You’d be hard-pressed to encounter someone who truly enjoys the “going to the airport” part of traveling. Although exciting, airports are usually regarded as the last hurdle between “reality” and “amazing vacation.” Luckily, experienced travelers recently met in an online discussion to reveal their best tips for making your next trip to the airport infinitely more manageable.
1. Arrive With Fully-Charged Electronics
Do you want your entire airport experience filled with anxiety over finding an unattended wall outlet next to the bathrooms? Of course, you don’t. Countless travelers agree: Make sure your cell phone has a fully-charged battery before you get to the airport – you’ll save yourself a lot of stress, trust me.
2. Take a Photo or Screenshot of Your Boarding Pass
In the days of digital boarding passes and online check-in, taking a photo of your boarding pass may feel counterproductive. But, as it turns out, taking a photo of your boarding information could save you future headaches! “In case you get it misplaced or lost, the pictures will help,” advises one woman. “Don’t rely on the airlines’ phone apps or assume you’ll always have a great internet connection in the airport.”
3. Set Alarms
From checking in to your flight the day before to the official boarding time, it’s best to set alarms on your phone for anything airport-related. Always plan for the worst – many travelers confess to dozing off while waiting to board in a quiet part of the airport and wind up missing their flights!
4. Bring an Empty Water Bottle
As the world knows by now, any full water bottle will be confiscated or emptied by airport staff if a traveler tries to sneak it through security. So here’s a tip: Bring an empty water bottle through security instead.
Then, once you make it through the checkpoint, you can fill it at any airport restaurant, bathroom, or water-filling station, making it a better strategy than paying for bottled water before you board.
5. Use the Bathroom Before Boarding
Your bladder and fellow passengers will thank you for heeding this advice: Use the bathroom in the airport before you board. After all, you know you want nothing to do with the restroom inside the plane.
6. Look Before You Leave
Airports tend to make people hurry through mundane activities, so take the time to ensure you aren’t rushing through anything.
“Always when you are about to leave a lounge cafe or anything, just look if you are leaving anything behind,” advises one savvy traveler. “People are most likely to forget things when they are late or if the boarding process has already started. So look before you leave.”
7. Pack Extra Snacks for the Flight
You don’t need me to tell you that airport food isn’t the best example of quality cuisine, and the food you’ll receive while flying is even worse. Combat terrible and overpriced airport food by smartly packing snacks in your carry-on that you can enjoy in the airport and the air!
8. Anticipate Long Security Lines
Accepting your fate as early as possible is best. There will be long security lines – just like death and taxes, they are unavoidable. Of course, signing up for services like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck will help expedite the process, but all travelers are dealing with perenially-longer lines these days.
9. Avoid Waiting In Lines With Children
Often in airport security lines, travelers have the option of more than one line to wait in. One of the most invaluable tips travelers give is to choose the line with the least number of kids! “Never stand in a security queue with kids in it. By nature, that line is likelier to move slower,” advises one experienced jet setter. “It’s just something I’ve noticed over the years.”
10. Sit Back, Relax, and Be the Last To Board
If you’re traveling light, why endure the frustration of waiting in yet another line at the airport? If you have an assigned seat on the plane, boarding time is officially the perfect time to relax. “Skip the queue for boarding. Sit and read your book until the last possible minutes.
Wait until the queue comes down to the last person. Then casually walk and join in. The airline will not leave you behind, at least without calling out your name.” (Of course, this advice doesn’t apply if you’re flying Southwest!)
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