Given the possibility of late or overbooked flights, lost luggage and even increasing governmental regulations, the process of catching a flight from one destination to the next is not as simple and straightforward as it used to be. Such problems are only compounded by novice flyers and those who lack general confidence in their travels. With that said, there are a number of things you can do in order to bolster your confidence and make flying smoother for everyone.

Preparing for travel

Proactive and confident travelers know that their trip begins will before they ever step foot into an airport. As such, you can begin preparing for your travels the moment you buy your ticket. Researching a particular location, establishing an itinerary, booking hotel accommodations and even renting a car to use once you arrive at your final destination can help you prepare mentally and physically.

Arriving at the airport

Confident and experience flyers know that arriving early can help streamline the check-in process and, as a result, the flight itself. Arriving two hours before your schedule flight is always a good idea. For some locations, including international airports and those which handle a high volume of flights on a daily basis, you might want to consider arriving even earlier. Some airlines even allow early, online flight check-in, which can speed up the process even further.

You’ll also want to make travel arrangements to and from the airport. If you’re planning on driving yourself, make sure you leave yourself enough time to find a parking space once you arrive at the airport. While many airlines offer long-term parking options, open spots can be hard to come by at some locations.

The security checkpoint

For many, this is the most daunting part of the entire process. Even those who have nothing to hide have a tendency to become nervous at the security checkpoint. X-ray equipment, bomb-sniffing dogs and even the security guards themselves can all be intimidating, especially to the novice flyer. However, like every other step in the process, there are a number of tricks you can use to ensure a safe and positive experience with security.

If you are a frequent flyer, you may be able to take advantage of the TSA’s pre-check program. This specific program benefits familiar faces and repeat customers by providing them with a security check that is faster and less invasive.

Regardless if you are a frequent flyer or a newbie, make sure to have all of your documentation ready to present to the screening agent. This includes any identification, passports and boarding passes themselves. Moreover, make sure none of your belongings are on the prohibited items list. This should be done before you even arrive at the airport. If you do realize that your luggage contains an item that is on the list, notify security upon first contact. Doing so could very well ease the consequences on your behalf.

Relax and enjoy the ride

In the end, it’s important to understand that problems do happen. Flights are sometimes late or cancelled entirely, baggage can easily be misplaced or lost and, whether you like it or not, some flights are bound to be overbooked from time to time. The best thing you can do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

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Kacey Mya Bradley

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Follow Kacey on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

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