If you’re a first time air traveler, and need a crash course in the ins and outs of air travel, worry not; we can help. With air travel becoming more streamlined, as well as more competitive in comparison to other methods of travel, it is now easier to travel by air than ever before. Any first timer to air travel can quickly become comfortable in the airport with these first time air travel tips.

1. Print out your itinerary. Always have your itinerary handy, no matter how short or long your trip is. Having a paper copy is the best way to avoid forgetting important times, or missing small details that might be included in the small print.

2. Pack 12 hours before hand. Avoid packing the day of, since rushing can cause you to forget things, or over or under pack. Have enough time to go through a check-list if you so chose to have one, and make sure you look it over at least twice. Many items such as toiletries and some clothing can be purchased at an airport, but it is significantly more expensive than just remembering to put it in your bag.

3. Carry some cash, but not a lot. If you’re traveling within the US, always have cash ready, though not so much as to make yourself an easy target. Anywhere from $50 – $100 is safe. If you’re traveling outside the US, have cash ready as well. Most foreign airports have currency exchanges, and you can avoid hefty ATM fees that will charge you in their currency.

4. Get familiar with the airport. Even if it means showing up two hours early. Check out the maps (And know where maps are), find your favorite eatery, and explore! Get to know your surroundings well, because you never know what might happen later. If your flight changes terminals or is delayed, you’ll want to know how to get around. Not to mention, knowing exactly where the bathroom is at a moments notice is often crucial.

5. Pack your carry-on bag in order of necessity. Keep any chargers, your phone, your MP3 player and your wallet close to the top, and close to your body. It makes it easier for you to find, and harder for the rare pick-pocket to get to. Keep your chargers close because in most airports, there are public use outlets that will allow you to charge your phone. The worst thing for a first time traveler is to be stuck without a way to get help.

6. Dress carefully. Back in the day, flying used to be an event to get dressed up for. Suits and ties were the norm for men, and ladies wore high heels like it was nothing. Fast forward to today, and things are a bit different. Because of TSA searches, long delays and missing baggage, wearing a suit might not be the best thing to do, unless you’re headed to a business meeting right off the plane. Instead, opt for something comfortable and loose, with minimal buttons, and no need for a belt. Your shoes should be easy on and easy off, as well as easy to run in (Just in case). If you must, keep a change of clothes in your carry-on bag if it’s big enough, and change in the bathroom at your destination.

No matter where you’re going, it always helps to be prepared. And these first time air travel tips will help you to be more comfortable on your way to your final destination.

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