Do you love airports? You might be in the minority, as many people find them boring and only a means to an end. Personally, I don’t mind them. Usually I’m excited to go to my next destination, whether that be a beautiful beach in Nicaragua or a flight back home. I’ve spent countless hours in airports, so I’ve figured out a few trips for making the time spent there even easier. There’s nothing worse than being stuck behind a rookie traveler that makes all the classic mistakes when traveling by plane. Read on to learn tips for making airport travel smoother.
1. Travel as Light as Possible
It might be tempting to cram as much into your luggage for your trip home, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I urge you to travel as light as possible on your carry-on. Yes, take all your valuables carry-on, which may include a camera, laptop, Kindle and whatever else you take with you. But try not to bulk it up. A few times I’ve taken a giant backpack and a suitcase with me as carry-on, and found myself in airports without little trolleys. That meant lugging my 20+ kgs worth of stuff around with me across the length of an airport. Not fun. Try your best to make your luggage as light as possible.
2. Fill Out Arrival Cards/ Departure Cards in Advance
Have you see someone head to the customs window and then have to go back to the back of the line to fill in their arrival or departure cards? I have and it doesn’t look fun. Don’t be that guy, make sure you fill your forms in as soon as you get them. Yes, they’re tedious, but not as tedious as having to line up twice.
3) Get Your Laptop Out Before the Scanners
The rules at airports vary depending on where you are and where you’re headed. But one thing is universal, you’ll need to empty your liquids for any international flights before you get to the scanning. You’ll also need to remove your laptop from its baggage in order for it to be scanned. Do these two things in advance to make the X-ray lines move a lot quicker. It’s also helpful if you take your things from the tray, and then go sit down somewhere to put your items back on, back in order, as it frees up the X-ray line.
4) Get Your Boarding Pass Ready
Whenever you’re buying Duty Free, you’re going to need your boarding pass as proof of travel to be eligible for the often great prices you can get at Duty Free. Keep it in a safe location for easy access so you can get it quickly scanned when you want to buy something. Likewise, have your boarding pass ready and passport open to the photo page when you’re getting ready to board. The flight attendants are going to want to see both of these so get them ready to save time lining up.
Traveling by plane is an amazing way to travel. If you think of how long it would have taken us to travel the same distances by boat, it is really amazing how far modern travel has come. Despite these advancements, traveling in an airport can at times be exhausting, so use these tips to keep everything moving quickly and your time spent in lines as brief as possible.