Summer travel: 10 peak-season sanity-saving tips

Travel smart

Summer: when the days are hotter, the vacations are better, the flights are fuller, and the airports are busier. Your stress level, however, doesn’t have to be higher. From now until September 6, JetBlue’s home Terminal 5 at New York’s JFK Airport will see on average 983 daily departing flights—and 1,003 flights during our highest peak travel days. Here are 10 sanity-saving tips to make traveling this summer a lot easier:


1. Get TSA Pre®
Americans’ least favorite part about airport security is waiting in line. Luckily in June 2016, the average wait time in a TSA Precheck line was 5 minutes. For a $85 five-year membership, you can speed through security and not have to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. If you plan to travel outside the U.S. in the next five years, opt for Global Entry instead. For an additional $15, you can bypass long U.S. Customs lines–and still be eligible for TSA Precheck.

Ashim D’Silva
Photo by Ashim D’Silva, Unsplash

2. Pack sunscreen
Sunscreen is always important, but especially during the summer when the UV exposure is the greatest. Though sunscreen can be purchased at the gift shops in most hotels and resorts, these are often overpriced. You can save money by bringing a bottle of sunscreen in your checked baggage or squeeze them into a 3-oz travel-size bottle if you’re carrying on only.

3. Don’t forget aloe vera
Not only is aloe vera lotion super moisturizing after a long day out in the sun, it’s also a quick, cooling remedy for sunburn incidents. By also freezing aloe gel in ice cube trays or bags you can add an extra layer of coolness to your hot sunburnt skin.

4. Roll clothes instead of folding them
Maximize space in your luggage by packing smarter and tighter. Visually section off your luggage and organize by type of clothing: Bottom section by wheels is for shoes, middle section is for bottoms/pants, and top layer is for tops, swimwear and undergarments.

5. Keep clothes fresh
With all those summer activities and excursions planned, be sure to bring an extra bag to separate clean and dirty clothes. Stuff a couple of dryer sheets in between clothes to keep them smelling fresh.

6. Shatter-proof your makeup
The absolute worst is finding your powder and eye shadow compacts shattered from the jostling of your luggage. To keep powered makeup from breaking, put a cotton ball or pad inside your compacts.

7. Put your phone in airplane mode 
When charging your phone at the airport in a charging station, put your phone on airplane mode so it can charge faster and free up an outlet.

8. Stay hydrated and save money
Food and beverages—including water—usually cost more at airports. Bring an empty water bottle or canteen, and refill it at the airport post-security. Many JetBlue airports, including Terminal 5 at JFK, provide water-filling stations that offer cool, clean drinking water for free to all customers.

9. Get to the gate first
Once you’re through security, go to your gate before using the restroom, getting food, shopping, wandering around, etc. You will get a better sense of how far away your gate is from everything, and know first-hand if there are any delays or travel updates.

Photo by Paul Green, Unsplash
Photo by Paul Green, Unsplash

10. Put all of your ‘stuff for the plane’ in one area
Have a designated pocket in your carry on with necessary things for the plane ride:

  • Travel documents and medications
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Headphones: Every JetBlue plane is equipped with personal seatback TVs
  • Phone and charger: All JetBlue A321 aircraft have power outlets under the seats
  • Pen: if you are flying international, you will need a pen to fill out your customs forms; Inflight crewmembers rarely carry any on them.
  • Moisturizer, chapstick and hand sanitizer: The change in air pressure can dry out your skin
  • Optional: earplugs and eye-mask: JetBlue provides complimentary “Snooze Kits” for all red eye flights
Photo by Cynthia del Río, Unsplash
Photo by Cynthia del Río, Unsplash