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More Than 10 Travel Tips to Beat Airport Drama

More Than 10 Travel Tips to Beat Airport Drama

We all know airports can be major headaches. From security lines, to delays, lost luggage, and seating, it seems there is little we can do to get ahead. Or is there?

Actually, there are a few things you can do to make this whole process a little faster and less painful. Below, I outline over 10 travel tips that can help you get through lines faster and be prepared when things go wrong.

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  1. When traveling, set your laptop’s screen password lock on. One of the most insecure times for your laptop is when you’re on the go. If you happen to set it down or it gets lost without the screen password enabled, someone can easily open the lid and have a full run of the mill.
  2. Make sure you save your airline’s reservations and customer service numbers in your phone. Even better, write them down in case your phone goes dead. When things start going wrong, these numbers can be a life saver.
  3. Sign up for TSA Pre at http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-pre✓™. TSA Pre allows you to go through a special security line. You can keep your laptop in your bag and your shoes on. Not all airports or airlines participate in this service yet, but by signing up now, you’ll be ready for those that do. (Note that it takes around six weeks to get approved.)
  4. Removing your laptop from your bag can be one of the most time-consuming transactions in the security line. Before entering the security line, take your laptop out of its case and put it near the top of your bag. This will make your move through security much simpler and faster.
  5. Also, before you enter the security line, take all items out of your pockets and put them in your bag, except your ID and boarding pass.
  6. Check-in online prior to your flight once the 24-hour window opens. For example, if your flight is at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, check-in just after 3 p.m. on Monday. If possible, print your boarding pass at this time rather than getting it at the airport.
  7. In fact, you should print two boarding passes before arriving at the airport. Keep one on you and another in your bag. Some airports will not print a boarding pass if you arrive after your flight’s boarding time (a half hour before departure), even if you have checked in online. (It is best to be at the gate an hour before boarding.)
  8. If you’d like a discounted upgrade, inquire about this at the check-in counter. If any are available, you can get good deals at this time, although you might be told to check with representatives at the gate.
  9. If you are using airport Wi-Fi, use secure protocols for email. If your email program is not logging into mail servers securely, it is best to leave it off while on airport WiFi. Otherwise, your email login info will be broadcast as plain text for anyone lurking and able to see. Beware—iPads automatically check email and their mail program can’t be turned off. If you use your iPad, put it in airplane mode to prevent it from trying to log into any mail server.
  10. Be sure your bag(s) have good identifying information secured to them. If they get lost and airport personnel find them, they will know who to contact.

A few additional tips for carry-on and checked bags will help you avoid further airport drama.

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Carry-On Bags

  • If you must valet check your bag (it gets checked at the airplane door), especially on regional or full flights, be sure to remove your laptop. Your bag will go in the luggage hold with everything else, increasing the chance it will get damaged. Getting a smaller bag that works better for full flights and fits regional jets can help you avoid valet check-in.
  • Also, try to place your bag within viewing distance of your seat, allowing you to keep an eye on it as people deplane. This can help you avoid the unlikely event of someone accidentally taking your bag.

Checked Baggage

  • Put large, unique marks on your bag(s), making them easy to identify at a distance. When bags begin coming off the carousel, they can all look alike. If your bag stands out, you’ll see it from a distance and can go over and grab it, rather than waiting for it to come around. This also lessens the chance that someone will accidentally walk off with your bag.
  • Be sure there isn’t anything in your bag of value because there is a chance security will open it and go through your bag.
  • Consider shipping anything of value by carrier (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.) with insurance.

Airports aren’t fun but you can improve the experience by following these tips, which are simply meant to prepare you for various scenarios. Luggage can be lost, laptops can get damaged, and passwords can be stolen on airport Wi-Fi. Hopefully now you are a little more prepared to avoid (or worse, handle) those scenarios.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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