The day of travel for most people is something of a roller coaster experience. For those that travel frequently for work or leisure, the airport is ‘just’ another step in the process. However, for people that travel less frequently, there is often a lot of hype around travelling to the airport and the experience itself. Either way, the time you spend there before boarding your flight to one of our dog sledding holidays can be vital in starting your trip off in the best way possible. Although many of the airport processes are rigid and repetitive, there are a few things that can be controlled by you to make the experience a more enjoyable and less stressful one. In this article, we’ll look at how you can achieve the least stressful airport experience to make sure your day of travel goes off without a hitch.
Be Organised and Think Ahead
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve been to the airport before and have experienced the somewhat repetitive nature of being asked the same questions and having to show the same documents to what seems like half of the people that work there. In reality, airports are always striving towards providing the slickest processing of travellers which must be balanced with a comprehensive and thorough safety process.
The process of being organised really starts before you travel to the airport. Although some have more stringent safety measures in place, you will always be asked to present your passport and ticket/boarding pass at various steps along the way, which means having these two documents accessible to you at all times. We’ve all seen the look of surprise on a fellow traveller’s face when asked for these documents at the security gate, proceeded by ten minutes of them rummaging through their bags to find their passport – don’t be this person!
Being organised doesn’t stop at documentation, either. Knowing your exact flight time will help you plan ahead to make sure you arrive in plenty of time. Arriving at the airport and being ready for your flight five hours early isn’t advisable, but it’s better than arriving ten minutes too late! Also, bear in mind how you pack your bags, especially hand luggage, and what you’ll need to take out during the security process; things like laptops, tablets, and any liquids will all need to be scanned separately.
Travel and Parking
If you’re driving to the airport and leaving your car there, then make sure you know where your headed. Some have offsite parking that will transfer you to and from the airport, meaning arriving at the front doors will do you no good at all! Plan your route and double check to see if there are any traffic issues, adding time to your journey if necessary.
If you’re making a long journey, why not break up the travel time by stopping over in a hotel or BnB near the airport the day before your flight? This way, you’ll have time to relax before your day of travel. Equally, if you’re looking for a less stressful time waiting for your flight, why not book into the airport lounge? Most will offer complimentary drinks and food and will mean you don’t need to worry about paying over-the-top prices.
One of the main causes of stress at the airport is trying to find out where to board your flight and checking if there are any delays. Keeping yourself up to date with flight information will mean you won’t be stressing and you’ll have more freedom to relax. Bear in mind that many airports are fairly large so walking from one end to the other can take a little while. Being aware of when your flights departure gate is announced and being able to mobilise quickly will mean you’ll make your flight in plenty of time!
Have a Good Airport Attitude
When you’re there and waiting for your flight, it’s easy to forget that everyone is in the same boat as you! People will be travelling for a variety of reasons and it’s important to be nice and courteous to your fellow travellers. Doing nice things such as giving up your seat to families or elderly travellers and having patience with the staff if your flight is delayed will contribute to a more positive airport experience.
Do you have any airport rituals? Things you have to do every time you travel? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!