Flying for the First Time? Read These 28 Tips From Travel Experts Before You Go

Photo of author

Flying for the first time can be both exhilarating and frightening. There are many things you can do to make it easier and less stressful, though! Travel experts share 28 of the best first time flying tips to make it that much easier for you.

If this is your first time flying, much of your anxiety likely comes from not knowing what to experience. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to prepare ahead of time!

Knowing things like what to expect while going through security, what’s the best thing to wear on an airplane, and advice on avoiding extra luggage fees can be a game changer when it comes to being comfortable on your first flight.

Here are 28 travel tips for first time flyers that will have you flying like a pro on your very first flight.

1 Dress Comfortably

One of the best first time flyer tips is to dress comfortably and to make sure you have layers.

Sitting on a cramped plane for hours can be a nightmare if you’re wearing clothes that are restrictive or make you uncomfortable.

Not only are you in a cramped space with little ability to move around, but pressure changes during the flight can cause your body to feel bloated or your legs to swell.

Make sure you wear unrestrictive clothing, comfortable shoes, and have a sweater or jacket in case you get cold once you’re in the air.

You’ll also thank yourself for wearing comfy clothing the first time you have to climb over another passenger to use the restroom!

By Tawnya at Money Saved is Money Earned

2 Stay Hydrated

If you want to experience an enjoyable flight, staying hydrated is key. Airplanes create a humid environment, which can quickly lead to nausea, tiredness, and headaches. And a headache is the last thing you want at 40,000 feet!

Staying hydrated on a plane isn’t difficult. You should ensure that you drink plenty of water before and throughout the flight.

Equally, you will want to avoid coffee and alcohol (no matter how tempting the complimentary booze might be!) as these will dehydrate you even more.

Drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated on a plane though. One way to see just how dehydrating airplanes are is by looking at your skin after a flight. With the harsh air conditioning blasting in your face for several hours, your face will quickly dry out.

You can overcome dry skin by packing a small moisturizer or facial spritz to apply throughout the flight.

A good lip balm is a must too to combat dry and painful lips! And finally, you may benefit from packing a nasal spray too, to avoid dry and painful sinuses.

By Hannah at Get Lost

RELATED: Flying With a Baby? 22 Best Tips From Parents and Flight Attendants 

3 Use Points to Pay For Your Flight

If you’re a first-time flyer, you may not be aware that you can use credit card points to pay for your ticket.

Every airline has a reward program and you can sign up to start earning miles with them from your very first time flight experience.

However, unless you fly on that particular airline often, it’s going to take quite a while to rack up enough miles for a free flight.

Another option is to select a credit card that has a great sign up bonus and use those points to pay for your ticket.

The way this works is like this: once you’re approved for the card you applied for, you’ll typically have three months to put a certain amount of spend on it.

Once you’ve done that, the bonus points will be yours to spend as you choose!

At the time of this writing, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a sign up bonus of 60,000 points. You’ll need to spend $4,000 within three months to meet the requirement.

You can use that 60,000 points to splurge on something like a first-class round trip ticket to Europe or go the more economical route and you’ll be able to book a few domestic economy flights.

Using points to pay for flights is one of the best flying for the first time tips there is. Use your points wisely and you’ll be flying for the second, third, and fourth time in no time!

By Karee at Our Woven Journey

Airplane flight over Oahu paid for with points
Get a credit card with a great sign up bonus and use the points to pay for your flight.

4 Know How to Get Over Jet Lag Quickly

Jet lag occurs when you travel quickly to a new time zone which alters your natural circadian rhythm. It can cause fatigue and insomnia whilst you adjust, and the more time zones you travel through, the more affected you can be. Generally, the effects of traveling from west to east can be worse.

Our internal clock becomes mixed up partly due to a difference in exposure to light so one way to alleviate symptoms and help you recover from jet lag faster is to get outside soon after flying.

Exposure to natural daylight will reduce the release of melatonin hormones that make you sleepy and help wake you up so that you can stick to the schedule in your new time zone.

Melatonin products can help the other way around too, and help you to drift off if you are struggling.

And drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight, as dehydration will make it worse! 

By Rosanna at Rosanna Etc.

RELATED: Southwest to Maui: How to Fly to Hawaii for Free

5 Use Packing Cubes

One of the most surprising first-time flying tips is to use packing cubes. This seems an almost oxymoron because you are putting your stuff into more stuff.

However, since packing cubes use compression technology, it makes your stuff take up so much less space. They usually have multiple zippers, the first to secure the contents, the second to compress the size down.

There are two strategies for utilizing packing cubes: the first strategy is to pack your daily outfit in each cube (or your family’s outfits), the second strategy is to pack by item in each cube.

I recommend packing by outfits, as this will enable you to turn them and put the dirty items in that same cube.

Usually, the packing cubes come in packs of three of multiple sizes. The smallest is perfect for your first day comfortable outfit and pajamas the night you arrive.

Make sure to tuck this into your carry-on just in case your checked luggage arrives late. Packing super light in a carry-on will make your flight less stressful.

By Rebecca at Whatever Packs Your Bag

6 Download Movies Before Your Flight

An excellent way to keep yourself entertained during a flight is to download a selection of Netflix or Amazon Prime movies to your device.

Some flights don’t come with onboard entertainment and others charge extra for a movie package. Instead of relying on the airline, it is a great idea to prepare your own entertainment.

If you already have a Netflix or Amazon subscription, all you need to do is download your favorite show to be able to watch it in offline mode.

You won’t be able to do this once you’re on the plane and don’t have wi-fi, so add this to your travel checklist to do before you travel. You can watch them on your phone, but for the best experience, watch can movies on one of these lightweight laptops for traveling

Netflix and Amazon Prime both have a wide selection of shows. You can spend the flight time learning Spanish or watching a fascinating documentary.

Time passes more quickly when you’re watching your favorite shows which helps a lot, especially if you have trouble sleeping on a plane.

And before you know it, it will be time to land!

By Mal from Raw Mal Roams 

7 Know How to Book Cheap Flights

Preparation for a flight actually starts when searching for a flight because no one wants to pay more than they have to.

Luckily, there are several tricks to help you find the cheapest flight possible.

First, be flexible with your travel dates when searching for flights. Some days of the week, month and year are cheaper than others. The larger your date range, the easier it is to pick the cheapest moment to fly.

Second, compare different airlines through a price comparison site such as Skyscanner. This way you’re sure to find the most affordable carrier. Websites of the airlines themselves are often the most expensive!

Third, don’t be lured into paying for extras.  Be especially aware of low-cost airlines trying to upsell additional services: from extra luggage and priority boarding to selling lottery tickets on the plane itself. Most of these things you don’t need at all so be strict with yourself and keep your budget in mind.

By Emma at Emma’s Roadmap

first time flyers should use low fare flight calendars like this one
Use Low Fare Calendars like this one on Southwest Airline’s website to find the lowest prices.

8 Pack Valuables in Carry-On Luggage

If you are planning to travel and pack both a carry-on bag and checked luggage, this one is for you.

When it comes to flying on any airline, even if it’s rated number one in the world, there is always the possibility that your checked luggage will go missing. Especially if you have connecting flights!

Make sure to pack your valuables in your carry on luggage and store them in the overhead bins or below the seat in front of you. 

Valuables can include many things. Firstly, make sure to carry your passport, wallet with money, and any high-value jewelry in a sling bag or concealed purse that you keep on your person at all times.

Secondly, keep essential medications and vitamins in your carry-on luggage (never in checked luggage!) as these cannot be replaced easily while you travel.

Thirdly, place your electronics, including your best camera for travel, phone, laptop and even drone in your carry-on luggage.

If you plan to carry a drone with you, ensure you pack the drone batteries in your carry on luggage, and the body of your drone in checked luggage. Always store battery packs in your carry-on.

As a good rule of thumb while travelling, never store your valuables far from reach!

By Haley of

9 Choose Your Seat Wisely

Going on your first flight is an exciting experience that you will always remember. That is why it is important to choose your seats wisely! If you choose the wrong seat, your flight won’t be as enjoyable. Between catching beautiful views and stretching your legs, your seat choice can have a huge impact on your trip. 

If your first flight is a short one, you should choose a window seat. The view from the window is always amazing. Between watching cities fade into the distance, beautiful sunsets, and cars that look like ants, you will be amazed by everything you can see from an airplane. 

While window seats are ideal for short flights, you may be uncomfortable during a long flight. During a long flight, the best seats to choose are aisle seats. This is especially true if flying on a large airplane. Sitting in the aisle seat allows you to stretch your legs and use the bathroom as needed. There is nothing worse than crawling over strangers on a long flight to go to the bathroom!

If you really want to make sure you get the best seat on the plane, use SeatGuru for reviews of the aircraft you’ll be flying.

By Gabby at Journey to the Destination


10 Bring a Neck Pillow and Blanket

When you head out on a flight, you want to be comfortable, and often the air conditioning is too cold, or the seats are uncomfortable. A good idea is to bring eco friendly travel products like a comfortable neck pillow so you can sleep well without hurting your neck and a blanket to stay warm. There is nothing worse than feeling cold on a flight.

A sarong is also a great versatile piece of travel accessory to bring. Taking this on the plane means you can re-use it on the beach or cover up if you are entering temples during your trip. It is super lightweight and takes up pretty much no space.

An extra pair of socks can also be ideal for the flight. Why not make them big and fluffy for extra comfort?

By Linn at Brainy Backpackers

11 Savvy Use of Your Carry-On Allowance

Depending on where you’re traveling to, sometimes you might only have carry-on luggage and some airlines are extremely strict with what you can take. In fact, some economy airlines will only allow one cabin bag so if you have more than one item, such as a purse and a backpack, one needs to fit inside the other.

The ultimate hack for first time flyers is knowing how to extend your carry-on luggage allowance. If you buy something in the airport (no matter how small), provided it comes in an airport carrier shopping bag, this becomes an extension of your carry-on luggage.

So, if you’ve already packed your cabin bag tight, use the shopping bag to hold all the essentials that you want to use on the flight. Not only does this mean you don’t have to keep getting up to take things out of your bag, but it also means more space.

If your airline isn’t quite as strict, it’s still handy to have one big carry on and one item that’s small enough to fit under your seat without being uncomfortable but big enough to have all your essentials in it.

Don’t stress, just fly savvy.

By Kerry Hanson from VeggTravel

Use airport store shopping bag to help expand your baggage allowance
If you purchase anything at the airport, use the bag as part of your carry-on luggage.

12 Be Ready to Go Through Security Checkpoints

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of flying can be dealing with airport security. Even experienced travelers can have irrational anxiety dealing with getting their liquids ready and having laptops prepared to go through the detectors.

Because it’s an anxious time for everyone, people in line can also be quite rude. If you are slowing down the line, you risk alienating a massive line of people. No one wants to start their first flight that way.

While you’re in line for security, be sure to start preparing for the scanners right away.

You will need to remove any jackets or sweaters (you’ll need to go down to your lowest layer). Take all the items out of your pockets – or wear pants with no pockets to skip this step. Try to wear pants that don’t need a belt or take it off while you’re in line. 

Keep your shoes on in line! Airport floors are gross – and some airports don’t require you to take them off. 

When you pack your carry-on, be sure to put all the items that need to come out at security on one side. Laptops, tablets, and liquids will need to be removed. If you put your liquids in a small bag or Ziploc, it’ll make this even easier.

Also, keep in mind that any liquid containers have to be 3.4 oz or smaller and need to be packed together in one quart-sized ziplock bag.

By Nina of Nina Out and About

13 Use a Foot-Sling to Relieve Back and Leg Pain

If you suffer from low back or leg pain, the idea of sitting in a cramped airplane seat isn’t all that appealing. Shorter flights may not be a problem, but flights over a couple of hours long can be a pain, literally! One of the best travel accessories you can pack to help alleviate the pain is a foot-sling to use on your flight.

To use it, you simply lower the tray on the seat back in front of you, place the strap over the arms of the tray and then close the tray again. You can adjust the height of the sling as needed to make it as comfortable as possible for your back and legs.

One thing to note is you’ll want to be aware of the person sitting in the seat in front of you. Always take your feet out of the sling before you lower the tray or it will jolt their chair. Treat them like you would want to be treated and you’ll be fine.

You also want to be sure you’re not putting unnecessary pressure on the tray arms as you get comfortable.

Most foot-slings roll up small and take up very little space as a personal item in your carry-on bag. It can make a huge difference in how comfortable you are while sitting for hours, so if back or leg pain is an issue for you, you’ll definitely want to bring one of these along! This is one of the best tips for first time flying because once you get it, you can use it for every flight from now on.

By Karee at Our Woven Journey
If you have back or leg pain, you’ll want to get a foot sling before your next flight.

14 Use a Travel Credit Card With the Best Perks

Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best travel secrets every new traveler should know about. You can get access to airport lounges included in your credit card membership through Priority Pass. The lounges are available in many airports and some even have multiple lounges you can visit on the same day!

Not only that, there are many other benefits of using the card including a large signup bonus where you can receive credit towards purchasing a flight or other travel perks.

In addition, you are covered for car insurance when you rent a car so there are many wonderful perks that outweigh the cost of the membership.

You also get $300 credit off travel purchases so although there is an annual fee for the card, it’s reduced by this and the many other benefits that pay for themselves. If you’re a first-time traveler and hope to travel a lot more often, then this card is amazing and will have you prepared to travel the world. 

Jackie of Jou Jou Travels

airport lounges are a great way to relax when it's you're flying for the first time
Choose a credit card with airport lounge privileges to enjoy free food and a quiet place to wait for your next flight.

15 Avoid Extra Luggage Fees

The quickest way to blow your travel budget before even stepping on a plane is being charged an unexpected fee for an oversize or overweight suitcase.

Most airlines charge for any type of checked baggage and some even charge for a carry-on. This can vary based on the type of ticket you bought as well. Before the trip, head straight to the source and check the airline’s website for specifics.

But don’t stop there! Be sure to check the airlines bag size and weight limitations too. A carry-on that is too big may have to be checked, with an additional bag fee. The easiest mistake, one that I have made and seen many others make, is trying to check an overweight bag.

Many airlines have a 50 pound limit. Sometimes 1-2 extra pounds can be ok, but not always. You can either take out a few pounds and add them to your your carry-on, or get stuck with an oversize bag fee upwards of $100.

All it takes is a few extra minutes of research, some measuring and weighing to avoid those extra fees. I recommend packing a luggage scale to use on the way home. Those souvenirs can get heavy!

By Hailey at America My Beautiful

16 Avoid Ear Pain

For a lot of people, flying can lead to pain in the ears due to changes in air pressure. This can be quite uncomfortable and sometimes even pretty painful. There are a few different tricks that can help with equalizing the pressure in your ears while flying in order to lessen the discomfort and pain.

One of the simplest things you can do to limit ear pain from flying is to drink plenty of water before and during your flight. The airplane air is dry, which makes the nasal mucous thicker and more likely to clog your Eustachian tubes (the tubes that connect your throat to your ears). Drinking also encourages swallowing, which can help equalize ear pressure. Other things you can do to help open your Eustachian tubes are chewing gum and yawning.

If none of the above tips work, you can try something called the Valsalva Maneuver to help clear your ears. To do this, keep your mouth closed, pinch your nose closed, and gently exhale – this should push air through your tubes and help them open up.

By Sydney at A World in Reach

17 Always Use Carry-On Luggage

If you’re new to all of the airport protocols, packing can be a serious challenge!  To make it simple, learn how to pack in a carry-on bag – no matter your trip length.  Not only will it make your travels easier by knowing exactly what you brought with you, but you’ll see a number of other advantages.  

With just a carry-on, you can save time at check-in and upon arrival at your destination since you won’t have to wait for your bag at the baggage claim. You’ll also be able to avoid the high baggage fees airlines have implemented, not to mention you won’t have to worry about your luggage, or anything in it, going missing! 

And, best of all, if there are any changes to your travel plans, you’ll always have your bag with you!

To pack in a carry-on, first you’ll need to know what size bag your airline considers a carry-on and find the right luggage.  From there, you’ll want to make sure your liquids pass TSA’s rules with each individual container being no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters and all containers fitting into one quart-sized plastic bag.

Beyond that, you’ll need to pick your clothing wisely and avoid overpacking.  From creating a capsule travel wardrobe to rolling your clothes and using packing cubes, your luggage will be compact and ready to go whenever you are!

By Julia at A Cure For Curiosity

18 Bring Your Own Snacks

Whether your flight is just a short hour, or a long trans-continental journey, you should always bring snacks aboard! Especially in the current environment where delays are common, and you never know how long you may be stuck at the gate, or even worse, in the plane on the tarmac. 

As far as what to bring, keep it simple. Things that do not require refrigeration and that can get jostled around are best, like protein bars and trail mix.

Try to avoid empty calories like candy, or salty things like chips. Hydration is very important on flights so in addition to avoiding salty snacks, also remember to fill up your water bottle after going through security.

For longer flights, you may need something a little more substantial. Wraps are pretty durable and much easier to eat than salads or sandwiches.

Don’t bring something that will waft through the air gagging other passengers like tuna. A turkey or cheese wrap can last a good few hours, and so can cheese and crackers, or yogurt. Best of all, these will provide needed protein and keep you energized. 

One last tip, when bringing snacks on flights, remember your napkins!

By Denise from Chef Denise

19 Sign Up for Frequent Flyer Programs

Step one when you’re flying for the first time on a new airline is to sign up for their frequent flyer program.  This way all of your profile information will be attached to your frequent flyer account number, making it easier for you to book future flights without re-entering the same data again. 

Also, you will start accumulating miles right away and build them up over time, hopefully to the point of earning a free flight! 

Feel free to make your flight reservation on the computer but afterwards, download the airline’s cell phone app so your data will be in accessible format throughout your trip, whether you have a nonstop flight or a long airport layover.

With your airline’s app you can view or change your seat, receive notifications about departure gate, time or delays, track your bags and access in-flight entertainment and wifi.  You can even use it as a digital boarding pass so there’s no need to carry around the paper version.  Each airline’s app may have different features but it’s definitely worth it to download and use the app during your first flight.  

By Jenny at Global Game Plan

Related: What is the Southwest Companion Pass and why you should get it

20 Download Audiobooks Ahead of Time

Having a variety of entertainment within reach can vastly improve a flight experience. Energy and mood levels fluctuate so it’s important to have a selection of activities or media at your disposal.

Feeling reflective? Jot down your thoughts in a journal. Looking for mindless entertainment? A few downloaded movies or TV shows might fit the bill. Do your eyes need a break from reading a book or watching a screen? Listen to an audiobook.

One advantage of audiobooks is that they’re available from different sources at reasonable prices. Or they can be sourced from your library free of charge from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. A more robust inventory is available with a subscription-based service such as Audible.

Downloaded, audiobooks take up no space (only the digital variety) so they’re a perfect choice for packing light travellers. Many audiobooks synchronize nicely with travel plans by heightening anticipation or enriching a person’s appreciation of a destination.

Fictional works set in a particular time or place, a biography of a national figure, or a homegrown author with cultural insights can contribute to a more meaningful travel experience.

If audiobooks aren’t yet part of your in-flight checklist or pre-trip packing list, take a test run at home while driving, gardening, or completing mundane tasks. They’ll help make your next flight much more enjoyable.

By Anne at Packing Light Travel

21 More First Time Flyer Tips: Use MyTSA App

One of the biggest stresses of flying for the first time can be not knowing how crowded the airport will be when you get there. Knowledge is power, though and you can at least get a reasonable estimate by downloading the MyTSA app before you go.

You’ll be able to see how busy the airport is likely to be on your specific day and time of travel. You’ll also be able to check estimated wait times to get through the security checkpoints.

This can be super helpful when flying for the first time! The standard advice most airports give is to arrive two hours early for a domestic flight and three hours for an international flight. While that holds true for most airports, it’s not always accurate.

For instance, smaller airports are rarely as busy as a larger airport. Being able to check the app to see how busy it will be for your first flight will help you decide how much time you actually need.

Remember, it’s always better to be early than late, but checking the app can help you decide just how early you need to be. The MyTSA app is available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.

22 Get TSA PreCheck

If you have plenty of time before you’ll be flying for the first time, consider getting approved for TSA PreCheck. Not only will it save you time going through security, it will make the process much easier for you. That’s a big relief for anyone with first time flying anxiety.

As you get to the security line at the airport, you’ll notice there is a separate line for those with TSA PreCheck. It is almost always short than the main line. That’s partly because most people don’t have access to it.

It’s also because those who have applied for TSAPreCheck have already had a security check done by the government. Therefore, the screening process at the airport is minimal.

You won’t need to remove anything from your carry-on bags. That means you can leave your liquids (although they still have to be 3.4 oz or less and all fit in a quart-sized bag) in your carry-on. Same goes for leaving your electronics in your bag.

You also won’t have to take your off your shoes, belt or light jacket as you would if you went through the main security line. This makes it so much easier and less stressful to pass through security!

To get approved for TSAPreCheck, apply for it online. The cost is $85 and it lasts for five years. Even if you don’t plan to fly often, it’s definitely worth considering!

Another option is to apply for a travel credit card that covers the cost as one of its benefits. Chase Sapphire Reserve is a great option since it covers the cost of the TSAPreCheck along with the Priority Pass to airport lounges as was mentioned above.

23 Pack a Small Bag for All Your Inflight Things

Getting situated on a plane can be stressful for even an experienced traveler, but when you’re flying on a plane for the first time it can be even worse. Here’s a smart travel tip that can make your 1st time flying experience go so much more smoothly. Pack all the little things you think you’ll need during the flight into a small bag.

Then, when you get to your seat you can easily remove it from your carry-on bag or backpack, store everything else and sit down in your seat. You won’t need to take any time get situated just to find your headphones in one bag, your laptop in the other and where did you stash your snacks anyway?

Get yourself a small bag and while you’re packing for your first flight, think about what you’ll want out while you’re on the plane. Pack the things like gum, small snacks, earbuds, phone charger, eye mask, your foot sling (see above) and any other little thing that tends to be hard to locate when you’re in a hurry.

Instead of standing in the aisle blocking others while you find what you need, you’ll be able to quickly grab your bag, put your carry-on or backpack away and sit down without worrying where all your things are.

Of course you may still want to grab things like your laptop or bento box (you’re packing your own snacks, right?), but those are easy to find and shouldn’t take you long to get situated. The main thing is to have all the little things you’ll want packed into one single bag you can grab and be done.

Then you can sit down, relax and enjoy your first time flying on an airplane!

24 Keep Your Passport, ID and Boarding Pass Handy

There are many first time flyers tips and this one is important. You want to decide on one place to keep your passport, ID and boarding pass and keep them there at all times. This needs to be someplace that you can easily retrieve and then put away quickly.

If you’re checking any bags or printing a boarding pass at the airport, you’ll need to show your ID. Once you’ve got your boarding passes, either hold on to them until you get to security, or put them in an easy to grab location. Never set them down anywhere!

The best tip for going through security is to put them in a secured place, but keep your eye on that bag in particular as you go through. Ideally, you want to try to time it so that you’re going through the medal detector while your bags are going through the xray machine. That way, your important things are not left unattended for someone to (accidentally?) grab while you’re not looking.

At this point, you’ll only need your boarding pass to get on the plane. You can put your other ID safely away, but you never want it to be far out of reach. Don’t put it in your carry-on bag because there’s always the chance there won’t be enough room for everyone’s bags and yours might end up getting checked.

The easiest way to always know where your passport, ID and boarding passes are is to keep them in a designated holder. When you’re flying in a plane for the first time, you want things to go as smoothly as possible and this is one way that will definitely help you.

Click to view our recommendations

25 Consider Wearing Compression Socks

You don’t need to have problems with circulation to benefit from wearing compression socks when flying, especially if it’s a long flight. Many people with a history of blood clots or poor circulation are understandably concerned about flying. Sitting for so long can cause problems, but wearing compression socks can help considerably.

While the benefit of wearing compression socks while flying is that they can help increase blood circulation if you suspect any problems with your circulatory system, be sure to talk to your doctor before your flight.

There are several types of compression socks, but most people will benefit from wearing the kind that can be purchased at the pharmacy or online. If your flight is more than five hours, consider getting yourself some to wear. They are also good for long car rides, so you can save them to use for another time.

Be sure to put them on before you get to the airport though! Since they are meant to be tight, you wouldn’t want to wait until you got on the plane to try and put them on.

Click to view our recommendations

26 Use the Restroom Before Boarding

You may have seen movies or pictures of restrooms on airplanes, but if this is your first time flying, I don’t think you can picture just how small they really are. The less time you need to spend in it, the happier you’ll be!

Some good advice for first time flyers is to plan to use the airport restroom just before time for boarding. Since you’re going to want to stay hydrated while on your flight, using the restroom before you board will lesson the number of times you’ll need to go before you land again.

If your flight is a short one, you may be in luck and not even need to use the restroom on the plane. Either way, once you board you won’t be allowed to use that one until your flight has taken off, the plane has leveled off and the captain turns off the seatbelt sign.

This could easily be an hour, so even if you think you don’t have to go before you board your plane, go anyway. Especially if you’re traveling for the first time with kids!

airport restroom sign
Save time to use the restroom in the airport before boarding your plane.

27 Bring Your Own Headphones

Gone are the days when airlines handed out free headphones to everyone on the flight. Nowadays, unless you’re flying in first class or international travel, you need to plan to bring your own.

Some airlines have headphones for purchase, but you can’t count on that either. Of course, not all planes even have entertainment systems for you to plug into. If you’ve read the other tips for first time flyers we’ve already mentioned, you’ll know you should already plan to bring something to watch movies on anyway.

One thing to mention is that if the plane does have an entertainment system, it may have a two-pin socket. If that’s the case, you’ll need an adaptor to be able to plug your headphones in. This really only makes sense if you don’t plan on downloading your own movies to watch.

Another reason to bring your own headphones is to help with noise cancellation, especially if you’re flying at night. Something first time flyers might not realize is that the engines on airplanes can be loud. You may be seated near young children who can be loud. It’s also the universal symbol for “please don’t talk to me” if you’re sitting next to someone chatty.

Seriously, headphones are useful for more than just watching movies! Whether you pack an inexpensive pair just to get you through your first flight or want to block out all the extra noise going on around you, headphones can make flying first time much more enjoyable.

28 Pack Essentials in Your Carry-On

Many travelers try to travel as light as possible, but there are times when we just can’t avoid checking a bag into the hold of the plane. In these circumstances, it may be tempting to put everything in the hold and to skip onto the plane light as a feather, carrying nothing at all (other than your phone and wallet, of course). 

However, what if something goes wrong with your checked bag… ? Perhaps it gets delayed or lost in transit. Or perhaps you miss a connection and you can’t retrieve your bag from the baggage system while you wait for the next flight. You probably have travel insurance to cover any losses and delays, but having the losses covered financially is of limited comfort when you are separated from your personal possessions. 

As evening turns to night, you realise how important basic things like toothpaste and pajamas are. And what about clean underwear and clothes the next day? Sure, you could buy new stuff, but that’s not ideal.

For this reason, it is a good idea to pack some essentials in your carry on, including toothbrush and toothpaste, core toiletries, spare underwear and a change of clothes – basically, the essentials you’ll want if you’re separated from your bag for a day or two. 

by Martha from May Cause Wanderlust

Helpful Tips for First Time Flying

If you’re going to be flying in a plane for the first time and are trying to prepare for what to expect, this list should cover it! Being prepared and knowing what to expect on your first flight is half the battle. Just follow the advice given here, especially if you’ll be flying alone for the first time and you’ll be just fine!

Enjoy your journey!


More Articles From the Our Woven Journey Network:

This post originally appeared on



Website | + posts

Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.

3 thoughts on “Flying for the First Time? Read These 28 Tips From Travel Experts Before You Go”

  1. Always eat food at the airport before you actually get onto the plane. There are so many cheap groundside restaurants at which you can order a meal from these days. Or merely take onboard your own free healthy snacks and things to do or stuff to read etc as well.

    Consider audiobooks. You can find many different and cheap activity books located in the bookshops quite easily. Once on board the aircraft aim to spend the time flying in the air either drinking some white wine or reading/talking to the other travellers. I like to eat a dish of hot food beforehand.

    Bring patience. You will need it for sure on route. Or take a shorter flight instead. Always a good idea. Research the hotels and activities at your destination carefully. Pick one that really appeals to you and also meets your needs. Good luck.

  2. I will be traveling soon, September to be precise and this will be my first time boarding a plane, I’m kinda anxious cause I don’t know what to expect, I will be traveling from Nigeria to the Netherlands. I hope I get a smooth trip to my destination, after reading all the tips, I think I can do this

    • Hi Joy, how exciting that you’ll soon be taking your first flight! I truly hope you’re able to enjoy every minute of it. Try not to stress. You’re going on an adventure of a lifetime, but hopefully just the first of many more to come. 💗

Leave a Comment