With holidays approaching, I would like to give Florida Tech students who are flying home a few pointers to make their day a lot less stressful. So, I introduce you to the “Top 5 Tips to Holiday Travel: Florida Tech Student Edition.”
5. Pack Light – Believe it or not, you do not need your blow dryer, seven pair of shoes and half your wardrobe for the holidays. Keeping your luggage light and compact will help you tremendously when you get to the airport. If you can’t pack light, a couple of days before travelling, mail your luggage to your final destination. This method is much cheaper and works wonders when you have to bring back holiday presents from back home.
4. Do your homework – Get online the night before: make sure your itinerary is set and make sure that the flight is on time. You can do this by checking the airport or airline website. In some cases, you are allowed to check in from your computer. Check-in lines at the Orlando International Airport during holidays are huge. Remember that half the world tries to fly to go see Mickey Mouse at Disney World.
3. Have a friend drive you – Assuming that your friend is a good driver, this will alleviate traveling stress on you. Also, parking at the airport is very expensive and is in no way within an average student traveling budget. Having trouble getting a friend take you to airport? Send an email on FIT forum (our university email communication system) offering gas money and one meal and you will get plenty of people willing to help out.
2. Going through security check point – Once at the airport, if you are checked in and ready to go, be ready to tackle the security checkpoint line. You can expedite the process by being ready. If you have a laptop, get it out of the bag. If you have liquid toiletries, make sure to have them all in a Ziploc bag that is easily accessible. I like to place them on the front pouch of my back pack. Also, when you are coming up on the check point, take your shoes and belt off and empty out your pockets. You will cruise through the line and be off to the gate in no time.
1. Sleep it off – The best plane ride is a quick one. Unfortunately, not every plane ride is like that. Then add the fact that you can’t do anything about screaming babies, the bigger guy sitting next to you or the guy behind you who smells of cigarette smoke. A sleep aid works wonders for me. You will get to your destination fresh, rested and ready to have fun.
None of these five tips will help you if you don’t get to the airport early. It is recommended that you get there two hours before your flight. Remember that a 1 hour wait on the terminal is a much better alternative than missing your flight and not making it home in time for the holidays.