Airports can be a funny old thing – perfectly capable of sapping all your holiday excitement and replacing it with a gauntlet of hold ups and terminal stress. Whether it’s excess baggage woes, sneaky additional fees or those awkward moments with security, it seems impossible to make it from the entrance to your departure gate without something going wrong.
It doesn’t have to be like this though; there is a better way! You can glide through the airport like a calm breeze, if you make a few simple changes to the way you travel. You’ll not only save time, money and a whole bunch of grey hairs by mastering the airport process – you may even start to enjoy that departure gate feeling too.
TripIt is the definitive travel app, combining all your travels into a single itinerary for you to access from anywhere. Not only do your entire travel plans get easier, but this handy little app makes the airport process quicker too. You can check the flight status of your flight at any time with the free account and if you sign up for TripIt Pro you can receive SMS alerts for any flight delays or changes to your boarding gate.
It may sound obvious, but the best way to avoid the queues and rush hour traffic is to fly ‘redeye’ (overnight). Not only do you get to the airport quicker (as well as through it) but you’ll be primed to get some sleep on the plane – which makes sense for longer flights anyway. Aim to land at your destination the following morning and you may even get away without any major jet lag.
Check in online & travel light
Whether you take on the queues at the airport or not, you simply have to check in online, print your boarding pass and travel light. If you can turn up with all your documents ready and nothing more than hand luggage, you’ll beat the crowds every time.
Lose the accessories and keep your pockets empty
The only things you really need to get through the airport is your phone, cash and travel docs. Everything else is unnecessary, so lose the accessories, jewellery and other stuff you don’t need; they’ll be fine in your luggage until you land at the other side. You don’t even need your wallet – just enough notes to get you from one airport to the next – so stick to paper and give any change you acquire as part of a tip when you grab something to eat or drink.
Train your travel companions
If you’re travelling alone then you won’t have this problem, but as soon as you have a group of friends –or worse, kids – to deal with, your journey through the airport can come to a grinding halt. So train your travel companions and, if you have kids to keep entertained, try keeping them away form the tablets and other tech. Digital ‘toys’ aren’t just addictive, they also shorten the attention span so try some traditional I Spy or something that gets you involved with the kids.
And, finally, try to enjoy it!
Follow all the tips in this article and you should be able to fly through departures on a regular basis. Once you get into your groove, you’ll feel like a master of airports everywhere and enjoy nothing more than sipping on a glass of your favourite stuff in the departure lounge. Your holiday starts here so you may as well sit back and soak up the atmosphere, while you picture yourself stepping off that plane, ready to breeze through another airport after touchdown.