First Time Flyer Guide

September 18, 2012 | Top Travel Lists, Travel Tips, World travel

So it’s your first time flying. Maybe it’s just your first time flying alone. Maybe it’s just been a while and it feels like your first time. In any case, we’re here to reassure you that it’s just like riding a bicycle. Except without an oversized helmet.  Consider this your First Time Flyer Guide.

“Amazing Travel Occurs When Preparation Meets Opportunity”

The most important part of traveling as a first time flyer is in your preparation. Since airlines deal with so many flights every single day (over 9 million domestic departures a year) they often have flights change. It’s important that you check on your booking after it’s made and before you get to the airport. Don’t pull a Chris Guillebeau, sorry Chris!

First Time Flyer Guide, Check Your Tickets Often

Pro tip: check your flight details after your ticket is confirmed and again two weeks before your scheduled flight. Add on a third check the day before if you’re obsessive compulsive like me.


When Good Advice Goes Bad

While packing, typically people say “Prepare yourself for anything!” or “Better safe than sorry” but that kind of advice isn’t a universal truth.

When it Works: You are deciding whether or not to bring an umbrella with you to work today. There’s a 40% chance of rain so you could risk it. Correct response: “Better safe than sorry.”

When it doesn’t: You are taking a weekend trip to New York City to visit an old friend. You can’t decide if you want to bring shirts for warm weather or if a cold front is sweeping through. You want to avoid checking any bags at all costs. Solution: Bring the warm-weather clothes and wear a jacket to the airport (or borrow one from a friend when you land).

Take a tip from Taleen: plan for less room than you think.

First Time Flyer Guide, Don't Pack Too Much Your First Time Flying

What to Expect When You Arrive


Since it’s your first time flying, you’ve probably never gone through airport check-in either. What some people forget is that international flights ask that you arrive much earlier than domestic flights because there are a few extra items to be checked. Create a simple checklist, or use Webjet’s Travel Checklist, to make sure that you do not forget the essentials.

First Time Flyer Guide, Don't Miss Your First Flight

First Time Flyer Guide, Plan Your Entertainment Wisely

What to Expect on the Plane


You need to accept that airplanes are not as big as they seem in the movies. You are probably going to overestimate the amount of space you have to call your own. You might need to revisit the idea of sharing you learned as a young child.

While many airlines do offer amenities like extended legroom and other “comfort amplifiers” for long-haul flights, be prepared to make due with very little room. Plan to bring one or two forms of entertainment with you: mp3 players, laptops, or books are great items because they are small and can provide for hours of entertainment. Always try to make them as compact as possible.

See some our Facebook Fans’ favorites for ideas. You can see the full post here.


Have any advice for first time flyers? Let us know what you think and tell us what you learned from your first travel experience.

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