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Travel Like a Pro: Tips From the Frequent Flyer Club

posted: 12/01/16
by: Katie Morton
young business woman waiting on a chair in airport lounge, wearing formal wear and sitting near her luggage.
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Flying these days can make running a marathon seem relaxing. With epic security lines to navigate, possible weather delays, and jam-packed airports, it's no secret that flying may leave you frazzled.

While we can't entirely remove the hassles of airline travel, here are some pro tips to make your next flight more enjoyable.

1. Snag the Best Seats in the House

Pros say that window seats are the best seats in the row. You can stretch your legs, you have a view, and you're not disturbed by passengers going in and out to use the restroom. As for your location on the plane, seats by the wing are often the most comfortable as they're less likely to be impacted by plane turbulence.

For more on how to score the best seat on every flight, check out Huffington Post's pro advice from those in the air travel industry.

2. Carry-on is King

Packing light can be a challenge for many of us. That said, learning how to efficiently pack your carry-on suitcase will make navigating the airport far easier. Plus, packing a carry-on ensures that you won't lose your luggage mid-trip.
Pros say that they rely on checklists for their optimal carry-on packing. One tip is to wear your heaviest shoes and coat on the plane, so that you don't waste precious room in your pack. For easy advice on how to pack your carry-on like a member of the airline industry, check out the Wall Street Journal's How to Pack Like a Pilot.

3. TSA PreCheck

One of the necessary evils of air travel is the pre-boarding security screening. TSA PreCheck is one way to make screening faster and bearable.

What's TSA PreCheck? Basically for a fee, TSA PreCheck allows qualifying fliers faster screening through a pre-approved expedited line. The best part: TSA PreCheck fliers are allowed to keep their shoes and belts on, and their laptops on their person. TSA PreCheck costs $85 per traveller and requires pre-flight fingerprinting. Visit the TSA PreCheck website for more details on how to apply.

4. Dress for Warmth and Stay Cool

Here's the best way to dress on a plane: Layers! Plane travel can go from hot to cold in a minute, and having comfortable layers to adjust as needed can keep you cozy mid-flight. Think leggings or pants, a long cotton shirt, and a breathable sweater or jacket. Of course, you'll want socks and slip-on shoes for breezing through security.

Pros say that no matter what you wear on-board, you should accessorize with a versatile scarf. Your scarf can be used for warmth or even as a blanket or neck pillow, in a pinch.

Check out In-Style's photomontage of how celebs travel in style to find inspiration for your own jet setter look. Note: Paparazzi obscuring dark shades are entirely optional, but always look glamorous.

5. Eat Mindfully

Heavy meals pre-boarding or on flight can leave you feeling sluggish and jet-lagged. Pros say to eat something with a healthy mix of good carbs and light protein about an hour before boarding. Then you can pack your own light protein snacks for the flight, avoiding the salt and fat-laden, mid-flight meals.

Cheese and whole grain crackers, almond butter and wheat toast, and dried fruit are all good mid-flight snack options. For more carry-on nibbles, check out USA Today's list of nutritious, packable noshes.

6. Stay Hydrated

In-flight cocktails can be fun, but they can leave you puffy and dehydrated. Better options include warm green tea or plain old water. Bring your own bottle on board--purchase a bottle after you go through security or fill your own refillable bottle with filtered water from the fountains--and sip throughout the flight to stay well hydrated.

With our pro-approved tips, you're all set to fly like a member of the Frequent Flier Club!