15 airport travel hacks for an easier holiday
The airport part of the holiday is never fun. Between trying to find your gate, to getting past security, and then keeping yourself occupied during a long stop-over, it feels as though airports were invented to try our patience. As testing as they can be, there are things you can do to ease up the journey. If you’re jetting off soon, we’ve rounded-up 15 airport #TravelTricks for an easier holiday which are designed to make your airport experience just that little bit more straightforward.
1. Wear slip off shoes
No one wants to be that person who fumbles around trying to get their shoes on and off while at the security gate. Get to the Duty Free shopping first by wearing shoes that easily slip on and off.
2. Convert your money before the airport
Airport foreign exchange usually comes with a fee. Before you travel, pop into one of our branches to get your money or order it online and have it delivered.
3. Download the app
Many airline and hotels have downloadable apps where you can check your booking details and receive real-time updates. Some airports have their own dedicated app as well that’s worth having on your phone or tablet.
4. Book your transport to the airport in advance
Asking a family member or friend to drop you at the airport (and collect you) is the cheapest option. But if that’s not an option, remember to book everything in advance to avoid any rushing around or a higher price. Some dedicated airport buses also allow passengers to book tickets in advance. If you’re looking at extended parking, you can save a lot of money by booking this in advance too (remember to take a note of where you’re parked).
5. Look at transport options at your final stop
Do you need to take a taxi? Is there a local bus service you could use or a dedicated train line? You can also use some Google Maps features without WiFi.
6. Purchase some snacks for the flight once you’re past security
Depending on the length of your flight you might have a meal included, but it’s still ideal to have a few of your favourite snacks in your hand luggage. Technically you can bring dry food through security, but the restrictions can be confusing so many travellers leave it until they’re cleared.
7. Bring an empty flask with you
It will need to be empty when you go through security, but once you’re past find a water fountain and fill it up so you stay hydrated on your flight.
8. Double check hand luggage restrictions
We all know someone who has had something taken off them by security. Whether it was some make-up, a pen, pocket-knife or non-essential medication. When packing your hand luggage, cross-reference it with the Gov.uk brochure.
9. Check-in online
Even if you have hold luggage, checking-in an online can still speed up the process as some airlines now have a dedicated ‘bag-drop’ for organised customers.
10. Make your luggage stand-out
Whether you buy a suitcase in a florescent shade or cover a subtle case in stickers, making your suitcase stand out will save a lot of time at luggage collection.
11. Pick the checkpoint farthest to the left
It’s a bit debatable but studies have suggested – due to most people being right handed – that the security or check-in line on the right will fill up quicker than the left.
12. Sign up for a VIP Lounge
If you know you’re going to have an extended stop-over, it’s worth paying up for one of these lounges. Depending on the lounge, you could get access to all-inclusive food and drinks plus unlimited WiFi access.
13. Carry a portable charger
The last thing you want is for your phone to run-out of battery while you’re still trying to reach your final destination.
14. Pack everything you’ll need during the flight into one smaller bag
Pack all your ‘in-flight’ essentials (such as your book, headphones and travel pillow) into one smaller bag so you can get comfortable before take-off.
15. Be careful with headphones
If you have a long layover, it’s tempting to watch a film on your laptop but you might end up missing important announcements. Try and leave your TV watching or music listening until you’re on your flight.
Edited by Morag@BarrheadTravel