting on a 30-minute connection; it’s just not enough time for you or your luggage to make that tight schedule!
  • Purchase travel insurance. You have invested in your vacation trip. — protect it.
  • Check your passport expiration date. Most countries require that you have at least 6 months before the expiration date to allow you to enter the country. Allow at least 10-13 weeks for your passport processing time.
  • Follow, The points guy and Seat Guru.  Recommendations from these sites can help make every trip optimized for maximum comfort and savings.

And for Fucks Sake Pack Your Patience!

day of travel tips to reduce your stress at the airport

Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks for Your Day of Travel

  • Check-in online. That way when you do get to the airport, all you have to do is do the self-check bag drop.
  • Get to the airport with plenty of time. I have recently started getting to the airport at least 2 hours in advance for domestic travel and 3 for international travel.
  • Checking luggage?  Make your luggage easily identifiable.
  • Take a photo of your luggage once it’s got the bag tag.  If your luggage gets delayed you can show them a photo of the type, size, and color of your bag with its bar code visible.   le Airport. where it hadn’t made my connection course.

luggage tips for checking your bag

  • Global entry for the win. Global entry lasts for 5 years and allows you to skip the long line at immigration as you reenter the US after an international trip.   And, it also comes with TSA PreCheck, which means when you go to the airport, you go in the TSA pre-check security line:  keep your shoes on. keep your 3-1-1 bag in your luggage and you don’t have to get my laptop out. It makes life much easier. It’s much quicker to get through. And, typically, the lines are much shorter than the regular TSA security.
  • Priority pass is a pass that allows me VIP Lounge access.  I get through one of my credit cards.  (Follow The Points Guy) so I know which travel credit cards I really should be using.

airline VIP lounge

  • Beware that free Wi-Fi.  It’s very easy to get hacked that way, so don’t log in to any personal accounts or conduct financial transactions while using that free airport WiFi.
  • Okay. I’m probably preaching to the choir on this one, but please wear socks.  If you have to take your shoes off, you do not wanna be walking through security or anywhere in the airport with bare feet.
  • Always dress in comfortable layers that are not too constricting.
  • Bring a water bottle. You can fill it up on the other side of security. I also bring electrolytes to avoid getting dehydrated when I travel.
  • Don’t rely on airplane wifi to download entertainment to keep you occupied.  Download your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, podcasts, audiobooks, or a book on your Kindle in advance of your trip.
  • Don’t forget a portable charger.
  • Do you need an electric adaptor?
  • Bring a universal phone holder.  It is great to keep your phone around your neck so that nobody skates off with it. It’s very easy to get a phone sort of pickpocketed, so that’s a great thing too.

I have tried every travel pillow under the sun. , Here are a few different types of travel pillows that you might want to consider.

I‘m gonna try the brand-new Pluto pillow, and I’ll let you know how that works. It’s a neck pillow, but it’s also got a hoodie with a sleep mask so I can be in a sensory deprivation-state and hopefully get some sleep.

Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks While Your on the flight

This section is where I let my Karen flag fly free.  Even when I pack my patience this behavior will make me crazy.

  • Please. Please. I beg of you. Do not bring your cheeseburger and french fries or other smelly food on the plane with you.
  • Please do not overindulge in alcohol either at the airport lounge, at the bar in the concourse, or on the plane.
  • Can we all please use our inside voices while we’re on a plane where we are all trapped together?
  • Along those lines, are you listening to a podcast? Are you watching a movie? Are you watching the airline entertainment? Hello, headphones.
  • Be nice to the crew and the flight attendants. Flight attendants are there for your safety. They are overworked, underpaid, and understaffed, as well as dealing with outdated scheduling systems. Just Be Nice.
  • Window seats:  you get to control the window and if the shade stays up or down.
  • Take the aisle seat if you think you’re going to have to get up and down frequently.
  • Middle seat, they get both the armrests. That’s just courtesy.
  • Please wait until it is your turn to de-plane. There is a caveat if you have a very tight connection, and you have told the flight attendants. Otherwise, there’s no reason for you to run up the aisle toward the front. You will get off the plane, I promise.

Worth the splurge, but we all know that I’m the bougie traveler and the group. Right?

  • Expedited arrival and departure when traveling in a foreign country. A lot of the countries in the Caribbean have this where For an expedited arrival, they will meet you at the Jetway with a sign with your name on it, and you don’t have to wait in line for customs. Same thing with departure. Of course, these are at a fee, but if you think your time is worth the fee, it can save you 2 hours in immigration lines.
  • A good pair of tennis shoes
  • Sturdy luggage
  • Private transfers to and from the airport, especially from I get off a plane after spending 8 hours. I, of course, have to wait for immigration and baggage claim.
  • I also splurge on making sure that I get the hotel with the amenities that I want.
  • Private tour guides, I always look at tours by local because then I can identify exactly what I wanna see and a tour guide who is experienced or licensed in that country, in that city can tailor a private tour to me.
  • Radio frequency blocking passport holder

travel tips include checking your expiration date on your passport

  • Let your credit card companies know that you’re going out of town.
  • Determine before you travel about currency exchange.

Those are my down-and-dirty airport hacks for you.  Want a PDF copy of these travel hacks?  Get your copy here.

Do you have some tips that I have missed? I would love for you to tell me on Instagram what your tips are to remain calm when you travel.


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