10 Tips for Summer 2024 Flights and What to Expect This Year

10 Tips for Summer 2024 Flights and What to Expect This Year
Photo by Avery Cocozziello

Summer 2024 promises to be a whirlwind season for air travel. With wanderlust at an all-time high, buckle up for busy airports and potentially steeper fares.

Here are 10 tips to navigate the summer skies and ensure a smooth journey:

1. Plan Ahead & Embrace Flexibility: Be a scheduling ninja. Consider flying on weekdays (typically cheaper and less crowded) or during the “shoulder seasons” at the beginning or end of summer. Research your destination's weather patterns — some places might be more pleasant to visit in the early or late summer months to avoid peak heat and crowds.

Photo by Blake Guidry

2. Befriend Technology: Download airline apps for real-time updates, mobile boarding passes, and easier check-in. Flight tracker apps can also be lifesavers, giving you a heads-up on delays and cancellations. My favorite app is Flighty! Sign up for email notifications from your airline to stay informed about any changes to your flight schedule.

3. Pack Light, Pack Smart: Avoid checked bag fees by mastering the art of carry-on packing. Opt for versatile, quick-drying clothing and pack essentials in layers for temperature changes. Remember to check baggage restrictions for your specific airline. Consider investing in a space-saving packing cube system to maximize your carry-on allowance.

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa

4. Conquer Security Lines: Consider enrolling in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for expedited security screening. Pack efficiently; separate liquids according to TSA guidelines (3.4 ounces or less, contained in a clear, quart-sized, zip-top bag) and place electronics easily accessible for screening. Wear comfortable, slip-on shoes to breeze through the process.

5. Hydrate & Stay Healthy: Airplane cabins can be dehydrating. Bring a refillable water bottle and avoid sugary drinks. Pack healthy snacks to avoid relying solely on airplane food. Airplane air can also be drying, so consider packing a travel-sized moisturizer and lip balm.

6. Entertainment on Lock: Download movies, shows, and music beforehand in case of limited in-flight entertainment options. Pack a good book or a travel journal for an analog escape. Noise-canceling headphones can be a game-changer for blocking out airplane noise and enhancing your entertainment experience.

7. Be a Good Neighbor: Keep noise levels down, especially during nighttime flights. Respect fellow passengers' space and be mindful of carry-on placement. If you're traveling with young children, pack activities and snacks to keep them occupied and minimize disruptions.

Photo by Erik Odiin

8. Expect Delays & Be Prepared: Summer thunderstorms can wreak havoc on flight schedules. Pack a patience kit with essentials like a book, hand sanitizer, a portable charger, and a deck of cards for some analog entertainment in case of delays. Download your favorite podcasts or audiobooks for offline listening.

9. Download Destination Apps: Familiarize yourself with local transportation options and popular attractions by downloading apps for your destination city. Many museums and cultural attractions offer free or discounted admission with digital passes downloadable through their apps.

10. Embrace the Adventure: A little planning and a positive attitude can go a long way. Summer travel is all about new experiences. So relax, breathe deeply, and enjoy the journey!

What to Expect This Summer

Photo by Tasos Mansour

Be prepared for busier airports, potentially longer security lines, and potentially higher fares, especially during peak travel times. Consider booking your flights and accommodations well in advance, especially if you're traveling to a popular destination.

Be mindful of potential summer storm disruptions and factor in some flexibility for potential delays. Check the weather forecast for your destination in the days leading up to your trip and pack accordingly.

Airlines and airports are increasingly using technology to streamline the travel process. Download apps and utilize online check-in options. Many airports now offer contactless payment options for food and beverage purchases.

Making the Most of Your Summer Travels

Photo by Federico Di Dio photography

While popular destinations offer a certain charm, consider venturing off the beaten path. Many smaller towns and hidden gems can offer a more unique and authentic cultural experience, often at a lower cost. Here are some resources to help you discover unique destinations:

Respect local customs and traditions. Pack light, reusable bags to minimize waste. Support locally-owned businesses whenever possible, and help preserve the natural beauty of your destination by following responsible tourism practices.

Final Thoughts

This summer is going to be crazy with weather delays and a peak travel season like we haven't seen before. Be ready for long lines, airline delays, and crowded tourist areas. Pack some patience and make with the time you do get at your destination or while traveling. Everywhere is an adventure, make the most of it.