Whether you’re hopping on a plane for vacation, a work trip, a family get-together or to just run away from your problems in general (relatable), hustling through an airport with your luggage can often turn into a chaotic workout of sorts. Luckily, there are little things we can all do to make our airline travel experience just slightly more relaxing.
Here are five easy travel tips and ways to “hack” your travel day that I actually tried.
@slicedotca save this for the next time you’re about to hop on a flight ✈️ #traveltiktok #traveltips #solotravel ♬ dźwięk oryginalny – <3
Travel tip #1: Wear a big scarf — and use it as a personal pillow or blanket
This one will always be one of my personal favourites. Since airlines don’t typically give out pillows, especially if the flight is a bit shorter, a blanket is the next best, most portable thing. Wrap a big scarf around your neck for hassle-free travel through the airport and then bundle it up as a pillow or open it up as a blanket on the plane.
I don’t know about you, but I usually can’t sleep without some form of “blanket,” and a wool scarf always does the trick. Once the flight is over, it just becomes a part of my outfit again.
You may also like: Joe Fresh has the best dupes for these viral fashion items.
Travel tip #2: Bring an empty water bottle — and stay hydrated for free
While large bottles filled with liquid aren’t allowed through security, no one ever said anything about an empty bottle. Running through security and waiting in long airport lines it sure to make you thirsty, and let’s be real, airport drinks are notoriously overpriced. Finding a water fountain around the airport is usually easy, and most even have the water bottle feature for easy pouring.
Pro tip: if you don’t want to carry around a big, clunky bottle, opt for a collapsible bottle (this one is available on Amazon, $38).
Travel tip #3: Use an airport lounge — for a comfortable airport experience
Lounges are often labelled as areas where only “elite” flyers can hang around, but there are actually options that are available to the public, regardless of your flying status or destination.
The Plaza Premium Lounge was recently renovated in Pearson Airport, for example, and they offer a great (and affordable) space for solo or family travellers to hangout before a flight away from the crowds, enjoy some food, take a shower, watch TV, etc. It really levels up the hectic airport experience, in my opinion.
Travel tip #4: Text your flight number — for easy flight updates for friends and family
Whether you’re texting a friend to pick you up at your destination or letting your parents watch your flight in real time, this trick is easy and game changing. All you have to do is text your flight number to whomever you’d like to share your details with (the flight number can be found on the airline’s website or through your booking email) and they’ll get a clickable preview of your flight, including where you’re departing, where you’re landing, what terminals you’ll be in, where your baggage claim is, and updates on departure and arrival times.
It’s so much faster than having to look up flight updates through the airline website and keeps you on top of any delays.
Travel tip #5: Clip your phone to the tray
Out of all the viral flight hacks I’ve seen, this is the one I was least impressed by. Since most flights don’t offer built-in screens anymore, flyers are left to entertain themselves through content on their own personal devices (unless you can actually catch up on sleep on a plane — in which case, I totally envy you). On planes that don’t have a phone holder built into the seats, TikTok users have been taking the bags that are provided in the pocket of the seat in front of them, closing it in between their phone and phone case and securing the top of the bag to the tray clip on the seat in front.
While this method works, it also felt wonky, and with my thicker case at least, a lot of effort to get the case back on the phone with the bag in between. I’d probably only do this in times of desperate need, AKA when my hand is too tired to hold up my phone.
You may also like: Here’s how to save money on your 2023 travels.
Bonus travel tip: Carry it on
A bonus tip for you before you jet off – unless it’s absolutely necessary, try not to check your baggage! With all the recent flight mishaps, it’s easy for checked luggage to either get lost in transit, at the airport, or just take too long to come up in the baggage area.
All recent flights where I’ve been able to get by with just a carry-on suitcase have resulted in me getting out of the airport at my destination faster, and having peace of mind knowing where all my belongings are.
Remember: most airlines allow one free carry on, plus one free personal item, so fit your things into a carry-on suitcase and a backpack for maximum space. Happy travels!