I have family living out of state that I visit every summer and every other Christmas.  With my fear of flying, I decided years ago to make the long trip by car.  The older I got, the older (and longer) the trips got. I even tried letting Greyhound do the driving for me one year–well I won’t even go into just how many reasons I have for NOT doing that again!! Soooo, I relented and started flying.  I have to admit that it is so much easier and actually costs less.  BUT, you may not want to be “the one” sitting beside me on that 2-hour flight!  I’m just sayin’!

Since I pretty much know when I plan to travel, it is easy to plan ahead and book early to get the best airfare.  Many airlines have an online service that you can sign up for which will alert you to any special deals for your destination—check with your preferred airlines.

When traveling by air, research the airline’s policies on the number of bags you can carry-on.  Know how many pieces of baggage you can check, the weight limit of each bag, and any fees associated. If you choose to carry on your sundry items (shampoo/make up), you must place them into a quart-sized baggie to get through security. Each container can hold no more than 3 ounces. If you place your sundry items into your checked bags, there is no need to limit sizes or amounts.  I always enclose my liquids, shampoo, creams, and lotions inside plastic baggies to prevent a mess, just in case–better safe than sorry!

Is your seat assigned or is it first come, first serve? I love to fly Southwest Airlines because their fares are reasonable and also with a simple check-in online 24 hours before the flight (first come, first served), I can sit in any available seat. Ask if they serve meals or snacks; if not, bring your own. Don’t forget your driver’s license and/or your passport if leaving the country. You won’t be getting far without them.


Call ahead to make sure there are no delays or cancellations before leaving home.  Leave for the airport early to avoid traffic and long security lines. You may find yourself stuck at the airport due to delays, so come prepared with a travel pillow, blanket, your charged iPod and cell phone, a good book or magazine, and a couple of protein bars. Don’t bother bringing bottled water, security screening will confiscate it.

A well organized and planned trip can make traveling so much easier, with less stress!  Enjoy your next trip!