I’m one of the 60% of Dal students who lives out of province, which means I frequently fly by myself. Although I’ve loved flying since I was a little kid, I was super nervous about flying on my own for the first time. There are just so many ways it can go wrong! Now that I’m in my third year, I’m an old hat at flying solo, and luckily for you I’m ready to share my tips.
Get to the airport early
Maybe it’s just because I’m used to the long security lines at Toronto Pearson Airport, but I always try to get to the airport way before my flight. Factors like traffic, the number of bags you have to check, and whether your flight is domestic or international should all play into your timing. To be on the safe side, I would recommend getting to the airport at least two hours before your flight.
Don’t forget food and water
In the stress of packing, it’s easy for food and water to slip your mind. But thanks to Halifax weather, there’s a decent chance your flight might be delayed, and that’s when you’ll be thankful you’ve thought ahead. Bring an empty water bottle to fill up once you’re past security, and throw some snacks into your carry-on bag. Of course, you can buy stuff at the airport or on the plane, but they always overcharge you. If the timing of your flight means you do have to buy a meal, make sure you have enough time for it. The lines at the Starbucks can get intense during exam season.
Not every airline provides entertainment, and even if they do, sometimes the systems might be down on your particular plane. The last thing you want to do is get stuck at 31,000 feet for hours without anything to occupy your time. I personally prefer to download podcasts so I can listen to something while I try to nap. You might also want to download Netflix shows or movies to watch offline, save some music, or use this time to read a book. I suppose if you still have assignments you could work on those, but let’s face it, no one wants to do that if they can help it.
Layers are your best friend when flying. There can be a dramatic difference in temperature depending on where you’re headed, so it’s nice to be able to shed some clothes or pile them on as needed. Plus, you can save space in your luggage by wearing stuff on your body! I also advise wearing clothes that fit properly, so you’re not constantly adjusting your shirt or pants while hauling your bags across the runway.
This might be a controversial opinion, but I think you should always try to be personable with people at the airport. Normally I’m a “headphones on, world off” kind of girl, but I’ll say hello to my seatmate when I get on the plane. That way, it feels way less awkward when I accidentally jostle them or need to squeeze by to get to the bathroom. Also, if you see someone in a Dal sweatshirt at the airport, strike up a conversation! Maybe you’ll make a new friend, or at least someone to watch your stuff while you go grab food.
Did I miss anything? Share your own tips down in the comments!