Airline travel is a fact of life for many people, whether it is the busy businessman headed to the next meeting or the family on its way to Disneyworld. Although leaving on a jet plane can be a fun and exciting experience, dealing with airports is often frustrating, confusing and stressful. The long lines at security, trying to get comfortable on those metal chairs and less-than-appetizing food options can make for a stressful situation. These tips can help reduce your stress and make airports less intimidating.
Allow Plenty of Time
Although this piece of advice is offered repeatedly, it cannot be said enough how important it is to arrive at the airport well before your flight. In fact, allowing plenty of time can relieve as much as 90 percent of the stress many airline travelers experience. Aim to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the boarding time rather than the departure time. The boarding time is usually 30 minutes prior to departure, so that builds in additional time for you to check in, check bags, get through security and find your gate. One policy that many people are unaware of is that most airlines require you to be at the gate 15 minutes before departure, although many do not enforce the requirement.
Check In Online
Another way to avoid stress at the airport and avoid flight rage is to check in online. Most airlines offer the ability to check in 24-hours prior to the flight and then provide luggage only check-in lines for those that already have boarding passes. If you do not have access to a printer, you can still check in and use the self-service kiosks found at most airports to print them before checking bags.
Pack Survival Tools
Pack a small carry-on with a variety of survival tools for the airport. A light blanket can be used to keep you warm in airports that are often chilly and the blanket can be used as a pillow during flight delays or cancellations. Earplugs can block a majority of the sound, although you should remove them when occasionally to listen for announcements regarding your flight. Bring snacks that provide high energy such as granola bars, trail mix or fruit to snack on while you wait or on the plane.
The best clothing to wear for traveling is loose fitting clothing with a few layers. Airports and airplanes are sometimes cold, so a lightweight jacket or long-sleeved shirt over a t-shirt is perfect for airline travel. If you are traveling to a warm destination, such as the Caribbean, carry on a pair of shorts and lighter shirt and change in the airplane lavatory before landing so that you are not uncomfortable when you step off the plane. Some island countries unload passengers directly on the tarmac and the heat can be oppressive if you are dressed for winter.
Airports do not have to be intimidating and stressful. By planning ahead and checking out sites such as CheapOAir.com, you can relax and enjoy your trip from beginning to end.