Holidays are supposed to be relaxing breaks. But all too often they turn into disasters. Most of the time it comes down to the fact that we haven’t properly organized ourselves for the trip. But a lot of the time, it’s simply because we don’t know how to navigate today’s modern airports. So what can we do to make our holidays a little more hassle free?
Sail Through Security
One of the most annoying parts of any trip to the airport is the security. This is why it takes two or more hours between arrival and boarding. And, for many people, it’s the biggest hassle of them all. When it comes to checking in, preparation is essential. The best advice at the moment is to remove from your person any articles that could cause a problem. That includes any metallic items of clothing, like belts, cufflinks, and watches. And any items in your bags that the security guards might not like. These days that can be just about anything. But at the very least, keep things like water bottles out of your hand luggage.
Finally, remember to charge portable electronics before you set off. Some airports now ask you to turn on your devices to prove that they aren’t filled with explosives.
Get Savvy With Your Bags
Most airlines will only allow hand luggage of a certain size. And that means that many will check the size of your hand luggage as you enter the plane. For some travel bloggers, like Renata Pereira, this is a real nuisance. It’s especially a nuisance if it turns out your bags are too big. Don’t worry, though; you can check the size of your baggage in advance.
Snap Up Parking
Parking at the airport is notoriously annoying and confusing. There’s never enough space in long stay. And even when there is, you’ll probably forget where you parked your car. The solution is airport parking services. All you need to do is drop off your car, and a driver will take it to a long stay parking area near to the airport. Then, when you return two weeks later, your car will be delivered to you without you having to go and find it. Oh, and if you’ve got pets, some airport parking services will even drop them off at the local pet areas for you before you jet off.
Airport Loyalty Schemes
What’s an airport loyalty scheme, I hear you ask? Essentially, it’s a membership program that entitles you to various perks. If you travel through a particular airport a lot, this might be something worth investigating. For instance, some airports offer their patrons free Wi-Fi connections while they’re in the airport. This is perfect for business travelers wanting to get a bit of work done while they wait for calling time.
You can also earn duty-free shopping points by shopping in the airport duty-free sections. There are even some airports that will allow you to build up parking points and receive free parking.
Pre-Order Your Food
This one is pretty cool. Now some US airports are allowing customers to pre-order their favorite food in advance. It’s so they don’t have to wait in queues once they arrive. The scheme is being trialed in Austin and Atlanta by Grab.
Find Your Gate
Each year, thousands of people miss their flights because they can’t find the right gate. The problem is that modern airports are vast. And gates can sometimes be a mile’s walk away from the terminal. If you start going in the wrong direction and don’t realize, it can be a long way back to the right place. The advice from those who travel a lot is to find your gate once you’ve finished grabbing food in the duty-free area. When you get there, it doesn’t really matter if you’re at the front of the queue or not. Everybody has prearranged seats on the plane anyway. If you’re worried about locker space, try to get there early.
Keep Snacks At The Ready For Kids
Mums Do Travel posted a great piece on the subject of children and traveling. There’s nothing worse than grouchy children, making mayhem in the airport lounge. They suggest families take with them an assortment of snacks to see them through the airport lobby lounge wait, and the long plane journey. Pack nuts, Bombay mix, bananas, apples, cereal pots, and bars.
Also, chewy sweets can be an excellent way to relieve sore ears after changes in cabin pressure. Swallowing helps ears to “pop” and get back to the right internal pressure.