Vacations can be a wonderful, relaxing experience. A way to break from the mundane and hectic lives we live and just enjoy doing nothing. However, all too often these intended breaks from the trials and tribulations of life begin in one of the most stress-infused places in the world – the airport. While handling airport bureaucracy many times puts a dark cloud over family vacations or trips, there are some ways to alleviate the headaches and begin your escape on the right side of the terminal.
Before you Arrive:
One of the first things you should do when planning a flight is also one of the most overlooked – know where you’re going! Never underestimate the value of knowing the best way to get to the airport and where you need to go once you’re there. This can save tons of time and stress on your trip right from the start. Having your boarding pass printed ahead of time is also a great time saver when traveling by plane. Have yours on you when you arrive, either printed or saved to your mobile device, to avoid waiting to have it printed at the airport. Finally, make sure to arrive at least an hour before your flight – this ensures you don’t have to rush around at the last minute and allows for the inevitable delays that come with any trip.
Getting through security at the airport is always a hassle, but there are a few easy ways to make it as painless as possible. Pack your bags properly. This means pack neatly, avoiding liquids in your luggage, and packing all coats and jackets in checked bags. Be prepared for the screening process by removing metal items and shoes ahead of time. Finally, make sure to have your boarding pass and identification ready when you approach security.
At the Gate:
So you made it through check-in, passed security and are finally at your gate. While this seems like the easiest part of the airport experience, it can in fact be the most annoying. Combat potential delays with reading materials to keep you busy. Bring crossword or other puzzles to occupy yourself. In this day and age, most people rely on their phones for entertainment, so make sure to have your phone charger handy, and even consider bringing an outlet splitter just in case others are similarly relocated to the often sparse terminal outlets.
On the Plane:
One you finally take your seat, there are just a few more things to keep in mind. Keep some gum handy during take-off and landing to help relieve pressure aches. Make sure those reading materials are handy and your phone is on airplane mode. And the number one thing to make sure you have from start to finish of your airport adventure – patience. Take a deep breath and keep your cool to make the entire experience less frustrating and get where you’re going with less stress.
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