Airports can be stressful at the best of times. They’re filled with rushing people, stocked with overpriced food and designed in confusing ways. And for people who have a fear of flying, it’s even worse!
But circumnavigating airports can be easy if you know a few things. There are many tips and tricks that almost anyone can take advantage of to get through an airport efficiently. Below are 35 of the handiest. All of these can ensure that the only thing you’re worrying about at an airport is how much you’re going to enjoy that vacation!
Get a Medical Professional to Register Your Pet as an Emotional Support Animal
All you need to bring your pet onboard the plane with you is a certification from a medical professional stating that it is an emotional support animal. You should always read up on the rules of the airline to make it 100% certain that you can bring your pet onboard and then register the pet beforehand.
Invest in a Travel Kit for Your Liquid Essentials
Everyone hates the restrictions in place regarding liquids on planes. While it’s an important safety feature, it’s still damn annoying to leave all your shampoos and fragrances behind. But if you buy a travel kit that comes with airport-friendly empty bottles for filling, you can get around this!
Flying at Night Is Always Easier
Kids can be a nightmare on planes. But at night, there are barely any children flying. Tickets are also cheaper and the plane will be much less crowded.
Always Look Into the Airport’s Disabled, Elderly and Young Traveler Support
Many American airports and international airports are more than happy to provide extra care for those in need. Some of these services include assistance in getting through security, feeding support, medical support and more. Often, these services can be accessed for free.
Take the Connecting Flight: You’ll Save Money and Have Fun
On the face of it, a connecting flight can seem like a pain. But when you think about it, they’re actually very rewarding, both financially and personally. You get to take the cheaper tickets, have a mini vacation at the start and/or end of the trip, get a free hotel, and earn more air miles, as the two flights will cover more ground than just one plane ride!
Get Advice From Frequent Fliers – They Know Where the Best Stuff Is
Lots of people travel regularly for business. So someone in a suit probably knows the best entertainment, food and shopping options in an airport. Also, if you spot someone with the “jet setter” look, they can be just as useful for tips.
Eat at Restaurants Where the Airport Staff Is Eating
As the employees spend the most time at the airport, they will know the cheapest and best food.
Don’t Pay for WiFi. Free Internet Is Nearby
Some airports charge for general WiFi usage. But there will almost definitely be a free WiFi source somewhere. These will be from airport restaurants or executive lounges. Look around, and you’ll find it.
Don’t Buy Phone Chargers or Headphones. Help Yourself to a Free Pair at Lost and Found
Airports get inundated with abandoned headphones and especially phone chargers. They’re so often abandoned that airline lost and found sections are usually filled with them. If you forgot to bring them, then instead of buying some overpriced replacements in a store, just seek out the lost and found.
Wear Easily Removable Warm Clothing in Case There Aren’t Enough Blankets on Board
Both airports and airplanes can get really cold. But they can also be really warm. And it’s hard to tell what it’ll be like until you arrive. Therefore, you need to wear or pack warm clothing that can be removed with ease. Cardigans, scarves, hats and gloves are essential!
Before You Pick a Seat, Look Up Where The Best Seats Are
Seatguru is a fantastic website. Just give it your flight information, and it will show you the most roomy and comfortable seats on the plane that will fly you. It makes flying so much easier to know that you’re getting the seat with the most legroom!
If You Sit in the Middle, It’s a Smoother Ride
Thanks to the way planes are designed, they jolt a lot less in the middle, where the wings are. If you want a smoother flight, then book the middle seats (remember that Seatguru can help.)
Always Check-in “Feminine” Luggage Bags
Airlines can be really bad with people’s luggage. But there’s one easy way to ensure that they’ll be more careful. Take a bag that looks like a stereotypical “women’s” bag. Airline workers assume that bags belonging to females will have a larger ratio of fragile items and handle them with more care. If you’re a man who scoffs at the idea of lugging around a pink suitcase, ask yourself, is avoiding slight embarrassment more important than your precious stuff?
Luggage Over the Weight Limit? Time to Wear More Layers.
Excess baggage fees can be incredibly annoying. Going just a few pounds over the weight limit can cost a fortune. But if you leave the line, put on a bunch of your travel clothes and try again, you can avoid the charges entirely. You might get very warm, but you can take them off as soon as you’re on the plane.
Bring a Power Strip
If you’re traveling with a laptop, tablet and phone, and so are your family, then a power strip can be really useful. There are power outlets at most airports, but the supply doesn’t meet the demand. But if you put in a power strip, then you can charge up your electronics without someone else missing out. It’s also handy for the hotel, as they often have the same situation.
Weigh Up Whether the Lounge Zone Is Worth It
If you’ve decided upon a layover, and the airline won’t pay for a hotel, then the airport’s lounge zone can be the perfect way to pass the time. If it’s just one or two people traveling, then it’ll be considerably cheaper (and often more comfortable) than an airport hotel.
Put a GPS Tracker on Your Luggage
If airlines are good at one thing, it’s losing luggage. But you can take the matter of finding it into your own hands if you place a GPS tracker in your bag. It may help the airline locate it and get it to you faster!
Do the Jet Lag Before You Travel
Jet lag isn’t the plane’s fault. If you work from home or something, then there’s no reason why you can’t experience it long before your vacation. Just plan your schedule around the timezone of your destination. You won’t be tired during the day when you arrive!
Inflatable Toys Will Keep Children Occupied Without Adding Excess Baggage
Beach balls have been used for generations. But they aren’t just useful for the beach. If you take one to the airport, then your kid can have a whale of a time while waiting for a flight. The airport should be large enough for children to play without annoying other guests.
Earplugs Are Also Good for Traveling Children
If you’ve got a youngish child and are worried about them annoying the whole plane, then bringing a pair of earplugs can be a lifesaver. They’ll block out a lot of the noise, allowing them to sleep and help with that ear-popping sensation that planes make.
Photograph/Screenshot the Boarding Passes
If you’ve got physical boarding passes, then you know how easy they are to lose. Take photos of them on your phone, and they’ll always be with you. If they’re e-passes, then screenshot them long before you get to the gate. The Internet can be spotty at the check-in areas, but a screenshot will make the pass readily available.
Look Into Rewarding Credit Cards
Some credit cards allow owners to get airport perks, like express boarding and free access to lounge areas. Getting one of these can really make your experience much easier and can even pay off, with Airmiles racking up.
Get in the Line with the Fewest Children
Children can take a while to get through security checks, baggage drop-offs and more. Look for the ones with the most professional looking people. They’ll be the ones who get through the fastest with no fuss.
Photograph Your Parking Space
Future you will thank you if you take a picture of your car’s location, especially if it has information about its zone. That will make finding your car much easier when you return. A week or two of vacationing can really make people forget important things like where the car is!
Bring a Large Empty Bottle for Water
Traveling is expensive to begin with. So you really don’t want to spend $6 on a tiny bottle of water when you get past the TSA. If you bring an empty water bottle through, you can fill it up in the airport. There will be water fountains, or the workers of a restaurant will probably be happy to fill it up for you.
Wear a Jacket with Tons of Pockets
The amount of stuff you can bring on a carry on a flight can be extremely limiting. But the two bag restriction can become easier if you bring a jacket filled with pockets. You’ll be able to fit tons of items in it, allowing you to take more clothing in the bag.
Take a Battery Pack Phone Charger
Phone batteries love to drain. Sometimes you’ll need to charge it when you’re in line. You can do with with a portable phone charger. The worry of your battery dying will be gone!
Turn Left at the TSA
Many airports have multiple TSA lines. Usually, the quickest line will be on the left of the main entryway to these lines. Why? Because people like to naturally turn right, thanks to most people being right-handed.
Bring a Plastic Shopping Bag
This is another great way of getting past the two bag limit. If you pack some of your stuff in a plastic shopping bag, the airport will let it through. They’ll assume it’s going to be disposed of shortly or was bought at the airport, meaning it isn’t part of the limit.
Researh Where to Park
Airport parking spaces can be tricky at the best of times. Most airport car parks can fill up fast. So to save on time, look up a contingency parking space in case you can’t get one near the gate. And ensure you leave with enough time to get to the back up space and the airport!
Weigh Your Bags Before Leaving
Home scales may not be 100% accurate for bags, but they’re better than nothing. Also, you can use a laundromat’s scale for a precise weight. This will mean that there are no surprises at the check-in.
Find an Airline’s Customer Service Number and Save It Into Your Phone
Your plane could get delayed or cancelled when you’re in the airport. The lines for customer service fill up fast. You can save a lot of hassle by calling customer service. You can even do this while you’re standing in the helpdesk line, to ensure that you get to a representative as fast as possible
Bring Food With You
The food in the airport is always overpriced. And while liquids are restricted, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your own food. You’ll save lots of money, especially if food isn’t included in your flight.
Put Something Distinctive on Your luggage
Generally, suitcases look similar. If you attach something, like a bow with a nametag, then it will stand out when it appears on the baggage claim. It’s also handy in case the bag gets misplaced.
Bring a Small Bottle of Hand Sanitizer
People are coming into airports from all over the world. That means that germs are coming in from everywhere. Germs that your immune system isn’t used to. Hand sanitizer (that doesn’t exceed the TSA limit) is really useful at repelling those germs.
Request A Fragile Sticker
Requesting a fragile sticker for your luggage will reduce the chance that your items get damaged. In addition, these bags are generally put at the top of the pile and so they will also have a higher chance of coming out first on the conveyor belt.
If you use some or all of these tips, you’ll find airports to be easy to get through. Safe and happy travels to you!
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