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Wondering what to do before boarding a flight? Find out my foolproof 5-step process!


What to Do Before Boarding a Flight



When you find yourself at the airport enough times you start to develop your own pre-flight routine before boarding a flight. You find faster and more efficient ways of maneuvering around an airport and preparing to embark on your flight.

I have a set routine that I’ve established to help me become a good traveler making things stress-free for me and other airplane passengers as well. Read on to find out what it is!



Flight Confirmation


First thing’s first: find a flight information display and determine your gate (if it wasn’t already listed in your boarding pass).

Once I’ve gone through security, my pre-flight ritual officially begins. Some airports are massive and gates may take up to 25 minutes to walk to.

To avoid any delays, I get myself to the vicinity around my gate before doing anything else. If the airport’s small,  once I’ve found the gate I explore the rest of the terminal and prepare for the next steps in my routine.


Want to get through security in no time? Read my tips on how to breeze through security!



Find a convenience store


Once I’ve found my gate I refill my reusable water bottle if available. If the flight is over 5 hours, I then look for a convenience store where I can buy an additional large bottle of water (or two) for the flight. I get very thirsty on flights and I don’t want to depend on the sporadic beverage service offered by the airlines, especially on a thirteen-hour flight.

That happened to me once, and I rather have more than not enough. The benefit of feeling comfortable and staying hydrated mid-flight far outweighs the steep $4-$10 price tag. (I choose the aisle seat on a place so I can get up and move if needed.)*

Also, if I haven’t packed any in advance, I buy a few healthy snacks or food for the flight if meals aren’t provided. I avoid heavy meals because flying tends to be harsh on my stomach and the last thing I want is to feel bloated and uncomfortable at the beginning of any trip.


Read more tips on how to have a comfortable flight!



Killing time


If I have some time to kill, I like browsing the airport stores, getting some work done on my laptop, or reading a book. I try to be mindful of any announcements that could affect my flight. I have heard of people missing their flight while they were already at the airport!

It’s also a good idea to check in with the flight information display every so often just in case there are any gate changes or delays.



Ladies Room


Before making my way to the gate in time to board, I make a stop in the ladies room so I’m not anxiously awaiting the seat-belt sign to be turned off once the flight takes off.

I’ve had to learn the hard way never to board a bus, plane, or train before first using the bathroom.

I always try to use it before disembarking as well. You never know how long you’ll have to wait to find a bathroom on the other side.



Prepare my in-flight gear


After arriving at the gate in a timely manner I get completely ready before boarding a flight. I prepare my in-flight comfort kit and entertainment.

Once on the plane, don’t be that person that stands in the middle of the aisle when everyone’s trying to get seated. Be prepared. Have everything you need for the flight within easy access so you’re not fumbling around with your belongings as passengers board the plane.


I make sure everything I need fits into my personal item and/or purse. What’s a personal item? Find out here.



Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack11” MacBook Air


For short trips, my personal item is my Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack. It’s so spacious and stylish! I can even fit my 11” MacBook Air inside with everything else. For longer trips I use one of the below backpacks (that can also act as a daypack when needed).




Osprey Backpack | Travelon Backpack | Timbuk2 Backpack 


Inside my personal item are all my in-flight essentials including:


  • my fully charged laptop
  • iPhone
  • headphones
  • portable power supply
  • chargers
  • scarf
  • passport
  • wallet
  • sunglasses
  • eyeglasses
  • snacks/to-go meal
  • water bottle


Take a look at these awesome travel cord organizer options!


My “personal item” also contains my clear purse organizer (which holds my chapstick, hand lotion, pain killers, tissue packet, travel brush, travel pen, pocket notebook, and other small comfort items).

On long flights over four hours I also pack my jewelry pouch, makeup kit, sleeping bag liner, neck pillow, and any other important items.

Everything I could possibly need during a flight is in my personal item underneath my seat and in one location ready to go as I board the flight.

Boarding pass and passport in hand, I confidently walk into the plane and easily slip into my seat ready for the journey ahead.


One last piece of advice: There’s no need to rush into line as soon as they announce that the flight will start boarding. There’s no need to get anxious and start pushing and shoving your way to the front. Stretch your legs and relax – your seat isn’t going anywhere.


What are your tips before boarding a flight? Share in the comments!


For more tips for air travel, please read:





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