Many people find airport travel extremely stressful. Anything from half-hearted organisation to unplanned delays can contribute to the unrelenting despair of travelling by plane. However, to help ease this pain, we have compiled some simple tips to help make your time at the airport as stress-free and efficient as possible as you gleefully escape abroad one last time before winter closes in.
The first step to take is to plan everything well in advance, leave as little as is humanly possible to the last minute. Scrambling around in wardrobes and cabinets on the morning of your flight is no one’s idea of fun and will leave you with a messy room on your return. Instead, write yourself a checklist several weeks in advance to make sure that you have made all the appropriate arrangements and have packed everything that you need.
Have Everything to Hand
Most things you take on your trip won’t be needed until you arrive at your destination; however, there are a few essentials that will come in handy at the airport. These things all need to be packed ‘close to the surface’ in your hand luggage and include important documents such as your passport and your boarding pass as well as any bits you’ll need on the plane, such as your book, iPod and headphones. Don’t face the shame of having to empty the ‘vacation underwear’ out of your case in front of the entire airport to find your passport stubbornly hiding in a buried sock.
Do Your Research & Check Airport Regulations
Regulations regarding what you can carry in your hand luggage and what you can bring back from your travels are constantly changing. Check out current regulations online to avoid embarrassing and stress-inducing situations arising at customs control. The website of the airline in question will go into more detail on luggage limitations for your specific journey.
Stay by the Gate
Two of the biggest causes of stress for people when they are at the airport are delays and cancellations. Waiting for departure boards to update can add to the pressure as you will need to factor in the time it will take to run to your gate. By staying next to the gate you can get current updates from staff members and be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
Book a Hire Car Online
Hoping to arrive at your destination and immediately find the perfect hire car to suit your needs is unwise. It is sensible to plan ahead and make sure that you have a rental car arranged before leaving for the airport. The best way to do this is to book online in advance.
Be Frugal – Avoid Overnight Stay Costs
Travel is expensive enough without any additional costs. If a flight leaves in the early hours of the morning, or there are significant delays, many travellers will book a night in local accommodation. However, if you check the sleeping airports website you can find out about the night-time options of most international airports, as well as the best areas in which to get a decent night’s sleep. This will allow you to catch 40 winks without any unnecessary expense.
Choose Quieter Days to Travel
A little known fact is that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are, on average, the quietest days at airports. This is because many travellers depart at weekends to fit in with working hours and school holiday patterns. By choosing these days to travel, you are less likely to experience delays and the subsequent stress. If you can be flexible, use this to your advantage when booking flights and plan your trip to avoid busy times.
By following these tips, and with a little luck on your side, being in an airport need not be a stressful experience. With good planning, everything from parking the car to boarding the plane can run smoothly and efficiently. Do let us know if you have any other useful titbits to share, and we wish you a stress-free trip!