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How to keep a level head in the airport

We all love going on holiday, but let’s face it, getting there can sometimes be a pain in the neck. Whether it’s an early flight, long delays or huge queues at security, getting through the airport can often make you wonder whether travel abroad is really worth it (until you get to your destination, that is!).

While we may never jump for joy at the idea of tackling the airport, there are a few things that you can do to make it a great deal easier. So read on and discover how to catch your flight with ease, and – dare I say it – maybe even have fun along the way…

Get excited

The airport is an exciting place
The airport is an exciting place

When I was a kid, I loved airports. The whole hustle and bustle and lack of any kind of worry and responsibility made it a wonderful and magical experience for me. Of course, then I grew up and once I became responsible for the tickets, timings and paperwork, I lost the joy I once had for the terminals.

But in reality the airport really is an exciting place – people coming and going and the anticipation of your own travel adventures should give you a buzz rather than be a burden. So now every time I go to the airport, I try to recapture the joy and wonder I felt as a kid by making an event of it.

I arrive in plenty of time so I don’t have to feel anxious while waiting in queues. Instead, I engage in some people-watching, or chat with my travelling partner about our plans for the holiday. Basically, anything that reminds me that we are going on holiday and takes my mind off the fact that we are standing in a queue!

Feel grateful

Three cheers for a fast queue through security!
Three cheers for a fast queue through security!

We can have a tendency to focus on the negative. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just human nature. However, it can work against us when we are trying to keep our cool in stressful situations, such as travelling.

I find this is really easy to fix, simply by reprogramming my brain to pay attention to the positive. So try to acknowledge things that go right and feel grateful for them. Take note of the friendly staff at the check in desk, smile when your luggage comes well under the baggage allowance weight (more room for souvenirs!) and be thankful if the queue at security is a lot shorter than you expected.

If you focus on the positive, you will be in a much better state of mind to deal with something if an issue does come up.

Make an event of it

You can get some delicious food in the airport
You can get some delicious food in the airport

Once you’re through security, you can truly relax. As I mentioned before, I like to leave plenty of time so I can enjoy all of the fun stuff the airport has to offer. Nothing beats going for a slap-up meal in one of the restaurants before you are due to take off – much better than plane food and it sends me into a sleepy state so I can have a nap once we’re in the air!

Of course, if that isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things to do in most airports. Indulge in a bit of shopping, get yourself a cup of tea or just kick back in the departure lounge and make a start on your holiday reading. There’s nothing that you can do until your boarding gate is called, so rather than pacing up and down departures feeling restless, take the opportunity to just chill out. You deserve it!

Those are my top tips for keeping a level head in the airport, but what are yours? Have your say in the comments below.

Images by Robert Couse-Baker, Anne Worner and Alfred Lui under a creative commons licence