1. The most critical step in a successful flight is an appropriate seat. No matter what, buy a window seat. And if faced with the choice of ‘A,’ ‘B,’ or ‘C,’ always choose ‘A’ in an early row so you can get D F out of there when you land.
2. Read your flight itinerary the night before and note the time difference. Nothing is worse than calling your parents from the airport to tell them you accidentally missed your flight.
3. Flying is a gift, so be thankful you aren’t driving that whole way back. Thanks, Mom!
4. While packing, play the “I bet I can’t fit everything in a carry on” game. If you are competitive, as am I, you will find a way. It will save you the stress and heartache of lost luggage and also save you money that you could use on whiskey sours.
5. Don’t forget to put gum in your purse, unless you want your ears to be snap-crackle-popping for the next 48 hours.
6. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, not brand new need-to-be-broken-in heels. It’s one thing to want to look cute at the airport, another when you’re running down the terminal with your shoes in your hand, looking like the exact opposite of “cute.”
7. Take out that emergency set of bra and underwear you might have in your purse, because the TSA will judge you when they decide they have to go through your belongings since you accidentally left your favorite industrial-sized lotion inside.
8. When said TSA personnel says, “I’m sorry for blushing, ma’am, you just don’t see this every day,” smile and know that sooner or later, they will also find a dildo in somebody else’s luggage.
9. Have your dad track your flight. Just kidding, he’s probably already doing that. And then tracking your iPass checkpoints all the way back to your house.
10. I won’t be mad at you if I find out you went to the airport in anything other than a velour jumpsuit, but YOU should be mad at you.
11. Get there early! In fact, get there earlier than you think you need to. Being late is just so unreasonably stressful and you really need the extra time to pick out the perfect magazine that suits your pre-flight mood, anyway.
12. A light Starbucks drink is essential. Preferably a caramel frap, but whatever butters your biscuits.
13. If it’s a 5 AM flight, Chili’s won’t let you take shots to kick start your day. Even if it’s you’re 21st birthday. You know, just so you are aware because I fully was not.
14. Check out how honest-to-God amazing the Christmas decorations are at the airport. O’Hare’s, in particular, are usually INSANE. Because of that, I tend to put the song “Holiday Flight” on my iPhone and run around like I’m late so I can pretend that I’m in Home Alone, but please don’t ever ask me about it again.
15. I won’t tell you to board earlier than the assigned group on your ticket, because I am a firm believer in practicing exemplary plane etiquette. HOWEVER, it is kind of necessary to get your things in the overhead bin right above your seat. And if you think that is in jeopardy…
16. Take a good-looking snapchat (no kissy faces) and send to all your friends before takeoff because if you go up in flames—you won’t, I think—their last memory of you will be chic.
17. Pray to whatever higher power you believe in. Cross your fingers. Hold the stranger’s hand next to you. Do what it is that you do to feel more safe in an effort to ward off an anxiety induced mid-flight stroke.
18. Make friends with the aforementioned strangers around you on the plane, because if your plane nose dives straight into the states, you’ll want to be surrounded by your friends.
19. Bringing chips on the plane actually makes you an asshole.
20. Thank whichever aforementioned higher power you’ve already decided on for Candy Crush. Seriously, thank them.
21. Can we have them not talk about using our seat cushions as flotation devices before we get off the ground? Just tell me right before it’s too late, I really don’t want to have to worry about it the whole time.
22. You would think that you would regret purchasing on-flight WiFi just to download and listen to “Fuckin’ Problems,” but you won’t.
23. Take a picture of the clouds on your phone “for yourself” and “not for Instagram.” Instagram has enough photos of clouds. Keep the clouds to a minimum.
24. Remember that turbulence is all a part of the journey. Just pretend that you’re on the Raging Bull at Six Flags. I’m really gonna need you to stop being so dramatic about it, you’re fine.
25. If you are someone who doesn’t sleep well on planes (I have yet to meet one who does) speed up the time by watching a movie, with the exception of the following cinematic choices: Flight, Snakes on a Plane, Flight Plan, or Red Eye.