Travel Writers' Secrets: Top Airline Tips

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Jun 15, 2010 / 0 comments

I’ve got a GREAT list of travel tips for you! For our upcoming trip to Ireland and Scotland, I contacted several of my favorite travel writers and asked them for their top tips.  With their answers, we’ll share a series of ten articles on travel planning, airlines, traveling with kids, tips for Scotland and Ireland, and more. Our first was on Travel Writers’ Top Tips for Travel Planning.

We've also shared:

Saving Money for Travel or While Traveling 

Top Activities for Kids in Ireland and Scotland

Top Travel Planning Tips

Favorite Places in Ireland

Now, we've got...Travel Writers' Secrets: Top Airline Tips

Travel Writers' Secrets: Top Airline Tips

Pack a refillable water bottle that is empty to get through airport screening, then fill it up at the water fountain before boarding your airplane (as long as it's safe to drink the local tap water). Not buying a bottle of water will save money and help the environment.

JoAnna Haugen,


Call before you leave home to check that your flight will depart on time. Say some prayers - that if you end up in Dublin your luggage won't end up in Chicago (as happened to me last trip to Ireland with Ryan Air, London to Dublin).

Trish Clark,


Airport experiences can be frustrating -- just look at the number of daily news reports and blogs dedicated to the problem. We have a few strategies that we employ when we encounter a problem: stay calm, remain firm (encourage staff to find a solution that works for you) and thank employees when they help you get back on your way.

Jennifer & David Raezer,


When I'm traveling alone, for business, once I pass through security I pay no attention whatsoever to outside stimuli. The airport, the boarding process, the airplane... it's all a minefield of inconvenience and frustration. But, with a good book or magazine, I enter a zen state until I arrive.

Paul Bennett,


Arrive early, bring books for each of you, relax, work together like a well organized team. DO ask for help with your handicap and order a wheel chair as that can make things soooo much easier (we did this with my arm).

Jeanne, SoulTravelers3


From a security standpoint - always lock your bags with TSA locks to prevent items from being quickly grabbed out of your bag.  Always pack a toothbrush in your carry on - you never know when you'll be stranded at an airport.

Sherry Ott, Ottsworld


Airport specific tips 

Dublin: seems to be under construction always. it’s a fair walk from international arrivals to baggage claim. take your time. you’ll get there. If you are going into Dublin City, you may purchase a ticket on the city bus routes heading into town that’ll be your all day pass on city bus routes. You can get almost anywhere (or at least close to it) in Ireland and Northern Ireland by bus from Dublin airport, though the trip may involve a few transfers.

Journey to city center by  bus is inexpensive; trips are frequent, goes to city center with stops along the way.

if traveling elsewhere in Scotland by train, take the train into Glasgow from Prestwick. you can buy reduced fare tickets for your onward journeys while on board

Otherwise, the bus trip in to Glasgow through Ayrshire is more scenic than the train ride, I think. there’s an Elvis connection at Prestwick -- ask the tourist point if you’re interested

Kerry Dexter,


Get to the airport 1 hour early or 2 for an international flight. Plan extra time if you leave in a busy time like first thing in the morning. The whole trip will go better if you aren't stressed at the beginning.

Chris Christensen,


I always arrive at the airport way earlier than is necessary. That way, if there are accidents or heavy traffic on the way to the airport or a crowds at the check-in counter or on the security line, I still have plenty of time. Plus, I'm relaxed. I'd rather be browsing the bookstore at the airport because I've arrived so early rather than sweating from worry on the highway to the airport.

Jeanine Barone,


Do as much as you can on-line: choose your seats, check in, etc. and get to the airport more than two hours before takeoff. The air gets so dry on overseas flights; I avoid headaches by using a saline nasal spray.

Terri Fogarty,


Cocoon while you are flying--BYO travel pillow, blanket or pashima shawl, old socks to slip over your feet when you take off your shoes for the flight, sleep mask, comfy clothes.

Most Americans fly into Shannon, but we opted to go through London to Cork, instead.  American Airlines frequently has deals with two nights free in a London hotel when you purchase your ticket through them. It was a good choice, as we were traveling mainly in the South of Ireland. The airport is very small, the service from the rental car people was great, and on return we stayed overnight at the Radisson hotel just steps from the terminal.

Vera Marie Badertscher,


All the usual, i.e., getting there early, double checking bookings & passport details, good book/iPod/mag But my favourite thing is to consider the holiday starts from the minute you leave your front door & all problems, hold-ups, etc. are part of the adventure that is travel.

Zoe Dawes,


Sign on to airline e-mail lists, they will let you know when specials are afoot. Check luggage requirements, many have changed and inter-Europe flights allow much less luggage than Transatlantic flights.

Corey Taratuta,


Always check in on line and preferably fly with carry on luggage. If you are running late for the airport you will save time having your boarding pass in hand. Flying carry on will save you time, money (no credit card fees to the airline for luggage)and your body will thank you if you travel light.

Nancy D. Brown,



Do you have a great tip you'd like to share? Let us know!