Recently I had the opportunity to travel to San Jose by myself. I am by far a pro when it comes to flying so I was not excited to go. However my trip went well. But I do have some tips for those of you that do not travel often or who are traveling alone. Here are some of my tips for those who are traveling alone.
Know where you are going – Airports can be big and busy. It can be overwhelming to figure out where you are going and how to get there. Do your research before your flight. You want to know what airlines are you flying and what gate are you flying out of. It will make it easier for you to find out where you have to be.
Take your time – One of the most important things to remember when traveling alone is to take your time. When you rush you will more than likely make a mistake. You could leave something behind at security or do something that will flag you for a complete security check which no one wants to go through.
Give yourself plenty of time – Airlines and airports suggest arriving at the airport at least 2 hours before your estimated departure time. For international flights the suggested arrival time is 3 hours before your flight. Take that time suggestion to heart. Security lines could be long, baggage check-in lines can be long. There are many things that can take time when checking in for a flight.
Research your destination – Figure out what is available to you at your destination. You will feel more comfortable getting around when you are more familiar with the destination. You should also research the airports that you are traveling in and out of. You can get an idea about what is available for you to shop, eat and spend time doing while at the airport.
Make friends at your own risk – As I mentioned earlier I am not big on travel. I like to keep to myself, keep my mind busy on other things. I am not really looking to make new friends. Some people love to talk to others. If you have a long flight and strike up a conversation with someone you are sitting next to for the next 5 hours, it can make for a long flight.
Bring enough things to keep you busy – Long flights can become longer if you do not have things to keep you busy. Some airlines play movies during long flights, but a lot do not. Your carry-on bag should include items that will keep you busy and entertained during the whole flight. Books, magazines, hand handled games, playing cards, and tablets are all items that can keep you busy during your flight. Some airplanes have internet access for a extra fee. But not all airplanes do. Plan accordingly.
Be prepared for hiccups – I don’t want anyone to freak out but when you travel that is a chance that something could go wrong. Your carry on could be too big, your flight could be running late, and you could miss your connecting flight. What you should remember is millions of people fly in the United States every day, and if something goes wrong the airlines will help you resolve the issue.
Ask questions, ask for directions, ask for help – Airport employees, airline employees are here to help you get to your destination as smoothly as possible. Do not be afraid to ask for help, directions or just ask a simple question. They want to help you and make you feel comfortable. As a person who does not fly often I let others know that I am by far not an expert at flying. People are more than willing to help me through the process.
My top three from my list would have to be take your time, know about the airports you are flying out of and remember to bring enough things to keep you busy during the flight. If you follow these tips for your next trip you should have a flawless trip to your destination.
Do you have a tip not listed above for those traveling alone? Post a tip in a comment below!
Kristen Curzytek is a writer for Retiring Wise. Give us a call at (800)401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.