Bad Air Travel Habits You Should Break

Passengers having lunch while traveling by airplane.
Getty Images/BraunS

Everyone who uses air travel as their method of transportation is looking to make their travels better and easier. Book your airline tickets and pack your bags, but before you head out, check out this list of bad habits you need to break in order to make your flights actually enjoyable.

Choose Your Seat Wisely

When airlines give you the chance to choose your seat when you book a flight online, do it. Make this a new travel booking habit: before making that final seat selection, check out the best sites online that will help you choose that seat that is far away from a noisy galley or the dreaded lavatory. 

Find the Best Airfares

There is no reason why you need to pay full price for an airline seat. Budget travel expert Mark Kahler shares his secrets to getting the cheapest flights on This website lets travelers look at flights and fares, offers advice on the best time to book the flight and allows you to create a fare alert in case the price drops.

Wear Proper Clothing

We've come a long way from the days of travelers dressing up to fly, but consider breaking the habit of looking like you just rolled out of bed or worse.

Items like classic khakis with a crisp shirt, a blazer or tailored sweater and smart, but sensible shoes will make you look pulled together and feel comfortable at the same time. Other recommended in-flight style options include fabrics that stretch like cotton knits or blends or lightweight knit cardigans in basic black or white.

Pack for the TSA

Think about which of your packed items could hold you up at the airport’s Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint -- you don’t want to be further delayed because you had the wrong things in your carry-on bag. The best advice? Learn what current airport security rules are, get the right sized carry on bag, and buy travel sizes of or fill small containers with your liquid and gel toiletries.

Download Travel Apps

Why aren’t you taking advantage of the thousands of great free travel apps designed to simplify your life? If you need help on which ones to choose, this list of must-have free travel apps has got you covered. Three favorites are TripIt, TripAdvisor, and Pocket.

Snacks on a Plane

Stop boarding your flight with a growling stomach and praying there will be decent food onboard. Taking your own food on your next flight is free and works for everyone. Full meals on flights (unless they’re international) have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Some airlines offer onboard fare for purchase, but with most flights, you’re lucky to get peanuts or pretzels. Foods like bananas, oranges, tangerines, grapes and apples; dried fruits; granola bars; energy bars; sliced cheese on crackers vegetable chips; and raw vegetables all travel well and will give you a healthy energy boost.


Lighter Luggage

Many travelers have the bad habit of packing too much and getting weighed down with stuff that isn't really necessary for their trip. There are several items that many people feel they need to bring, but you can leave them behind to save weight in your bag. These items include a laptop computer, large bottles of toiletries, multiple pairs of shoes and books.

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