For many people, the airport is the most stressful part of the holiday. Sometimes the process is a dream, but much more commonly it feels like a nightmare. If it isn’t a giant queue at check-in, then it’s frantically checking your million bags for your passport or losing your way in the maze of gates and having to run through the airport to catch your plane. Indeed, airport experiences are never going to be perfect, but here are some tips to make sure yours is as painless as possible:
Before you get there:
– Check and double-check your itineraries
– Make sure any special needs are sorted out before you leave for the airport
– Gather all important documents together and store them in a safe place so you won’t spend ages panicking and searching for your passport
– If possible, use a check-in online option. Maybe airlines offer them these days and they can safe you a lot of time, particularly if you only have carry-on baggage.
– Double-check you have no banned items in your carry-on luggage: be extra careful, as this can be include harmless-looking things like nail files
– Seal any liquids, gels and creams you’ll be taking with you in a clear plastic bag ready for inspection. Check online ahead of time how large the containers are allowed to be – often it is less than 150ml and includes things like makeup and cosmetics.
– Research the airport online to find out how long it usually take to get from checking in to reaching your gate.
– Dress comfortably – dress in layers so you can be comfortable whatever the temperature happens to be.
Getting to the airport:
– Allow yourself plenty of time – two hours ahead of your departure time for international flights and one hour ahead for domestic flights.
– If necessary, plan your transport and route to the airport.
– If driving, make sure you have booked airport parking in advance. If a friend is driving, make sure they are aware where drop-off points or short-term parking are.
– If taking public transport, check beforehand that there are no road works or expected delays that could lengthen your journey time.
– Prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario – bring some snacks and something to read in case of long waits
– Do not leave your baggage unattended (this goes without saying, surely?)
– Watch the display boards announcing your departure gate for any updates.
– Drink plenty of water before the flight to avoid becoming dehydrated.