People every where, joining one line after another, getting things out of your bags a hundred times, people lining up for the plane ages before boarding. Airports can be stressful places and many people don’t love going to the airport.
Luckily the airport doesn’t have to be stressful! With some of these airport tips you can go from hating the airport to someone who looks forward to being at the airport.
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- 1 Things to do BEFORE you get to the airport
- 2 Airport tips once you arrive
- 3 Share It!
- 4 My BEST Travel Resources
Things to do BEFORE you get to the airport
Your smooth airport experience doesn’t begin when you get to the airport. If you get yourself organised before heading to the airport you can check off a few major items on your airport to do list before you even leave home.
Check-in at home
One of my biggest frustrations at the airport is the huge line at the check-in counters. There is nothing worse than turning up at the airport and the first thing you see if the hundreds of people in front of you. Talk about a stress inducing experience.
Luckily, most airlines allow you to check-in online 24-48 hours before your flight. This means that when you get to the airport you can join the bag drop queue – this is often much shorter than the check-in queue or if you are travelling with a carry-on only you can head straight to security.
Even if you would rather check-in when you get to the airport make sure you check the airlines policies. I forgot to do this on our trip from Edinburgh to Dublin and check-in closed two hours before departure and we arrived at the airport 1 hour and 55 minutes before the flight so we were charged 200€ to check in at the gate. If we had have arrived 10 minutes earlier the staff could have helped us check-in and we would have saved 200€.
Double check your baggage allowances
When you are packing your luggage, whether you are checking in a bag or travelling with a carry on only, make sure you know how much your bags are allowed to weigh.
While some airlines don’t weigh your hang luggage all airlines will weigh your checked in luggage. Depending on the class you are flying (economy, business or first) or the airline carrier will impact the amount the of luggage you are allowed.
If you are travelling a budget airline you will most likely need to pay extra for your luggage and you can save a little money by doing this online before you get to the airport.
Pack your liquids
Double check the requirements for you liquids. Many international flights require you to have your liquids in 100mL bottles and all of your bottles in a clear pouch.
You will also need to have your liquids separate when you go through security. Before you leave for the airport, make sure your liquids are in a clear pouch and easily accessible at the top of your hand luggage.
On many domestic flights you will not need to do this (especially in Australia) but I always have my liquids separate just incase!
Make sure your electronics are easy to reach
When you are packing your hand luggage, make sure your electronics are easy to reach. You will be asked at security to take electronics such as tablets, phones and laptops out of your bag.
You don’t want to be that person at security that is holding up the line trying to find everything your bag.
Pack your own snacks
Airport food can be very expensive, I suggest packing your own snacks to save some money. Snacks such as chips, cut up fruit or vegetables, nuts or even lollies are great airport snacks. Just be mindful that what ever you don’t eat you may need to leave them on the plane depending on the country you are entering.
Organise your entertainment
Choose your outfit
Make sure to choose an outfit that is practical. Not only for the flight but also for moving through the airport. Wearing layers is great because you can take off a layer in the airport but be warm on the plane.
Airport tips once you arrive
Arrive in plenty of time
For international flights, check-in opens 3 hours before the flight. Plan out your route ahead of time, accounting for roadworks, to make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time. There is nothing worse than running through the airport with all of your luggage in a panic.
Take a photo of your parking space
Follow all instructions from airport staff
Relax in a lounge
Find your gate
As soon as you have cleared security, find your departure gate. At some airports, this can be quite easy as the gates are close together. At other airports, your gate might be a 30-minute walk away or you might need to get on a train. Once you have found your gate, feel free to go for a walk!
Fill up your water bottle
Always carry a reusable and collapsible drink bottle. Once you have passed through security you can fill your bottle at a drinking fountain or you can ask the flight attendants to fill your bottle on the plane. It is important to drink as much water as possible when you are a long flight (or any flight!)
Know where your passport and boarding pass are
Keep your passport and boarding on you so you can easily access them when you are asked to do so. Once you’re on the plane you can keep them safely in your bag
Go for a walk
If you’re taking a long haul flight, you will be sitting down for a long time, take some time to stretch your legs before the flight.
Line up when you’re called
Often planes will board in a certain order, check your boarding card and only line up when you’re asked too. Some people queue long before they are called and this can cause stress for the airport staff, or cause other passengers to think they need to be standing in the queue. Take this time to relax and wait until you are called.
I hope you found these airport tips useful. Do you have any of your own tips for making the airport more enjoyable? Let me know in the comments below
My BEST Travel Resources
Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro
Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.
If you are new to Airbnb you can get an awesome discount using this link
Travel Insurance: After a few hairy moments on my travels, I ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. It may seem like a big cost now, but if the worst happens, it will save you a lot of money and heartache. I personally use World Nomads (and love them!), but I recommend that you do some research to find the insurance company that suits your needs.
Tours: While I prefer to travel independently, I do love doing some tours once I’m in a destination. It is a great way to find out history, hidden gems, taste local food and get a local insight into your destination. I always use Viator to book my tours.
Car Hire: Planning an epic road trip across the US or through Europe, or anywhere! Check out Europcar, they are my go to for car hire all over the world!
Luggage Storage: Some times when we are travelling our check in and check out times don’t match with our departure times so we have to put our luggage into storage. Stasher Luggage Storage is the biggest Luggage Storage Network across the UK, France and Germany