Every few days I’m in a new airport. It’s only March and I’ve already caught more than 20 flights. So I thought I’d share a few tips with you to make the airport experience a little more bearable!
- Google your flight
These days there’s no point going through different websites and entering numbers and checking times. Simply googling your flight number will bring up the information you need – it’ll even be able to tell you if you’re delayed. I’ve googled my flight number as I sat on the tarmac and found out more from that than I have from the flight attendants! I google my flight before I go to sleep, and then as soon as I wake up and just before I leave for the airport.
- Make everything as digital as possible
Apart from your passport, these days you can pretty much turn up with everything on your phone, from booking references to boarding passes. Because I never travel with checked baggage, I can always have my boarding pass ready to go, but these days I don’t print anything at all.
- Check in early
Checking in 24 hours before your flight is the best way to make sure you can get the seat you want and beat the queues when you get to the airport. As soon as that check-in opens, a few clicks on your phone and you’re sorted.
- Be prepared to get everything out of your bag
Airport security is there for a reason, and they’ve got every right to ask you to empty your bag! If you’ve tightly stuffed your hand luggage within an inch of its life, you might find yourself in a bit of a nightmare. My carry-on is full of all my equipment – laptops, cameras, batteries, hard drives, cables – you name it – so you can imagine I’m asked to empty my bag quite often. I need to be able to do it quickly, without complaining and in a way that means I can repack it, ready to go.
- Know what you need to remove for security
It’s possible you’ll need to get your belt, jewellery and shoes off for security. Be prepared to do it. In some countries it’s compulsory to go through without shoes, in others it isn’t. Pay attention from the back of the line and be ready to go when you get there.
- Check your gate
As soon as you arrive, be aware of where your gate is. A few times I’ve thought I’ve had lots of time and then found out my gate is up to a 15 minute walk from where I am! Knowing how long you’ll need to get to your gate can be crucial in making a flight.
- Take headphones
The crucial item for all airport time. You don’t know how long you might end up waiting in an airport and want to watch a movie, do some editing or listen to music. Airports are noisy places and a solid pair of headphones can drown out all kinds of sounds and help you to centre in your own world for a while.
- Take battery packs and a universal adaptor
If you’re a technology user like me, chances are you’re going to drain a battery or two! I take a battery pack that can charge my phone and cameras, as well as a battery pack to charge my laptop. Not all flights have power on them, so it’s important to stay charged! Another tip is to take a power board with one universal adaptor. That way you only need to find one power outlet to plug in all your devices!
- Get into a lounge if you can
There are a few different ways to get into an airport lounge! Sometimes it can be through a friend, sometimes you get a pass (if you fly enough), and you can also purchase one-off entry passes to different lounges. I highly recommend this, especially if you’re doing a layover. It can be well worth the cost (if you have to pay) to have a quiet place to relax, have a shower, have a sleep in a proper bed, and maybe even have a massage! If you’re in an airport for more than 3 hours, it’s well worth it!
- Take a penny board
Ok maybe this is not really an airport tip – in fact some airports won’t let you ride a penny at all, but I know that every time I’m in an airport I’m wishing I had a penny board!