First-Time Flyers: Your Ultimate Guide to Smooth Takeoff

As a first-time traveller, you must avoid making some mistakes that might prove a little costly for you. in this post. We will look at practical tips for flying for the first time that will prevent you from making any mistakes.

I still recall the first time I was to fly because I nearly missed my flight on that fateful day in 2009. My flight was booked for the evening, around 5 or 6. I decided to head to the airport 30 minutes before the flight was scheduled to take off, unaware there was a check-in period for every flight.

Not only did I get there later than I anticipated (no thanks to a little traffic jam on the way), but I also missed the check-in period. Thankfully, I could explain my plight to the attendant as a first-time traveler, plus the plane was fueled for takeoff. The point of this story is that my ignorance as a first-time traveler nearly cost me my ticket.


As a first-time traveler, you must avoid making some mistakes that might prove a little costly for you. in this post. We will look at practical tips for flying for the first time that will prevent you from making any mistakes.

5 Tips for Flying the First Time

1.  Arrive Early

Tips For Flying For The First Time - A lady at the airport with her bags and luggages
Source | Pexels | Gustavo Fring

This is the most crucial point to note because missing your flight renders every other tip useless. As a rule of thumb (except if you are flying for the first time on your chartered flight), you should arrive at the airport at least one hour before your flight is scheduled to fly for domestic and three hours for international flights.

Furthermore, arriving early would prevent you from rushing through security checks and give you extra time to go through your luggage without running. It would also provide ample time to correct any mistakes in your documentation, especially in this post-covid era.

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On the other hand, if you feel you can sweet-talk your way through when you arrive late, you can disregard this tip at your peril.

2. Note The Luggage Requirements

A luggage with a globe on top and a passport/visa
Source | Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko

Traveling for the first time is exhilarating and can make you overpack. Overpacking is not bad; different airlines have different requirements for their passengers. As such, before checking in for your flight, check your airline’s website for baggage fees, luggage size, and weight restrictions.

As a safeguard, you can carry two bags (one bigger than the other), so you can check in one while you take the other onto the plane as side luggage or a personal item.

3. Essentials Only

A white lady with her travelling bags, camera, a few clothes, and body creams
Source | Pexels | Timur Weber

In your side luggage, ensure that you carry your essentials only. Your essentials include prescriptions, toiletries, important documents, a personal computer, or whatever is particularly valuable to you.

However, you should note that overpacking your side luggage might lead to you having to check it in. so essentials only, my dear.

4. Documentation Ready

A female hand searching through a pack of files/documents
Source | Pexels | Anete Lusina

Before you check in or fly, you must present your ID and other flight itineraries. At this point, you don’t want to be digging deep into your bag at the end of checking. Therefore, ensure that you have them handy or where you can easily reach them.

5. Ask Questions

A young man talking to the front desk officer(a lady) at the airport
Source | Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

There is a saying I once stumbled on, “anyone who asks questions does not lose their way”. As a first-time traveler, you need to be able to ask questions. However, not everyone would be able to answer your questions.

Therefore, look out for officials like airline employees, airport officials, or even security personnel at the airport when looking for who to ask your questions. Remember, you never lose your way when you ask a question.

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After going through all these tips, you will be ready to fly. Remember, ask questions whenever in doubt, even if you have already boarded. 


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