Airports can be a relaxing first port of call on your way to your destination so long as you plan a few things in advance. Find here a few tips on how to get ready for the ultimate airport experience.
When you book your plane ticket
There is an effortless way to start saving as soon as you have booked your flight: reserve your parking spot at the airport at the same time. Using a dedicated comparison site like Looking4Parking.com can save you a good amount of money. They offer great discounts online, especially if you book in advance! Reserving your place early is also the only way to be 100% sure that you’ll have a parking spot on the day of your travel.
When you pack your bags
When packing your hand luggage, think about what you’ll need to have on hand at the airport, like your passport or boarding card. Pack these in an easily accessible but safe pocket. Leave your electronics at the top of your handbag – not only are you likely to use them during idle time, you’ll also have to take them out to go through security. Don’t forget to pack an empty water bottle, too. You’ll be able to fill it after going through security without having to buy plastic water bottles.
Regulations change often on what you can and can’t bring on a plane. The TSA have a section on their website that details if you can carry things like scissors, nail clippers, knitting needles or hermit crabs (they’ve really thought of everything!).
Once everything is packed, weigh your suitcase and hand luggage. Are your bags following your airline’s specifications? If not, it’s either time to repack (better do it at home than in the airport hall) or to plan to pay the extra charge.
Just before you leave for the airport
Generally, you’ll be able to save a lot of time and choose your seat when you check in online. With most American airlines, you’ll be able to print your boarding pass at the airport for free if you can’t print it at home, but this varies depending on the company.
Make sure you eat something before setting off and bring a snack for the airport too, if you want to avoid the expensive food served there.
For international flights, you usually have to be at the airport three hours before your flight. Airports and airlines have different guidelines for domestic flights, varying between one and three hours. Give yourself enough time to go through the airport: you’ll need time to park, get to your terminal, check in your bags, go through security and walk to your gate… In preparation for all this moving around and the dreadful shoes-removal process at security, opt for layers of comfortable clothing as well as easy to put on and take off shoes.
With all this advance preparation, getting to the airport, checking in your luggage and going through security should be easy as 1-2-3. All you have to do then is wait for your plane with your tablet or an enjoyable read in your hands!