Flying is an unavoidable nuisance. So how do we make it a bit less painful? I can't exactly reduce the price of airfare, but here is a basic flight survival guide:
1. Travel Light, Pack, and Re-pack.
I typically pack and re-pack my suitcase or backpack about 3 times before a trip. Although this may seem obsessive to some (and it probably is a little), I reduce how much I bring each time.
2. Don't Check Baggage.
I'd rather spend time getting as far away from the airport as possible than waste time looking for my bag. If you can help it, carry everything on-board. This usually creates problems with packing liquids and gels. My solution? Don't pack any. (I have solid shampoo and conditioner.)
3. Keep Your Necessities Accessible.
This includes your ID (passport) and boarding tickets. Don't put them away until you are sure you won't need to show them again. Even then, keep them somewhere you can reach with ease. Your boarding pass and ID will otherwise magically drift to the bottom of your bag, and it won't be fun. I promise.
4. Wear Shoes that Slip Off Easily.
This may seem like a funny piece of advice, but seriously, kids! They make you take your shoes off while going through security. Wearing slip-off shoes is only going to make your life easier so just skip the laces. It's bad enough you have to put everything back in your pockets.
5. Be Nice to the Folks in the Airport.
The more of a pain you are to the people that work security, the more they will make your experience painful. Just be polite and you'll breeze through those metal detectors.