Today’s the day… I’m preparing for my big summer trip back home. I usually go back once a year to visit family and friends, and I’ve found that being from Michigan, summer is my preferred time of year (anyone who’s been there in the winter can attest to this choice).
As the moment of take-off approaches, I’m going through my pre-flight rituals:
1. Check-in online. One thing I LOVE about technology is the online check-in. For many airlines not only can you check-in, but you can choose your seats as well. Any experienced traveller knows the importance of a good seat, especially when flying overseas on a long flight. Some people are Window Seaters and some are Islers… this way you can sit where you are most comfortable. Most flights offer a 24 hour in advance check-in, so try to do it as soon as you can.
2. Check the luggage rules. Ohhhhh, I remember the days of 2 free bags with 75 pound (35 kg.) limits. Those days are long gone, so be careful to double-check your luggage allowance and pack accordingly. I always weigh my bags before I leave for the airport to avoid that awkward “you’re overweight by 3 kilos” comment at the check-in counter.
3. Try to pack an extra-days clothes in your carry on. I have been the victim of lost luggage too often to not be prepared. I also pack an extra pair of socks and sweatshirt for the flight, as I freeze to death, and the complimentary blankets seemed to have disappeared with the extra luggage allowance.
4. Packing: I’m a clothes “roller“. I found that not only does rolling your clothes instead of folding them give you extra space in your bag, but it avoids any creases or wrinkles when you unpack. If you haven’t tried it, you certainly must! It’s a travel saver!
5. Get to know your airports as much as you can. This is especially important if you have an international flight. Some countries have extra security (mine for example) and I know that I must arrive 3 hours in advance, just to clear all the security and checks. Every time I leave Israel, I prepare myself for this extra time factor; whereas, if I’m leaving the States or Europe I know I have some extra leeway time.
6. As you are walking out the door, make sure that your most important documents are close to you. I always keep my passport, money, keys, flight info., phone etc. in the most available space within my carry-on. My rule of thumb… what are the items that no matter what, I need when I arrive?
These are just a few important basic tips that have helped me out on my world travels.
And I’m off! See you Stateside…..