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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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