Navigating your way through the airport has to be the worst thing about travel. Before you can relax and enjoy your destination, you have to deal with the crowds, queues, and the chaos of the airport. It takes hours to get through security and even though you know that you’ve double and triple checked your bags, you’re still nervous about getting searched. By the time you eventually make it on the plane, it’s easy to forget why you bother with it all in the first place. But once you land, you’ll forget all about it, until you have to do the whole thing on the way back again. Airports are the worst way to start and end a trip, and they can put a bit of a downer on things sometimes. But it doesn’t need to be that stressful if you plan well and do a few simple things. These are some of the best ways to take the stress out airports.
Get There Early
You should already know this one, but a lot of people ignore this advice. There’s a reason that the airline asks you to get to the airport at least a few hours before your flight leaves. When it’s busy, it can take a long while to get through security and check your bags, so you need to leave plenty of time. If you’re cutting it fine and you have to rush through everything, you’re going to be way more stressed. It’s far better to get there early so you have time to get through security and then you can stop and have something to eat before the flight leaves.
Stay In A Hotel Near The Airport
If you have a long journey to the airport and you have to get up in the middle of the night to make it there in time for your flight, you’re already starting off on the wrong foot and the airport is going to be a nightmare when you’ve only had a few hours sleep. It’s much easier to travel up the day before and stay in a hotel so you only have a short journey in the morning and you don’t have to rush. You could even stay in a luxury hotel and start your trip early.
Buy Good Quality Luggage
You might not have thought about your luggage that much, but it can make a big difference to your airport experience. If you are using an old suitcase with broken wheels that is awkward to carry, it’s a real pain to rush through a crowded airport. But if you have some nice luggage that is sturdy and easy to wheel, getting through the airport is a breeze. Better quality luggage is also a lot sturdier, so you’re less likely to have any problems with broken items or even theft from your suitcase, as long as you put a padlock on it.
Pay For An Airport Lounge
Airport lounges are great if you want to get away from the chaos of the terminal and relax properly before your flight. You’ll get the benefit of free food and drinks, free wifi, and a comfortable place to sit and wait until it’s time to board your flight. It’s an added expense, but if you really hate airports, it’s definitely worth paying for it. Even if you don’t want to pay for a first class plane ticket, you can still buy a pass for the lounge separately.
Bring Some Entertainment
If you arrive at the airport early, you may be waiting around for a while. Delays are always a possibility as well, so you need to bring something to entertain yourself with. This is especially important if you’re traveling with kids because they’ll get bored very quickly and start acting up. As long as you have something to entertain yourself with, the time will pass quickly and it won’t seem that bad sitting around in the airport for a while. So, make sure to pack some books with you or download some movies and podcasts onto your phone. You should keep all of this stuff in a separate plane bag so you can access it easily when you’re on the flight as well.
Most airlines let you check-in online these days and you can usually get the boarding passes on your phone. This means that you can skip a step when you get to the airport, so things run a little smoother. There’s no reason not to check-in before you go because it will make life easier for you, so always remember to do it.
As long as you do it right, getting through the airport doesn’t have to be the nightmare that it usually is.