Tips of the Trade

Tips For First Time Flyers

I have been meeting more and more people who have never flown on an airplane before. Then I meet others who rarely ever fly. Many of them were confused and a bit nervous about what to expect.  So I have some tips for flying the friendly skies. I also have asked a couple of great travel bloggers and a flight attendant their tips.

Tips for First Time Flyers

HollyDayz Tips

You are allowed 1 personal item and 1 carry-on bag. Personal items are purses or murses (man bag), camera bags, computer bags, book bags, etc. This bag typically will go under the seat in front of you. You should always carry valuable items in your carry-on bag. Never put jewelry or electronics in your checked bag. They could get damaged or even worse stolen. Here are some essential items  I think you should consider bringing in your carry-on.

Usually a carry-on bag is a small suitcase or small duffel. It is always a good idea to have an extra outfit and some of your toiletries in your carry-on bag. It is a great precaution because you never know if you will get separated from your checked bag. You also never know, you may need something out of the bag that you couldn’t fit in your personal item.

Most airlines charge for bags, so check your airline carrier’s website. Also check their website for size and weight restrictions so you aren’t charged more for a bag that is too big or too heavy. Be mindful of the liquids you pack. No liquids and creams over 3 oz can go through TSA . They will either ask you to check the bag or throw it in the garbage.

Many airplanes are equipped with wi-fi, but if you want to use it you will have to purchase it. If you plan to keep your phone on to listen to music, take pictures, or just because, keep it on airplane mode. It will help preserve your battery. Above your seat is a light, air, and a call button in case you need to signal a flight attendant.


Nadeen from The Sophisticated Life Tips

I have been flying since I was a baby but as an adult I have several tips for newbies.

Book non stop flights whenever possible. I love to travel, but dislike flying. Therefore, I will book nonstop flights to avoid several take offs and landings. Also, it can be very stressful making connecting flights in large airports or if any of your flights are delayed or even cancelled!

Dress warm or bring a sweater, socks or a blanket in your carry on bag. Airplanes are freezing!

Airport food & drinks may be costly, but will still be less than purchasing on most airlines. Many do not offer food for purchase anymore and some airlines like Spirit charge you just for water. If the flight is delayed and you are grounded or rerouted, airlines do not serve food or drink so you need to be prepared.


Tyra from BarrisTourista Tips

Wear airport-friendly shoes because, unless you are TSA PreCheck, you will have to remove your shoes (so spare yourself the mean looks from fellow travelers in line behind you).

Before you get on the plane, think about what best occupies you and keeps you calm. Download books, music, movies, or podcasts–on your iPad, not your phone or your battery will likely be dead by the time you reach your destination– before you get to the airport.

Tyra's Pillow & Eye Mask
Tyra’s Pillow & Eye Mask
 If you are a sleeper on the plane (like me), be sure to pack an eye mask and travel pillow, and try not to sit at the very back of the plane, where there is the most foot traffic from the flight attendants and the restrooms.

Samantha former Flight Attendant Tips

Make sure all needed travel documents are packed and ready in an easy and accessible place. Whatever baggage you are taking, make sure you have everything and not looking for something last-minute.

Have a snack so you aren’t starving throughout the check in process. Be conscious of the clothes you are wearing. It can make the process of gong through security easier and faster. Also be proactive and know a little about the departing airport and gate. This will keep you from running around the airport.


 Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you be on your way for your first or next flight! It seems like a lot, but it isn’t that bad. Just be patient and prepared. Thank you to Nadeen, Tyra, and Samantha for their great tips!

For those who do fly often what tips or tricks do you have? For those who haven’t flown or not as often what questions do you have?

30 Comments

  • Tony Jones

    I think I’m all set now! =)

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      Awesome!

      Reply
  • thesophislife

    Thanks for including me Holly! Great tips! Airport security can be intimidating so it is best to be prepared. Researching luggage allowance is also very important and I agree about having things to keep you occupied especially on long flights.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      Of course! Thank you for giving your tips! Researching is very important! Being prepared will save a lot of potential stress.

      Reply
  • Amber

    I’ve been flying my whole life and totally agree with these tips! I try to dress comfortably (especially with my shoes), pack a sweater and key essentials like snacks! lol, and book nonstop flights whenever possible. Traveling can be a headache by itself, so I like to make it as easy as possible on myself by being prepared.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      I dress comfy too. Usually in sweat pants. I always have a jacket or something because the airplane is usually an ice box. It is always good to be prepared.

      Reply
  • Rattles and Heels (@RattlesandHeels)

    These are awesome tips! I’ve been flying since I was a toddler but have slowed down since becoming a parent. That said, having taken two flights with a toddler I would say walk with extra outfit and sit close to the bathroom.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      That is some good advice for those with kids! Especially the bathroom part.

      Reply
  • Julian @BoldFearless1j

    All great tips to keep in mind when I travel. I almost never travel without my travel pillow! It’s a godsend. I also like using my travel time to catch on reading non-electronic books, with the kind of pages you have to turn manually. For some reason, I have never been all that interested in ebooks. Besides, if there’s an unexpected delay, I don’t have to worry about running out of battery!

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      I take a boat load of things to do on the plane. iPad stacked with games and books, iPod with my music. Hopefully the flight has a TV so I can watch some movies. That is true, I like it because I can have a ton of books and not have to feel weight.

      Reply
  • Christine @MomsNCharge

    I’m with Nadeen: I love to travel but dislike flying. So I always try to book direct flights whenever absolutely possible.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      I prefer direct flights as well! I only like to connect if I have to. Flying doesn’t bother me, the rigamaro of going through security and crowds is blah to me.

      Reply
  • fashionplatekc

    Nice tips!! Forget snacks for the kiddos, I need some for me, LOL! Seriously, great tips. I forget to pack a travel pillow. I’ve heard about those airline pillows. No thank you.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      Yes, must have snacks! Peanuts and pretzels aren’t going to cover it! Buying snacks on the plane is ridiculous with the prices too.

      Reply
  • everydayeyecandy

    Great tips! I really agree on the carry one outfit in a small carryon! You never know when your luggage might be lost!

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks! It is true, you never know what will happen or what you may need. It is also good to keep from digging around when you get to your destination and want to change.

      Reply
  • MJ

    I’m still amazed when I meet someone who has never been on a plane. I’ve been flying since I was months old. I think everyone should take a flight of only once in their life. These are great tips to get them on their way. The pillow and eye mask are a must! As is a snack.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      I am too, but I have been meeting more and more adults who haven’t. Yes, I agree, they should experience it at least once.

      Reply
  • Lauren @ ELC (@Expat_Love)

    As someone who flies semi-frequently, I think that these are all good tips. I really agree with the tip saying that we should bring items that calm us down. This is real helpful for those who may potentially have a fear of flying.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, some people get really nervous. Rather than bring calming things that make them relax they get drunk on the plane.

      Reply
  • Nicole

    Great tips! It’s funny, as much as I travel, I don’t have a travel pillow! The main thing for me is dressing comfy. When I have a super long flight (I’ll be heading back to USA from here in the Middle East in a month), I try to stay up awhile so I can get some rest on the flight. It’s quite difficult sometimes for me to sleep on the plane and this will be like a 13 hour flight.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      I have a travel pillow, but I usually forget it lol. Yes! I have to dress comfy! That is a must. Try some melatonin. Might knock you out for a little while.

      Reply
  • The Guy

    Nice set of tips here and it is always fascinating how so many people have yet to fly.

    Nadeen offers a good tip for those who are scared of flying. If however you are trying to protect the pennies and are on a tight budget then find a route with connecting flights could save you a reasonable amount on the cost of a direct flight.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      Yea or if you just want to get on the flight and get it over it.

      Reply
  • Siobhan (BeFree Project)

    I know a few people that have never flew on an airplane before because of a fear of flying. I dislike long flights too, so I prefer non stop flights as well. An absolute must have is a book or magazine to keep me occupied during the flight.

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      The people I have met haven’t flown just because. I can deal with long flights, but I have to get up sometimes and walk around. Sometimes I read the magazines they have in the seat pocket.

      Reply
  • Carin Kilby Clark

    These are great tips. While I love to be up in the clouds, flying can be such a hassle sometimes. Definitely need a good book, comfy clothes, a sweater, and my neck pillow. If any of those items are missing I’m just not going to be right for the whole flight. Haha

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      Comfy clothes are always high on the list. Especially when it is a long flight.

      Reply
  • Tess | BlondVoyage (@blondvoyage)

    Important tips! Will keep in mind for my next flight!

    Reply
    • Holly Dayz

      I am glad these tips are useful for you.

      Reply

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