Have you ever been sooo excited for your trip…you can’t sleep, you imagine what it will be like when you reach your destination…you dream about how amazing it will be….and then your thoughts turn to the nightmare it will take to get there: the airport.
Why is the airport sometimes such a negative experience? Long lines, missed flights, so many things can go wrong.
But there are ways to avoid some of the hassle.
1. Online check-in
Most airlines now offer online check-in. Log in to the airline’s website 24 hours before your flight and check-in online. This will save some time when you get to the airport. You can print boarding passes at home or you can pick them up at the airport, giving you one less line to stand in on the day of departure.
2. Make note of the departure gate before you get to the airport
Knowing where you have to go ahead of time will save time at the airport. You can go straight to the correct gate and decrease your chance of missing the flight.
3. Use apps that will make travel easier
There are several apps to help with maneuvering the airport. GateGuru has detailed maps of thousands of airports and FlightBoard has arrivals/departure information for these airports as well. Check to see where you need to go and to see if any changes have been made to the flight schedule.
4. Get to the airport early
Not too long ago, you were safe if you got to the airport an hour before flight departure time, but the way things are going now, you’d better get there at least two hours early.
5. Be a carry-on traveler
Don’t take everything you own! Make it work with only one carry-on bag. Not checking any bags will get you through the airport at breakneck speed. Traveling light not only lightens your load physically but allows you to feel much less encumbered so you can enjoy your trip more!
6. Take your liquids in your purse
Check the TSA website to see exactly what liquids and what size bottles are approved. Make sure everything is closed tightly, put into a zip-lock bag, and carry in your purse. This makes it much easier to access when going through the line. No rummaging around in your bag to find the zip-lock.
7. Leave all the extras at home
Wear minimal jewelry and no belt to save time when going through the security line. The less there is to take off, the quicker you will get through.
8. Wear slip-on shoes
Today is not the day to wear those lace-up shoes! You will save time going through the security line if you can just slip your shoes off and on. You surely don’t want to have to find a seat to sit down and tie your shoes in the middle of a huge crowd.
9. Pack everything in the right place
Identify which items you will need to take out of your bag and place in the bins in the security line and pack those where they are easy to get to. I’ve already mentioned the bag of liquids. Any computer, iPad, or electronics must go in the bin. Belts and shoes must be removed and pockets must be emptied, so get ready to do that.
10. Make sure that all your paperwork is easy to get to
If traveling internationally, you will need to show your passport, so pack that in an easy place to get to: a side pocket in your purse, a passport holder that you wear around your neck, or a zipped pouch that goes around your waist. Boarding passes and your I.D. must also be shown, so put those in the same place. Being prepared will save you more time than anything else that you can do.
If you follow all these suggestions, you should be able to get through the airport in record time and with no problems. Have I left anything out? Happy travels!