Written By: Ashleigh Kerkman
The fall semester ends on December 16th at Aurora University, which means it is the start of winter break for students and staff. There happens to be several holidays during that time until students return to school on January 8, 2018. Many students are also not on campus during break, due to traveling and visiting with family and friends for the holidays. And let’s face it the holiday’s are a stressful time for everyone, especially if you plan on traveling. The anxiety about the cost of flying, arriving at airport early enough to get through security and catching the flight, being too cold or hot, and being able to have a smooth and relaxing flight. Hopefully these tips will help make AU student’s life and flying easier if planning to travel over break and the holidays
Below are the secret weapons for easy traveling:
1. Apply for TSA Precheck
Skip the horrendous security lines at the airport by applying for TSA Precheck. There is a one time charge of $85.00, but it is good for five years at all domestic airports. , Just simply apply online and set up an appointment to go in for a short interview at a local TSA Precheck facility. Once approved, a “Known Traveler Number” will be assigned, and when booking a flight one would enter that number in and it will print on the boarding pass. This will allow someone to get through the TSA Precheck Lane at security. Also, when going through TSA Precheck taking off shoes and taking out electronics is not necessary. TSA Precheck is a must when traveling.
For more information on TSA Pre Check go to www.tsa.gov/precheck
2. Pack Light
If going somewhere with a washer and dryer available, pack less. By packing less, there is less options, making sure the clothes that are brought are being worn. Being able to travel with just a carry on piece of luggage should be a main goal. This will save time from having to check a bag. Also, be sure to check what size carry on an airline would accept, before deciding what piece of luggage to bring.
3. Wear Layers
Let’s face it we never really know what the temperature will be like once on the plane. Being comfortable is a must, especially when taking a long flight. The first thing in being comfortable is to make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. When asked, Senior, Hali Sawyer said, “my go to outfit when traveling is slip on shoes like Vans, leggings or comfortable pants, a hoodie, and minimal jewelry.” Again, it is all about the layers. By wearing a t-shirt one can put on a sweater if they become too cold. Be prepared for temperature changes.
4. Know When to Book Flights
The best time to purchase flights is on Tuesday afternoon, by then most airlines have posted their airfares and are competing with each other for pricing. Also, try to fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, because these days are usually the cheapest days to fly. The cheapest times to fly are usually early morning, around lunch time and late in the evening.
5. Bring Entertainment
People have a hard time falling asleep especially when there is noise on a plane. Bringing a good set of headphones to at block out any noise is important. Listening to music and making sure to have a good long playlist downloaded. For those movie-goers make sure to have a movie downloaded before boarding the plane. Most airlines also have wifi and movies that can be rented, but never are 100% sure what movies will be available until boarded the plane. Plan ahead of time.
By following these five tips for traveling over the holidays, AU students and staff will encounter less stress and more relaxation. This will lead to enjoyable and memorable times with family and friends. Happy Holidays!