4 Ways To Make A Hectic Airport Feel Like Just Another Part Of The Vacation

Let me start off by saying I hate flying. No, I don't think you get it. I really hate flying. I'm sorry, but am I supposed to enjoy turbulence, long security lines at the airport and hauling heavy luggage as I head to my gate located in another zip code?

That's not to mention that practically every other day, there's a story on the news about a plane crash, an airline emergency or some crazy passenger or crew member that went ballistic on board. We've been able to create robots that look and act like humans, but we haven't figured out teleportation?

Unfortunately for me, airports are like my second home. That's because I have an itch to visit new places, but more importantly, it's because I moved more than 1,300 miles away from my family and close friends. All of the traveling I've done over the last several years has made me kind of a self-proclaimed expert.

Here are four tips to take the headache out of flying:

1. Do your research.

This is especially key when you're traveling internationally. Spend a good amount of time on the websites of your airport and airline. Make sure you know about their specific policies and procedures.

Map out how long it will take you to get from one terminal to the next. This could mean the difference between just making it in time to catch your flight and spending the night waiting standby. Also, browse online forums and other sites to see the average time it takes to wait in security lines.

2. Pack smart.

When it comes to packing, pack mini versions of everything, including toiletries, makeup and hair appliances. Pack all of your underwear and unmentionables at the bottom of your suitcase, so that when a TSA agent opens your bag, your lacy red thong isn't on full display for your fellow passengers to see.

It's just as important to think ahead. Leave some room in your luggage for mementos (besides your wicked tan or memories of your foreign hookup) from your island getaway.

3. Layers are your friend.

It doesn't matter if you're traveling to the Bahamas or the Sahara desert from sunny California. Somewhere along the way, it will be cold. I can guarantee you that.

Walking through the airport and getting on and off the plane can all be chilly journeys. Wear a sweatshirt you can easily put on and take off. A hoodie is also a great thing to use to cover your face when you're sleeping in your seat with your mouth wide open.

4. There's no need to spend a small fortune on food.

Unless you're willing to hand over your last paycheck on airport cuisine, or you're fine with those little bags of peanuts, bring your own snacks. Pack them in advance like when you're planning to go to the movies. Why spend $10 on popcorn when you can make it home for a couple of bucks and sneak it into the theater?

Remember that little meals that are good for eating on the go and without silverware are your best options. Bonus points if you want to stay healthy: Cut up fresh fruits and veggies and store them in little Ziploc bags. Don't leave home without your water bottle. Once you pass security, fill it up anywhere and everywhere you can.

So, there's my tried-and-true knowledgeable guide for keeping your future travel experiences as wrinkle-free as possible. But, I can't promise you won't have to deal with a jerk at the ticket counter, a fellow passenger who won't shut up or that screaming baby on board. Seriously, when are we going to start looking into teleportation?