In my almost 20 years of life I have found that there are places that people simply want to visit. Among these are the dentist, the DMV, post office, and yes the airport. Perhaps its the fear of flying or missing your flight, but there is something about airports that is overwhelmingly stressful. Most of the time the things that makes us stressed out are ones that we can easily take care of before we even arrive.
So here’s a list of 5 ways you can make your visit to the airport a stress-free and easy one.
#1: Get there early!!
Although it may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many airport struggles could be solved by getting there early. According to TSA, it’s recommended to arrive two hours prior to your flight if you are traveling within the U.S. or three hours for international flights. Many airports also have many restrictions as to the latest time you can check into your flight.
It’s less stressful to be early for numerous reasons. You can never accurately predict how long the line will take you. If you arrive early you can stand in line knowing your flight will not leave you. If you don’t feel like being at the airport for such a long time just remember that airports usually are equipped with some kind of food court.
#2: Check In The Day Before If Possible
This one I am actually a little shocked that most do not take advantage of. Probably every time that I have flown, the check-in line seems to wrap around at least 10x. Although this doesn’t get rid of all the lines, checking in ahead will often times allow you to simply drop-off your baggage and head to your flight. Even though some airlines check-in and baggage check-in are the same line, it is a worthwhile service to take advantage of. I’d also like to add that some airlines will upgrade your seat if you’re one of the first to check in. There is no real downside to online check in however it isn’t always available to everyone.
#3: Know Your Baggage Sizes/Weight Limit
It’s honestly funny to see the amount of people who are surprised that there’s baggage limits. I believe that the baggage drop-off would be much quicker if travelers knew their airline’s baggage limits ahead of time. I know I tend to spend the night before weighing luggage to make sure I don’t exceed the weight limit. Not only does exceeding the weight mean more time lost but it’ill usually come with a steep fee. Save yourself that headache by weighing your baggages or at least attempting to feel out the weight the night before.
I would also recommend taking a special look at the dimensions specified by your airline. There’ll be times that there are some tricky measurements there that you may not know until you get there. This is particularly for your carry on luggage. Again this could save yourself a lot of stress and money.
#4: Have The Necessary Documents With You
Another one that seems like it’s very logical but it needs to be revisited. If you are traveling internationally please be sure to have your passports ready to go when asked. At airports they will typically tell you to have your boarding passes and/or passports open when boarding. This is simply to get people on the plane as quickly as possible in order to depart quickly. So do not put them away until you have boarded the plane and it is no longer necessary to have them out.
#5: Do What You Have To Do If You Have A Fear Of Flying
Whether you have to take medication or take a moment to gather yourself before boarding the plane, it is important that you feel at ease when you step on. So take any necessary steps to ensure that your flight will be as relaxed as possible. At this point before boarding all you have to do is take one last look at your internet (unless you have wifi in flight) and enjoy that Starbucks you probably bought in the terminal. If you have a fear of flying be sure to research helpful tips and tricks that may work for you. At the end of the day, you should be able to enjoy your flight.
Anything not on this list that you feel could get you a painless airport experience? Be sure to let me know in the comments below! Until next time, safe travels!