How to not drive yourself crazy when going to the airport

Minnie Ongsricharoenporn

Whether you’re headed home to California or taking a trans-Atlantic trip to London over January break, the thought of packing or laboriously hauling luggage to the airport may dampen the excitement. From battling for taxis with morning commuters to dodging soaring ticket prices, these traveling tips can come in use for any of the upcoming holiday season.

Ticket prices

Reserve your flight tickets as soon as you can because the early bird gets the worm. Certain airlines like Virgin America and Spirit display daily ticket prices within the calendar year so you can calculate your air travel expenses way ahead of time. Try to book three weeks in advance but the earlier the better.

Pack light

Packing light may not be an option if you’re on a long vacation or going home for all of J-Term, but your luggage can fit more than you think. Place your clothes in a vacuum-sealed bag to free up space for anything else you might need. Maximize baggage space by placing any loose or fragile items between your clothes, which will cushion your belongings and also fill up any gaps inside your luggage. Huge bags are worth checking for $25 in case they exceed the size and weight limit for carrying onto the planes. Or in the lucky event you are traveling abroad, checked baggage is included in your ticket fare.

Cheap transportation

There are an unlimited number of ways to get to the airport that won’t cost you an arm and a leg this winter. Take the A train to Howard Beach/JFK station and switch to the AirTrain, which stops at all terminals within JFK. This trip will cost you no more than $10, but be prepared to sacrifice some time for possible train delays. For about $40, those who want a little more comfort and convenience can share a ride with a friend or a stranger with UberPool. Also take advantage of airline car services, which occasionally offer services at discount rates.

Comfort is key

Lighten your body load and prep yourself for a swift stride through airport security by wearing light clothes and layers that you can easily tuck away if it’s chilly. Ditch the jewelry and accessories, and keep all pocket items like keys and wallets in your carry-on until you’ve passed the body scanner. Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to take off so that you don’t keep anyone behind you waiting as you struggle to shake off your boots.

Email Minnie Ongsricharoenporn at [email protected].

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