Summer is just around the corner and traveling this time of year can be very stressful. From packing to making it to the gate on time, there are many speedbumps that can trip you up along the way, but the good news it that many mistakes are easily avoidable. Condé Nast Traveler Senior Editor Lisa Gill was on Weekend Today to share tips for making summer travel go smoothly.
Look up the size of the aircraft you'll be flying on to anticipate carry-on space
A small plane holding, say, 70 passengers will also mean limited overhead space for carry-on bags. If you anticipate having to gate-check your roller, be sure to pack the essentials into a small bag that you can pull out of the carry-on and take on board with you. You can easily find the size of the plane size and seat configuration at seatguru.com.
Safeguard yourself against theft while flying
An airplane is one of the last places you’d expect to find thieves, but luggage theft during travel is surprisingly prevalent. It’s also one of the most inconvenient things that can happen to you while traveling for business or pleasure. Nothing is more of a tip-off to the monetary value of your possessions than a flashy designer luggage set covered with logos. By itself, these cases can cost thousands of dollars—not to mention the real and personal value of your belongings inside. It makes you an easy target.
When in doubt, leave it out
Your family heirlooms and jewelry will be safer at home—and do you really need your diamond bracelet on a beach vacation? If you must, make sure you wear it on the plane and don’t check it with your luggage. The airline's liability for loss or damage is very limited if a bag gets lost. For example: American Airlines limits its liability payments to $3,300 per ticketed passenger, but the payback is not automatic—damage or loss value must be proven and certain items are excluded from liability, including jewelry, heirlooms, and electronics. In 2011 there were 3.4 incidents of lost or damaged luggage for every 1,000 passengers flying on U.S. carriers, but in raw numbers that's still 1.9 million mishandled bags.
Dress the part
No one wants to get held up at security, so make sure you dress smart. Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off; avoid wearing extra jewelry or accessories that could set off the metal detector; and don't layer up on clothing to avoid having to check a bag—the TSA will make you take off the extra sweaters, shirts, pants, jackets. Do bring a light jacket, sweater, or shawl to wear on board the plane. In cost-cutting measures, some airlines charge fees for blankets and pillows, and also stock fewer of them on board.