Whether it’s flying to sleep away camp or visiting a family member, no anxious excitement matches that of an ambivalent unaccompanied minor flying alone. I’ve flown alone a handful of times now: I know what to pack in my carry-on, at what point in the security line to get out my id, how to avoid conversation, and what snacks to bring. I’ve teamed up with my good friend Annabelle, a long distant girlfriend and expert on flying alone, to share our best tips and ensure your experience is enjoyable, safe, and maybe even a little thrilling.
The Night Before Checklist
1. Download shows and spotify playlists
2. Save your boarding pass to apple wallet on your phone or print it out
3. Pack carry on bag
The Carry On
Chapstick, earphones, charger, gum, book, extra masks, wallet, sweatshirt (possibly other technology if you’re bringing it)
Always arrive at the airporttwo hours before your flight is set to board. It may seem unnecessary but it’s always better to be safe and than sorry. Airports can be super busy and hard to navigate so it’s better to have that buffer time than miss your flight.
1. Right when you arrive at the airport, first step is getting in line at security. Get your id and passport ready when there are around 3 people left in front of you. Respectfully, don’t hold up the line.
2. While in security, the slide on shoes will come in handy. I've made the rookie mistake of wearing converse to the airport far too many times. Ugg shoes or sneakers are SO much easier to take on and off, especially when you’re alone and have a lot to manage.
3. After security, your first priority is getting to your gate - even if you are sure you know where it is just get it in your view and then you can get snacks and everything.
4. Grab coffee (or another fun drink) and a bottle of water
5. Wait by your gate and dig into your show or book!
Other big tips
- Avoiding convo: If you need help at security, getting your bags on the plane, figuring
out directions, talk to anyone who works in the terminal, at your gate, or the flight
attendant. Avoid seeking aid or help from stangers. If you have AirPods in then people
won’t try and talk to you.
- Don’t try and do homework on the plane. It’’s not gonna happen.
- THE STARBUCKS APP!!! Is crucial!! The line is insanely long and the app allows you to
order online while you're in security so your coffee is ready when you get there
- Never leave your bag at your gate bring everything with you at all times (even in the
- Subway surfers is the best plane app
There is this tiktoker, Talia Lichtenstein, and she once posted something about her utter frustration at people who stand up too early to get off the plane when it lands. I realized this was also a pet peeve of mine when traveling alone last week and tagged her in a story post. She responded and we had a little conversation. So funny! So I’ll end with this don’t be one of those people who stands up right when the plane lands. Everyone will get off at the same time so just keep sitting until the person in front of you actually starts walking off the plane.
Also it’s really normal to feel anxious or scared about the whole thing. Just the idea of flying and being in a crowded space makes me nervous so it’s completely understandble if you’re feeling a bit uneasy about doing this all alone. The truth is, once you get over the 2 minute panic where you run through every possible thing that could go wrong, you get to live out your independent queen moment and you’ll realize it’s not so bad.
Excited for you all and the amazing summer that is quickly approaching (maybe has even begun)!!!!!!