Over the last few years, getting through an airport has become a tricky and harrowing experience, especially to people who do not prep for the process beforehand. You have to be well prepared, wily, and nimble to avoid inconveniences such as missing your flight as you go through the security checks.
Here are 15 airport hacks for the savvy traveler.
Check Out Layover and Destination Airports Beforehand
If you are a regular traveler, you are already familiar with your home airport. However, destination and layover airports will present an entirely new set of challenges that you will need to face head-on. Thankfully, most of the airports have mobile apps that you can download to get accurate directions to various places in the airport such as coffee shops.
Air Travel Clothes
Have a set of comfortable clothes that you can wear to the airport and on the flight. Concisely, the clothes should be presentable, but comfortable, somewhat durable, and neither too thin nor too warm to guarantee your comfort throughout the journey. Clean, iron and fold them at least three days before the big day and cross check to be sure that you have packed them.
Choose the Right Side
It is recommended to book a seat based on the side you usually sleep on to avoid straining your body. A study conducted by Skyscanner reveals that the left side that faces the cockpit is the most ideal because it offers travelers more undisturbed space to sleep on since the window seats are off center.
Consider Taking a Picture of your Parking Spot
You may not clearly remember where you parked your car due to fatigue. Save yourself from the hassles of walking around the parking lot looking for your car by taking a photo of your parking spot. While there, make sure that you capture one or two landmarks or signage in the picture to help you locate your car quickly. The terminal numbers and garages in some of the airports especially in Philadelphia are not apparent in the signage, and so you will need to memorize or write down the garage number in your notebook.
Invest in Zip-top Bags
Zip-top bags will come in handy when traveling abroad, especially if you intend to carry some soft drinks and stow snacks. They will also help to keep your phone and other mobile devices dry, and so it is recommendable to carry a few in your pockets.
Take an Empty Water Bottle
Cushion yourself from footing huge markups for bottled water by carrying an empty bottle. Once you walk past the security check, fill it up at a water fountain or dispenser.
Essentials Should be Within Reach
Essentials are carry-on items that you will need such as boarding pass and your identification documents. Pack this kind of items in an easily accessible location to avoid disorganizing your travel bag when going through the security checks. It is recommended to jot down these essentials on a piece of paper to avoid leaving any of them behind. If possible, pack them in one dedicated bag.
Use your Jacket to Carry More Stuff
If you have a long list of essentials that you need in the flight, consider investing in a coat that has spacious pockets. Use it to carry more items on you, but make sure that whatever you carry is legal to avoid any tussles with the security personnel at the airport.
Choose a Belt with a Plastic Buckle
Virtually all airports have beefed up security due to the increase in terrorist attack incidents. Some security agents will not allow you to pass through if your belt has a metallic buckle. Avoid the trouble of walking around with your clothes almost falling off by wearing a belt that has a plastic buckle.
Carry a Multi-Plug Adapter
A multi-plug adapter will help you to use to charge multiple electronics at the same time especially if you intend to travel with a group of colleagues or family members.
Queue in the Left Security Lane
Most people are biased towards their dominant hand and as a result, they naturally opt to queue in the right security lane. Go against the grain by queuing in the left security lane. You will be surprised by the small number of people who prefer this lane.
Stow your Luggage
Avoid annoying other travelers and wasting time by carrying all your stuff as you go through the security checks. Instead, store as many items as possible in your zipperless hard shell luggage. It will also make getting on and off the plane much easier.
Carry a Portable Phone Charger
There is no guarantee that you will get an open power port at the airport. Bring a mobile phone charger with you to use in-flight when your phone is on airplane mode. This simple tip will ensure that your phone has enough power when you land to call a taxi.
Exercise Before the Flight
Prepare your body not only just mentally, but also physically by taking part in simple stretching exercises such as Yoga. These exercises will help you to sleep better while on the plane by preventing joint pains and aches due to sitting in the same position.
Use your Carry-on Bag/Luggage as a Foot Rest
Enjoy maximum comfort throughout the flight by using your carry-on bag/luggage as a foot rest. This simple move will ensure that your seat and sleep in the right posture; thereby lowering the chances of experiencing back pains after the flight. Removing your shoes may also help you maximize comfort, but be mindful about other travelers and wear clean socks.
Bonus Hack: Remember to Carry an Eye Mask
In-flight devices and movies will keep you entertained throughout the flight. However, the same sources of light can make it difficult for you to sleep. Thankfully, you can block out such light by wearing an eye mask. So, make sure that you purchase one and carry it in your in-flight essentials bag.
These simple hacks will greatly help to ensure that you enjoy your flight by cushioning yourself from unnecessary distractions and avoidable inconveniences.