Get to the airport early.
• Simply arriving at the airport with plenty of time to spare alleviates 90 percent of stress-related travel. Nothing intensifies anxiety like being in a rush, feeling lost in the airport, or sprinting to the gate like it’s your own personal running of the bulls.
• Arrive 90 minutes before your boarding time. If it’s the summer or a holiday, make it two hours. What’s the worst that could happen? You are up early enough to have a pre-flight coffee or cocktail? Exactly.
Sometimes, it’s worth paying a little extra.
• Stressed about parking at the airport, or not sure you can count on your brother to pick you up on time? Take a cab, Uber or Lyft. Depending on where you live, it’s probably cheaper than parking at the airport anyhow!
• Did you know curbside check-in is usually free? It’s true, and it is a great way to check large bags and get your boarding pass. It is customary to tip about $5 a bag, but I say that’s worth every cent if it means avoiding long lines.
Designate a place for important documents.
• I used to constantly worry that I left my passport behind. That’s why I always designate a specific spot for all important things. Every time I take out my passport, I immediately put it back in the same place.
Prepare for security.
• Holding up the security line can be incredibly stressful. Make it easier by wearing easy on-off shoes, removing everything from your pockets and organizing any liquids into a plastic bag (and storing it in an easy access spot). Hate taking your belt off? Why not wait until after security to put it on in the first place!
Eat and stay hydrated.
• This is just great life advice, and it’s especially important when you travel. Pack high-energy snacks like nuts, fruit and protein bars for when hanger (that’s hungry + anger) strikes; and a water bottle with a reliable cap to refill once you pass security.
• Listen to your favorite music, binge on your favorite podcast (This American Life, Dirty John and Invisibilia are great options!), or watch the “Queer Eye” reboot on Netflix (you can download episodes now!). Whatever will get your mind off the flight.