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Everyday Cheapskate: Incredibly Simple Travel Tips to Take Stress Out of Flying

Mary Hunt on

Flying is back. More people boarded commercial planes in the U.S. this past Thursday than the comparable same pre-pandemic day in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration reported that 2,147,090 travelers passed through its security checkpoints, a good indicator for what's to come over the next few months. If you plan to travel by air this summer, one thing is for certain: You won't be alone. The TSA estimated that summer air travel is going to break records.

It goes without saying that you need to get to the airport early. But this summer, as things return to normal, plan to double the time you might otherwise allow to arrive, get through security and to your gate. The TSA is experiencing delays due to being understaffed. Their rules are frequently being amended and changed, so make sure you stay current.

Beyond that, check out these tips and tricks to make your experience less stressful. After all, you do want to arrive with joy in your heart and kind words on your lips.

SEAT SELECTION

When it comes to travel, few things are worse than getting stuck in a seat that doesn't recline or ending up in a row next to the lavatory with people hovering over you for the entire flight. I avoid these kinds of mishaps by checking SeatGuru.com before I choose my seat on flights.

SeatGuru is fantastic, and it's free. You can find the seating chart for every airline, every aircraft in that airline's fleet, and the specific chart for the aircraft scheduled for your exact flight. Once you have that chart, you can see the pros and cons of every seat.

 

Travel tip: Even though Southwest Airlines does not offer reserved seating, know the seating chart for your particular flight. Have a few options in mind before you board and you'll take the guesswork out of making your seat selection once you're onboard.

TURN LEFT

When deciding which security line to get in, keep this in mind: The majority of people, without thinking, tend to turn to the right when there is an option. That makes those lines to the right longer in length.

Travel tip: Don't follow the crowd, don't go with your natural instinct. Consciously turn to the left instead.

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