Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Solo Airport Travel Tips

It's kind of an understatement for me to say that I love to travel! I know that I could never be declared the Queen of Travel and I haven't even made a dent in the ever growing Pinterest Bucket List that I'm currently obsessed with. But I have done a fair bit of travel in my short 21 years of life.

Although I hate to jump on the bandwagon of any trend, I tend to think I have a bit of a Gypsy Soul. I have been moving around since as long as I can remember.

I was born in California, but moved to Arizona before my 4th birthday, but I spent ever summer traveling back. I never lived in one house for long than 5 years and never went to the same school for longer than 4. I've never spent one full summer in Arizona and I live there. Every year of college I ran away to some far off mountain to fall in love with my life. And hey, I'm not complaining. But now that I'm finally done with school and my so called life is supposed to be established, I thought it was time to pick a place to stay. Thought being the key term there!!! Since graduation, I have traveled to 11 different states and haven't stayed in one city for longer than 3 weeks! So I have the travel bug, but lucky for you, I've picked up a few things along the way, including the best way to handle solo travel in an airport.

Solo Airport Travel Tips:

{1. Pack light.} If you are traveling far and need to pack a lot, then pack light with your carry-ons. Since you're traveling alone it's likely that you will have to cart your bags with you everywhere you go. I tend to pack one bag with wheels and one that I can strap on my back. When you're the only one, no one else can take your bag and carry it when it gets too heavy and rarely will you find someone to watch it when you want to go get a coffee or take a bathroom break. So packing effciently and lightly will help with the baggage carrying process

{2. Always be early.} To your gate, to check in on your flight, to get your boarding passes, to check luggage, etc. You are alone and people who travel with other people tend to think that solo travelers have no where to be on time. They will cut you off in line or expect you to move seats, etc. Also, if you are late, no one is going to hold the plane for you, or let you in line for that boarding group. There is no one to seat save or get you bag in the overhead compartment. Arriving early allows you to secure the best seat you can, get an earlier boarding group, and make sure you get on the plane on time.

{3. Make friends quickly.} Even if you have no interest in the 80 year old woman with the Nicolas Sparks book squeezed in the seat next to you, talk to her! Making friends with your fellow passengers and flight attendants will make your life easier. Make a general comment to no one when you get on the plane if you're feeling adventurous or just smile a little bigger when the flight attendant asks you what you want to drink. Having these allies will help when you're on a 6 hour flight and you have to go to the bathroom, but you're at a window seat and Grandma next to you is asleep. She won't mind you waking her up, because you're friends. And while you're back there you ask for a second soda and the flight attendant doesn't even roll her eyes because you were extra nice earlier. This helps a lot when you're next flight leaves without and you're stuck in the airport overnight with no friends...better start braiding those friendship bracelets ladies, you're gonna need them.

{4. Always ask.} I am an "asker" personally, but even more so when I travel. I would rather ask the nice airport worker where I can find the best coffee than wonder around the airport looking for the end of the Starbucks line. Ask and you shall receive. It's such a dying habit, everyone is scared that people will think they're silly or something, but instead of pulling out that phone when you need directions or help, ask! This is part of that 3. thing I was saying above!

{5. Pack snacks and entertainment} Unless you're taking one quick, non-stop flight, I suggest you pack snacks and entertainment. You won't always have someone to talk to, so I always make sure I bring a book! You may plan on a nap, but what if you end up in a middle seat!!! That would be the worst, napping seems very unlikely. So bring a book, put the phone down, and take a little time to get lost in a black and white world. Also, pack food! Something portable and easy to stick in a jacket pocket or something. We're all adults here and we know how to pack the perfect snack, but we don't always think about it when we travel. For me, most of the time flying is a full day process and I have short layovers, so I don't have time to wait in lines for food, so I bring my food with me! I always have it easily accessible, so that I can eat it on the plane, waiting to board or in the terminal, without having tons of trash or lots of prep.

I hope some of these tips help the next time to tackle the X-rays, gray buckets, and small spaces of the airports and planes! What did I miss? Any other solo airport travel tips?


  1. Great tips!!
    Though I hate to fly (like, HATE it.... b/c I'm a control freak. lol) but I do love to TRAVEL!
    I'm currently in Germany so it's been perfect! Prime spot for driving to other countries! SCORE!

  2. I love traveling too, but can't afford to do it all that often. Before I was married I always tried to fly alone. It's so nice only having to worry about you getting on the plane. For Christmas my husband and I flew together for the first time, and while it's still nice to travel alone, I really liked having someone there with me.

  3. I have such a problem with packing lightly. I'm convinced I don't even know how no matter how much I try, haha!

  4. I hate being alone, I flew to Korea by myself and than in 2013 flew to Germany with my 4 year old.

  5. Hmmm, these are some great tips. Thanks for sharing. And I always overpack