The Nightmare before the Vacation

Hello from Sunny Florida! Yes, I am in Florida this week with friends celebrating the fact that we have survived four years of college (I can’t believe it’s really over). But before we reached our final destination we had to face the ultimate nightmare: the airport. There is so much that can go wrong at the airport. They are usually overcrowded and people are just plain mean. Everyone hates the airport, so why don’t we try to make it a little easier for us all? Here are a few quick fixes that travelers could easily do to make everyone’s airport experience a hell of a lot better (not speaking from experience or anything – wink, wink):

*Before you even get to the airport, in fact before you even start packing, look up airport guidelines for carry-on luggage (i.e. what you can/cannot bring). Security is the worse part of air travel so anything you can do to expedite the process would be appreciated by everyone (and even the grouchy security personnel- just remember, they are only grouchy because they deal with so many people who don’t follow the rules).

*Before you leave your house to go to the airport- shower. It’s really that simple. You are going to be in a small space with a lot of people for a long time and you might not even notice it yourself but the tiniest of odors is much more noticeable in a crammed airplane.

*If you opt to use a moving walkway (and they are pretty awesome) and you want to stand rather than walk, simply stand to the right. Most people use the moving walkway because they are in a rush or need to be somewhere soon so make sure to leave room for these people to walk (or run) past you.

*In the terminal, don’t hog space in the seats in the waiting area around you. Despite what you may believe, your laptop bag does NOT need a seat of its own.

*Make sure to board with your assigned zone. It really just makes the boarding process go by so much faster and the people who are boarding first are doing so for a reason. Plus, who really wants to get on that airplane before they have to?

*Put small stuff, like purses and small bags, under the seat in front of you rather than in the overhead bins. Other people need as much space as possible to put luggage that actually won’t fit under the seats in those bins.

*Get everything that you need from the luggage you are storing in the overhead bin before the flight takes off. It’s really annoying to watch/maneuver around someone rummaging through the overhead bin during the flight.

*Let’s face it- the middle seat sucks so let that unlucky traveler get the arm rests. It’s only fair.

*If you want to recline your chair (and you do have the right to do so) it’s polite to look behind you first. Make sure the person behind you knows that you are going to recline so they can brace whatever is on their tray table or move their legs so they don’t get jammed.

*Try to be polite and friendly to the airplane staff. They have to deal with so many complaints and nasty people every day that I don’t blame them for being a little feisty at times (so don’t take it personally).

*Let the people in front of you off the plane first. If people from the back of the plane start jamming up the aisle rushing to the front of the plane, the exiting process will just take longer for everyone.

*Last stop: the luggage carousel. Try to find the least crowded spot to wait for your luggage and stand back from the carousel a little. There is no reason to stand right up next to it until you see your luggage coming. If you have my luck your luggage will probably be the last one anyways.

Going on vacation is great- once you get there. The airport can be a complete disaster and a bad experience can really ruin your entire day. Let’s try to make everyone’s day a little happier one vacation at a time.

Go practice your ‘lipstick confidence’! Now, I’m off to the beach!

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