I love traveling, but I really dislike airports and planes. Just recently, I left my driver’s license at security in Oregon and didn’t realize until I was trying to get back from Minnesota. We thought I was going to be trapped, but then a TSA agent told me I could still get through security, they would just need to do extra vetting and a full pat-down. I made the flight and recovered my driver’s license in PDX! A lost ID is just one of the more common travel problems. Here are some others and what to do:
Delayed or missed flight
If I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get through security in time, we would have missed our flight and had to stay in the airport for who knows how long. Flights often get delayed, too, leaving passengers to entertain themselves. If you fly a lot and hate waiting around in airports, book non-stop flights so you don’t have to risk missing flights or long layovers. Before heading to the airport, always check the flight’s status online for any changes. Even with the best planning, sometimes you end up stranded for a while, so bring books, a charged phone and laptop, and cash for snacks. When you’re using free wifi, be sure to stay safe using these tips from Forbes.
You’re in line for security and it’s taking a long time. There isn’t a lot you can do except stay calm. Have your ID and boarding pass ready so the agent can quickly verify who you are and get you through. Always comply and don’t get upset if you’re held up for any reason. It looks suspicious and won’t endear you to anyone. If you really hate lines, consider the TSA PreCheck program, where you don’t have to remove shoes, belts, jewelry, liquids, and laptops. On average, you’ll wait less than five minutes.
One of the most frustrating things that can happen when you’re flying is the airline loses your luggage. This can’t always be prevented, but just in case, be sure your bag(s) doesn’t have old flight tags on it. You might also consider adding a ID tag with your number on it, so whoever finds it knows who to call. To prevent further frustration should you bag vanish, keep some essential items in your carry-on, like a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, medication, a change of clothes, and so on. Be sure everything will get through security.
On the same trip where I lost my ID, I got sick on the airplane. Everything seemed fine for the majority of the flight, and then after waking from an uncomfortable nap, I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out. I ended up on the floor of the bathroom with a flight attendant offering ginger ale and pretzels . It turned out that the dramamine I took had expired and therefore worn off much sooner than it should have. I learned my lesson and immediately bought a fresh bottle upon landing.
Making sure any motion sickness medication you take is going to work is just one of the “must-do’s” when anticipating sickness during air travel. Ear plugs, antacids, and zinc are also good options for fighting nausea and boosting your immune system, since airplanes are packed with germs. Avoid trying something new when flying, unless you have a backup at the ready. You don’t want to end up stuck on a 10-hour flight with severe motion sickness and no reprieve in sight.
Many of us have traveled by airplane, but what about by train?