If you’ve never flown on a plane before, don’t let the first-time jitters get ya! Here are 25 basic things to keep in mind before you hop on that flight:

1. First things first: Know what you’re not allowed to bring on a flight!

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If you need to pack something either kind of big, weird, or potentially dangerous, check the TSA site to make sure it’s even allowed on the flight.

2. Before you get to the airport, you should know which terminal you’re going to.

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Especially if it’s a big airport, where terminals can be spaced super far from each other. To find out with terminal you’re flying out of, check which airline you’re flying with and look up the corresponding terminal online.

3. Plan on being at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight.

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The general rule is to arrive at the airport two hours early if it’s a domestic flight, and three hours if it’s international. During the holiday season and other peak travel times, you may want to give yourself even more extra time to get through the lines!

4. Don’t forget to check in!

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You can usually check in online the day before or at the actual airport — up to an hour before the actual flight. Usually, this is when you can choose your seat, so the earlier you do it, the better!

5. Figure out what your deal is with checked vs. carry-on luggage.

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The former will be stored in the aircraft hold, while carry-on or hand baggage is the one you’re allowed to take with you to your seat. Your carry-on baggage should have all of your travel documents, cellphone, wallet and anything you want to keep close. Know that each airline has its own rules about how many of each type of luggage you can bring, and some are very strict. Keep in mind that if you go over the weight limit, you will be charged an extra fee.

6. Even if it’s hot out, bring a sweater with you on the plane.

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Plane air conditioning can get VERY cold, and that way you’ll also be prepared for any changes in climate, depending on where you go.

7. If you’re bringing along several suitcases, you’ll have to check them.

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You’ll have to take all your baggage to the airline counter, where it will be weighed and checked. It’s a good idea to put a (TSA-approved) lock on your bag, as well as a “Fragile” tag so that it will be handled delicately. From this point on, you won’t see that bag again until you get off the plane, so make sure you don’t forget anything important in it.

8. If it’s a long trip, wear comfortable clothing.

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Don’t worry too much about how you look — it’s definitely better to wear comfortable clothing on a decidedly non-cushy flight.

9. Once you’ve checked your bags, you have to go through the security checkpoint.

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Before going through a metal detector, you’ll have to place your belongings in a tray (belt, cellphone, jewelry) and take your shoes off. If the detector goes off, don’t panic; it’s possible that you’ve forgotten some change in your pocket. Just do as you’re told and you’ll be fine.

10. After the security checkpoint, you’ll move on to the boarding area.

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After you get through security, you need to figure out which gate you are departing from. Your boarding pass should indicate which gate it is, but it will also be displayed on several monitors inside the airport, since gate assignments sometimes change at the last minute. Go to your gate and wait until they call you!

11. In order to get on the plane, they will be ask you for your boarding pass (and potentially) a passport.

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Have these documents in hand so that the whole process will be faster, and handle them carefully! For domestic flights, you won’t need your passport.

12. Only get in line to board the plane when the gate agent tells you to.

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Chances are that the gate agent will call passengers up by their boarding group, which should be listed on your boarding pass.

13. Chewing gum can be helpful during take-off.

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The sudden change in air pressure on take-off and touchdown might make you you feel a blocked-up sensation in your ears. To release some of the pressure, pinch your nose with your fingers and try to breathe out. Chewing gum also can help!

14. Try to get a window seat if you can!

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If it’s your first time on a plane, you really won’t want to miss the view. Get your phone ready to take some great pics — but keep it on airplane mode, of course.

15. Some people find flying to be very peaceful.

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For the most part, your flight should be smooth and even a little boring. If you feel dizzy, you can use the sickness bag that should be in the back of your seat, or ask a flight attendant for water. There may be mild turbulence, but usually the pilot will warn you beforehand over the intercom.

16. Your phone should be on airplane mode during the entire flight.

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Send all of your texts before taking off because, once you do, you’re to have your phone in airplane mode during the entire flight. Some planes offer Wi-Fi, but it’s usually shaky AND expensive.

17. Bring ear plugs.

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You never know when you’ll have to sit next to a crying baby or a really loud snorer. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

18. If you’re taking an international flight, you have to fill special forms and go through immigration when you arrive.

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If you’re traveling outside the country, the flight attendants will give you a customs form during flight for you to fill out. Usually it’ll just ask very basic questions about your visit. If you didn’t fill it out during your flight, there will be more of those forms at the airport when you arrive.

19. If you checked your bags, you’ll have to pick them up at the baggage claim.

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There will be a big conveyor belt that brings out all of the bags, and every person has to get their own. Look for the flight number on your boarding pass and check which conveyor belt will your luggage be on. And don’t freak out if you don’t see your bags immediately; sometimes they take a while to show up.

20. Many planes will have personal TV screens for each seat.

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You can always download stuff to watch on your phone or tablet, but it’s not really necessary, since most airlines will have TV screens for each seat (especially for long flights).

21. It’s important to stay hydrated during long flights.

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The air on planes will really dry you out, so you have to drink lots of water. For that same reason, try to avoid alcoholic beverages and coffee.

22. Investing in a neck pillow is almost always worth it.

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If you’re going to be spending a lot of hours on a plane, do everything you can to be comfortable. Bring your toothbrush, a blanket, warm socks and a neck pillow to help you relax.

23. The amount and quality of the food you get depends on the airline.

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It also depends on the flight time. If it’s a short flight, you will probably only get a snack and something to drink. But if it’s a long trip, you’ll get more than one meal. You usually also have the option to buy fancier/more food.

24. When the plane first lands, don’t stand up immediately.

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Wait in your seat and be patient. The flight crew will let you know when it’s safe to stand up and get your things.

25. After you’ve flown once, chances are that you’ll want to do it again and again!

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Flying for the first time can seem overwhelming because of all of the procedures involved, but don’t worry. If you follow all of the steps properly, you’ll realize it’s not difficult. Besides, the view you’ll get high above the clouds will make everything worth the hassle!

This post was translated from Spanish.

Originally published at Buzzfeed

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