Simple Living

15 Tips To Make Your Next Flight Easier


I used to bring way too many things on a trip- I would just toss items in my suitcase and it would quickly become a jumbled mess. I would grab any plastic bag for my toiletry items, resulting in me getting stopped by a TSA agent for my “quart”-sized bag. (He held up a quart-sized bag next to my gallon-sized one and said, “THIS is what you’re supposed to be using.” Oops.)  Over the years I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to packing smart and getting through the TSA line quickly. Here’s my top 15 tips for airline travel:

  1. Fly Southwest. They are the only major airline company with no checked bag fees and no transfer fees. Their cheapest fares aren’t refundable, but you can use your credit towards a future flight if you have to postpone one that you paid for.
  2. If you aren’t checking a bag, save space in your quart-sized Ziploc bag by swapping out liquid items and packing non-liquid versions instead.
    • Bring lip balm or lipstick instead of liquid lipgloss
    • Bring facial wipes instead of face wash
  3. Keep your quart-sized bag in an outer suitcase pocket for easy access when going through the TSA line.
  4. Download your boarding pass to your phone so that you don’t have to keep track of a paper one. This allows you to skip the check-in line also.
  5. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to check in for your flight 24 hours in advance. With Southwest, the earlier you check in, the better boarding position you will receive.
  6. Try to think like a minimalist when packing- what do you really need on your trip and what can you do without? Pack clothes, socks, jewelry, belts, and accessories in all one color scheme so that everything coordinates and you don’t have to bring an extra pair of shoes or socks for that one outfit that doesn’t go with anything else.
    • Color palettes that go well together:
      • Black, grey, blue, and purple with silver jewelry
      • Brown, red, yellow, and coral with gold jewelry
  7. Turn clothes with lace, sequins, beading, etc. inside out before folding so that they don’t get caught/snagged in your suitcase zipper.
  8. Roll clothes like dresses and shirts before putting them in your suitcase- they wrinkle less and take up less space.
  9. Pack your rolled clothes in a trash bag before placing them in your suitcase. This will protect your clothes from getting stained if your toiletry items leak. It also gives you a dirty clothes bag to have on hand during your trip (hotel ones are pretty small).
  10. Those gallon-sized Ziploc bags may not be allowed in your carry-on bag, but they are great for packing full-sized toiletry items in when they are going in your checked bag. Items often leak and this will help contain the mess.
  11. If you travel often for work, keep a separate set of mini toiletry items and a toothbrush (packed in a quart-sized bag) in your suitcase when it’s at home. That way, you don’t have to remember to pack these items each time you leave.
  12. Keep a master packing list on your phone so you don’t have to create one for every trip.
  13. Wear your bulkiest pair of shoes (sneakers, etc.) through the airport and pack the slimmest ones (flats, flip-flops, sandals, etc.) to save space in your suitcase.
  14. If you usually opt for the pat down instead of going through the scanners, wear shorts and a tank top if possible. This way the pat down requires much less time.
  15. Bring brightly colored contact lens cases for storing small items that are easily misplaced. These are great for: earrings, small pills, and for when you only need a small amount of something like hair gel or face wash for a weekend trip. If you are going to be putting something gel in them, contact lens cases are easier to reuse and clean out than the empty plastic travel size bottles that you find at the store.


What are your favorite traveling tips for when you are flying? Please share them below!

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