Looking for some practical airport hacks for your next flight?
Whether you’re getting ready for your next city break, a well deserved vacation or a last minute trip, knowing how to skip the hassle at the airport always comes in handy.
Most airports are always busy. And regardless if you plan to travel during peak season or off peak times, it helps to know how to get pass the security checkpoint and walk to your gate without worrying about a thing.
Traveling is meant to be exciting. So why not make the most of your experience, starting with these airport hacks to help you start your trip with the right foot forward?
5 useful airport hacks to keep in mind before you get to the airport
Airport hack #1: Know exactly how to get to the airport
Traveling is an adventure for many, but not knowing where the airport is is not exactly fun!
Make sure you do your research when planning your trip. Know where the airport is and make sure you have the means to get there.
Extra airport tip: Whenever my friends aren’t available to give me a ride to the airport, I make sure to check the trains and buses schedules, so I’ll know when to leave to arrive on time. Have some cash on hand if you need to buy tickets on the go and make sure you pack enough snacks and water for the road.
Double check you have your boarding pass and documents somewhere handy
Triple check this, if you have to. There’s nothing worse than arriving in the nick of time at the airport just to realize you won’t be boarding your plane.
It’s OK to forget to pack an extra pair of socks, but it’s not OK to forget to pack your boarding pass and passport.
Print or take a screenshot of your boarding pass
Don’t forget to print your boarding pass, if you have to. And avoid printing it at the last minute! What if your printer’s ink runs out? Or there’s a glitch and your printer suddenly stops working right before you need to run to the airport?
If you use an app and there’s no need to print your boarding pass, make sure to take a screenshot of your ticket. If the Wi-Fi or your internet connection suddenly stop working right when you need to scan your ticket, you can at least have a screenshot you can show at the airport.
Charge your phone, kindle and your kids’ game consoles before you leave
Although it is possible to charge your devices at the airport, it’s always wise to make sure you take care of this at home.
You need your phone to work if you need to show your electronic boarding pass or make a phone call or even listen to music during your flight. And if you travel with kids, make sure their devices are fully charged as well. It will help them avoid boredom as they wait to board the plane.
Keep your electronic devices and liquids on hand
Pack your bags carefully and follow these tips to pack light when going on a trip. Just make sure you keep your laptop, tablet, phones and liquids somewhere easy to reach. This way, at the airport, you won’t have to stress out about taking them out when you’re at the security checkpoint.
Airport tips for a hassle free boarding process
Check your luggage and go straight to the security checking point
One of the best airport hacks is arriving at the airport with plenty time to spare. You never know how long the luggage queue will be or how long it takes to go through security.
With that being said, as soon as you set foot in the airport, make sure to check in your luggage first. It will be easier to get around and have a cup of coffee or eat a snack before your flight without dragging a huge bag everywhere with you.
When you’re done checking in your luggage or if you travel light and only packed a backpack, make sure you get to the security checking point as soon as you can. You’ll avoid stressing out about losing your flight because of a long queue.
Respect the security guidelines and prepare yourself to speed up the process
Once you arrive at the security checkpoint, you should move to the left lanes to speed up the process. Most people tend to stop at the first checkpoints they see and few are those who move along the their left.
Unless the airport staff instructs you otherwise, go left. Chances are high you’ll find a shorter queue.
Now is the time to have your boarding pass handy and prepare for the security check:
- take your laptop and other electronic devices out of your luggage
- have your liquids out of your bag and placed in a Ziploc bag
- take off your jewelry, your belt and “strip down” to your t-shirt
- take off your shoes as well if there’s a reason you’ll set off the alarm
- throw away your bottle of water or empty it before going through security
- Extra tip: don’t worry if you set off the alarm anyway. It happens to me all the time, just collaborate with the security staff and keep an eye on your luggage as they search you, just in case.
Wear an extra blouse or scarf on board
Before boarding your plane, take out a long sleeved blouse or your scarf from your luggage. You should have an extra layer handy on the plane in case the air conditioning is “too much” for you (even during summer).
Airport hacks to keep in mind upon arrival
Remain seated after landing and be careful with your luggage
The second the plane lands, many tend to unbuckle their seat-belts immediately and get up and go search for their luggage. Avoid this bad habit and just stay calm until the pilot parks the plane.
When it’s safe to get up and open the overhead compartments, be careful when taking out your luggage. Just make sure you won’t drop your backpack on anyone or drag down other bags along with yours!
Have your documents ready for immigration or passport control
Traveling to a foreign destination often implies the need to show some form of ID before entering the country.
Make sure you have your documents ready and remain calm until the security staff says it’s OK to move along and start enjoying your trip.
Always make sure you take the right bag at the baggage claim
Have you tied a red ribbon on your baggage to recognize it easier? Well, there are probably so many other people who did the same! It’s one of the most “advertised” airport hacks on the internet.
When waiting at the baggage claim, just make sure you took the right bag before you leave the airport. Look at your ticket and the number on your luggage and, if you really want to make sure, just open the bag to double check it’s yours.
What other airport hacks do you know of that make your traveling experience easier?