The most common thing I hear people say that they hate about going away is the travelling, specifically the airport. Now unfortunately we don’t have control over what time our plane is and whether it leaves on time. However, we can be prepared to make sure our airport experience is as stress-free as possible.
Below I have put together some of my top tips to hopefully make your airport experience a little bit better.
1)Travel to the airport -> Make sure this has been sorted and prepared for in advance of your trip. Often if my flight is very early morning and I’m flying from somewhere that’s a bit of a drive from home (Gatwick or Heathrow) I will often book myself into a Travel Lodge over night. This means less rush in the morning, a place for my car to stay (if I didn’t get a lift there) and a free bus into the airport. Alternatively you could get a pre-paid cab, a lift off a friend, public transport or drive yourself and park at the airport. This will all be dependent on what suits you and how long you shall be away for, just make sure you have something pre-planned and that you’ll arrive with plenty of time to catch your flight. Generally, most flights require you to be there two hours before take-off so make sure you time this accordingly.
2) The early bird catches the worm -> If it’s one thing my mother has taught me it’s that it’s better to be early than late – and with flights this is especially true. Linking in with point number one it’s good to give yourself some extra time when travelling to the airport as you don’t know what hold-ups you might encounter such as traffic (less likely late at night and early morning) but you get the picture right? I would advise giving yourself an extra hour just in case. So what if you get there early? You can be there with plenty of time to spare which means less stress and less worry!
3) Have all important documents together -> There is nothing worse than a person in front of you who’s scrambling through their bag to find their passport and ticket. I always put all my documents together in a zip lock folder so that they are easily accessible and easy to find. It saves a lot of hassle and time and means you know where everything is straight away.
4) Security stress -> Unfortunately, this is another element we don’t have much control over and sometimes you do just have to queue and deal with it. However, most of the hold-ups are caused by people who have not been prepared. Standard procedure: make sure all your liquids are under 100ml and in a see through bag, take out any electrical products and remove your coat/jacket – simples! You can find out more about UK security restrictions here.
5) Sit conveniently-> Now, if you’ve left with plenty of time and haven’t had too many issues with security you should be through to the departure lounge with a bit of spare time on your hands. If you’re hungry grab a bite to eat, or maybe take a look around the shops just remember to keep checking the status of your flight. It’s a good idea to sit near a screen so you can check your flight regularly. Don’t be fooled – there have been times before where I have looked not realising the time and the next thing I know my flight is on last call!
6) Finally, remember why you’re going. Ok so no one particularly likes the rush around at airports but just remember it’s a means to an end – soon you’ll be sunning it up with a cocktail in hand or exploring a new place and wondering what all the fuss was about.
I hope these tips help you to have a slightly less stressful experience at airports. Remember to take a good book/music/laptop so that if your flight is delayed you have something to keep you occupied, and remember it won’t be just you who’s annoyed!