Let me just be blunt: I hate flying! It is not a mild hate; I hate it with a passion. Throw in 2 kids, excessive luggage, inconsiderate people rushing to their gates, and security guards with something to prove . . . do I need to go on? You get my point. I get anxious & irritable, which makes for an unpleasant experience for everybody.

Whether you are as bad a traveler as I am or not, it can be difficult, especially with kids. There is much too much information on this topic to share in one post, so I am going to break it up into several pieces over the next few weeks.  I hope this helps and I look forward to reading your tips as well – so, please post away.

The number one thing for me is being simple & organized- OK so that’s two. They are both important. Today, I am just focusing on getting to the airport so I am not going into detail about the actual plane ride, what to bring.

1. Be Organized: Have everything you will need, ID, boarding passes or confirmation, tip money, etc., easily accessible.

2. Be Realistic: Don’t try to make standard luggage your carryon bag – Do you really need that much crap on the plane? One small bag for you and your traveling partner and one for the kids to share is all need. This makes life so much easier, plus there are fewer items to keep track off. I will go into detail of my suggested items in a different posting (and I am sure Kerry will have her ideas as well).

3. Don’t over dress:  You are heading to the airport to go on vacation – not a wedding (and even if you are going on vacation where you will be attending one is it on the plane or in the airport?). All that extra crap you put on is just going to have to come off at the security checkpoint – and you’ll make the line longer, stressed out travelers like me more stressed, and inconsiderate people in a rush even more inconsiderate.

4. Leave the laptop at home*: You are going on vacation, not to work.  Bringing it just makes the security check point longer. If it must make the trip, safely pack it in a checked bag.

5. Be Prepared: Don’t fly often? Check out what you can and can’t bring onto a plain before your trip. If you don’t, you may be parting with some personal belongings at the security checkpoint. Click the link below for a list of prohibited items: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

6. Be Satisfied: I know it’s only been a few blogs, but come on; you have to know by now that I don’t travel well. What makes it worse is if I am hungry and tired. So, have your cup of java and some food. Don’t wait until you get to the airport to buy an over-priced muffin and cup of coffee – you need that for tips, remember?! Just eat something. If you don’t and you are like me, your irritability will be taken out on the wife and kids – who wants to start a vacation like that.

*If the laptop is for child entertainment like games or movies than by all means bring it and bring headphones. The reduced stress that comes with a happy content child outweighs the added stress in the security line.

I hope this helps. Got anything to add? Please post away. I am not the final word on this; I am still learning and am always looking for more tricks to fill my bag. I am flying with the family next week – stay tuned for an update…..

– Kevin Williams
VP & Dad