Thanksgiving may be behind us, but the holidays are still in full force. We know how easy it is to get overwhelmed with all the shopping, traveling, and, not to mention, figuring out perfect New Year’s Eve plans. Whether you’re flying out to celebrate a white Christmas in the Midwest or you’re skipping the snow in favor of a beach getaway, we want to help you Arrive Happier this year. (Or should we say… Arrive Merrier!)
Know the LAX Parking Secrets
Depending on where in LA you’re coming from, it’s often not only easier to drive to the airport but also cheaper! If you’re trying to save either your money for Christmas presents or your energy for family time, book your parking space in advance with Pavemint. With budget spaces a quick five-minute rideshare from your terminal and valet pick-up and drop-off in your own car, there’s no reason to do it any other way!
Wait on the Gift Wrap
If you’re flying this holiday season, don’t wrap your gifts before you pack them! TSA can legally unwrap them when searching your luggage. So don’t risk having to wrap twice (because we’re pretty sure there aren’t any airport elves around to fix your carefully-tied bows).
Get Your Blood Flowing
Are airline seats getting smaller or are we just getting bigger? If you have a long flight ahead of you, pick up some compression socks to keep your blood flowing and stay comfortable. Also, don’t be afraid to get up and stretch your legs every hour or so! As long as that fasten seatbelt sign is off, you are free to shimmy about the cabin.
P.S. We’re partial to Charmking Compression Socks, available on Amazon in a three-pack for just $13.99. Hello, 2-day shipping!
Skip the Lines
NEXUS/US Global Entry pre-approves low-risk travelers so you can get through airport security faster. Fill out the online application and book your interview (they’re usually about 10-15 minutes long). The fee ranges from $50-100 and it’s active for five years. As a bonus, Global Entry travelers are more likely to qualify for TSA Precheck, and if you book the tickets for your group, you all get to skip the line!
If you can’t swing Global Entry this year, you can also simply choose to go left! Research shows that right-handed people favor the right side when given a choice. With lefties making up only an estimated 10% of the population, making the conscious decision to go left at security could definitely save you some time!
Find Cheap Flights
Hopper, a free app that makes finding the best travel deals easier, constantly tracks airline ticket prices and then uses that data to predict the best time to make your purchase. If you’re not ready to book right away, you can also set up notifications to let you know where prices are heading, so you know you’re getting the best deal.
Get Compensated for Delays
Having your flight delayed, canceled or overbooked is a terrible way to start or end a holiday trip. Luckily, the app AirHelp makes getting compensated for your inconvenience way easier. Instead of dealing with the long phone calls with customer service and the inevitable wild goose chase, AirHelp determines what you’re entitled to, files the legal work and collects the claim on your behalf. The best part? They won’t charge you unless they’re successful!
Don’t Drink the Water
A hot drink on your flight may sound nice, but trust us, you’re going to want to resist. Generally, coffee and tea are brewed with water from the plane’s tap, and regulations that determine how often a plane’s water tank is disinfected are surprisingly lax. In today’s gross news, EPA testing in 2012 showed that 12% of the commercial planes they surveyed tested positive for coliform bacteria (oh hey, E. coli) at least once. Our solution? Buy your coffee or tea in the terminal and bring your own bottle for water. Most terminals have water filling stations with clean water and convenient stands. We love the collapsible and super-cute que Bottle.
Enjoy the View
In other gross news, a new study shows that passengers seated in the rows surrounding a sick person are 80% more likely to catch whatever they have. They also found that passengers seated next to a window and in the front or back of the plane made significantly less contact with germs. So make sure you’re taking vitamins and zinc supplements and consider your seat choices next time you fly!
Ditch Your Old Tags
It might seem like common sense, but always remove the old tags from your luggage! If you’re flying to New York, but you still have a baggage claim tag that says Hawaii, you run the risk of confusing both the luggage handlers and the conveyor belt scanners, which might result in lost or delayed bags.
Happy Holidays from Pavemint! We hope you enjoyed our LAX parking secrets and other holiday travel hacks!