Top 10 Tips For Making Air Travel Less Of A Pain In The Butt

Let’s face it: While flying in a plane is pretty cool, for most people the reality of air travel is a mammoth pain in the butt. Regardless, we can’t all be John Madden, tooling around in a tricked-out bus so as to avoid getting on a plane. That’s why Lifehacker compiled their top 10 tips for surviving your flight.

10. Ignore the Food for Better Sleep
It’s hard to turn down a free meal, even if it’s kinda bleh. And even though many airlines are are charging for anything more than peanuts and water, feeding yourself seems like a pleasant enough way to pass the time on a long flight. But maybe next time, try passing on the chicken Marsala and focusing on getting some shut-eye so you arrive at your destination well-rested.

9. Buy a One-Day Lounge Pass for Better Service
Whether it’s cancellation, delays or extra-long layovers, if you’re going to be an airport resident for more than a couple of hours, it might be worth investing in a one-day pass to your airline’s lounge. The seats are comfier and the service is better and even occasionally comes with a smile.

8. Ship Your Bags for Less Cost and Better Protection
Depending on the number of people in your group and the amount of luggage being brought along, it very well may be less expensive to ship your bags to and from your destination. It’s certainly more efficient and can save you an awful long time waiting at the luggage carousel.

7. Pack a Starter Pistol (or Actual Gun) to Protect Valuables
This one’s a bit odd, but Lifehacker says that by packing a starter pistol or bona fide handgun in the same bag as your most precious cargo (and of course declaring and filling out the necessary form) will help ensure that said luggage is given some extra attention when it’s being carted around and stowed. But as the site says, “Buying a firearm, even a starter pistol, is nothing to take too lightly, and if you’re in a rush, it’s probably not the most efficient way through security.”

6. Load Your Laptop Bag and Make It Checkpoint-Friendly
First, Lifehacker has another list of laptop travel essentials. And then there’s the TSA’s own description of what makes a laptop bag security-friendly.

5. Use a Checklist
Lifehacker actually recommends that you keep two lists — one for everything that needs to be done before you leave, and another for everything you need to do on the day you travel.

4. Find a Charging Port in Your Airport
It’s always a chore trying to find an open electrical outlet at the airport, especially on busy travel days. You can try this Wiki that lists charging stations in airports around the world, and while I would never recommend anyone use Foursquare for anything, Lifehacker suggests going to the site to see what info users might have posted about your particular airport.

3. Find the Best Seats with Good Leg Room in Coach
Lifehacker says that in general, an aisle seat near the back of the plane might be your best bet for leg room on a flight that’s not sold out, because there’s a better chance you won’t have anyone sitting next to you. Otherwise, there’s always SeatGuru.com.

2. Neon-Wrap Your Luggage for Foolproof Identification
Don’t be ashamed, go big and bright in trimming your luggage out so it’s easily spotted among the countless other lookalike bags at baggage claim.

1. Get Wi-Fi, One Way or Another
Gina over at Lifehacker claims to have authored the definitive guide to finding free WiFi, so you’ll probably want to read up on that before you end up paying some ridiculous amount at the airport food court. Also, Lifehacker offers up this caveat: “be sure to avoid the seemingly generous “Free Wi-Fi” offers that are actually rogue snoopers and scammers and protect your connection.”

Okay, as with any list, I’m sure everyone has additions, issues, questions and more. Tell us all about it in the comments!

Personally, here’s how I prefer to get rid of the air travel doldrums:

Top 10 Strategies for Surviving Airports and Airplanes [Lifehacker]