The only slightly aggravating thing for me about traveling home during breaks as a Tulane student is the airport. For many, flying is an extreme cause of stress and dread. A lot of Tulane students go home to some place outside of Louisiana and a great deal of people have to fly. Every break, I leave the warmth of New Orleans to return to seemingly perpetually chilly New York City. Sometimes it feels like flying takes up the whole day, so here are some tips on how to navigate Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) as quickly and stress-free as possible.
Pick Your Flight at a Good Time for Your Schedule.
Personally, I like leaving the same day I finish my classes; most of mine are in the morning so that means I leave in the afternoon/night. This makes it easy for me to come home from class, grab my already packed bag and head out the door instead of waiting around anticipating my next day flight. Also, every time I am still amazed that it takes max. 30 minutes to get to the airport, unlike in NYC, where it can sometimes take more than an hour to get to an airport and more than an hour to get through security.
Book Your Flights With Friends.
Going with friends to the airport can help save money (if you are taking an Uber) and gives you some company if you get easily bored or stressed alone. Also, if there is a delay (which has happened to me way too many times), you can figure out together what your next move is. Similarly, coming back to school from traveling becomes easier—rather than running alone to the Uber pick up wondering if you are getting into the right car or not, you can have friends with you.
Pack Snacks Ahead of Time.
I always, always bring snacks with me to the airport—usually a Lara bar, nuts, or fruit. Sometimes, I’ll even get a premade salad from Good Bird to eat before my flight. I hate being hungry on the plane, plus the food gives me energy for when I land and my parents start asking me questions about my time at college. But don’t stress about getting your coffee before you arrive; there are places in the airport to stock up. I like the PJ’s because it is perfect for grabbing a water and afternoon caffeine kick before I board.
Use Your Time in the Airport and on the Plane to Catch up on Work..
I usually underestimate how much work I will be able to get done before and during a flight. I always seem to arrive early, so I often have a good 45 minutes sitting down at the gate to get stuff done. Even if you have just an hour of flight time, that’s an hour of work you don’t have to do when you are home/on vacation/back at school. Also, the internet on the plane never works for me, so less distraction! You will be surprised with how much you get done, trust me.
These are my tips that will make your travels easy and relatively stress-free. Also, MSY really is an easy airport to get through compared to other places. Traveling home should not be something to dread, and can be very productive if you make it. Have a healthy and happy break!
COVER PHOTO: Eater New Orleans