At Venture 4th we’re huge fans of travel – but even we know that the airport isn’t the most exciting place to visit during your trip. With that in mind, we do what we can to share our best tricks and tips with you, so that you can save time at the airport and make the most out of your next adventure.
Following, we’ve put together a checklist of helpful hints that cover everything from tips for airport security, to how to have the right attitude when you’re sitting at the gate and waiting to board. With a little luck, this helpful article will be your number one survival guide the next time you go exploring.
Tip 1: Know Where your Airport Is
As obvious as this might sound, so many people get caught up on planning for their trip, applying their TSA lock, and checking their itinerary, that they forget all about preparing their route to their airport. If you’ve never visited a particular gate before, then make sure you know exactly where it is and how you’re going to get there well in advanced. Google Maps might be useful for this.
Tip 2: Keep your Boarding Pass on Hand
If you aren’t printing your boarding pass – which can be a good idea in itself – then you should take a screen shot of it and save it in your pictures folder on your phone. This advice still applies if you’re going to use your boarding pass from your email or online when you get to the airport, as the last thing you want is to rely on an airline app or good internet connection to get onto your flight.
Tip 3: Skip the Check-in
During holiday periods such as Christmas and Spring break, certain airports can get seriously busy. You might find that if you’re flying at the wrong time, you’re left standing in the check-in queue for what seems like forever. The trick here is to avoid visiting the queue at all. Go and read a book in a nearby café instead. When an airport is very busy, they’ll generally call out the flights which are due to depart first, then let passengers through as a priority. In other words, you can sit and relax until it’s your turn to be first in the queue.
Tip 4: Be Prepared for Security
If you want to keep the security team happy on your next flight, and make sure that you don’t end up with a massive hole in your luggage, then buy a TSA lock. Not only will this help you to save time at the airport, but it’ll also help to keep your luggage safe wherever you go. TSA locks allow TSA agents to check through your bags when they need to without breaking the padlock or using other means. That’s pretty much a better scenario for everyone involved.
Tip 5: Don’t Set Off Any Alarms
Another thing to remember as part of our tips for security, is to take off anything that might set off alarms before you go through the gate. Besides applying your TSA lock, you’ll also need to wave goodbye to your keys, mobile phone, laptop, and any jewelry you might be wearing. Anything that might set off the alarm should go into the little plastic tray – don’t waste time when you’re in a rush.
Tip 6: Make Sure It’s Socially Acceptable
Though we generally don’t recommend turning to alcohol as a way of coping with the stress of flights and travel, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two if you’re feeling a little nervous about the journey ahead. However, if you want to save time at the airport, stay relaxed, and avoid making a bad impression, try to schedule your flight somewhere around 6pm, instead of 6am.
Tip 7: Set Alarms to Avoid Missing your Plane
You might think that there’s absolutely no way that you could get distracted enough in the airport lounge to miss your flight – but you could be surprised. In a world where free Wi-Fi seems to be everywhere, and you’re probably going to be up to your eyeballs in stress watching over the kids – having an alarm to remind you of where you need to be at certain times may be a lot more helpful than you think.
Tip 8: Stop Queuing for the Plane
If you know that it’s just about time to board – that doesn’t mean that you should be the first person standing up and crowding the gate to the plane. One of the best ways to save time at the airport, and stop yourself from getting overly stressed out, is to sit comfortably in departures where you have a good view of the boarding desk. When the queue is down to a couple of people, stroll casually to the front and move onto the plane. Keep in mind that the plane isn’t going to leave unless they at least call your name once – so there’s probably time to run to the bathroom or grab a drink before you go.
Tip 9: Look Before You Leave
Whenever you’re getting up to go anywhere in the airport – whether it’s at a bar, café, or anything else, make sure that you turn around and ensure that you haven’t left anything behind – from your tickets to your latte. This will help to save time at the airport by meaning you don’t have to run back from place to place and search for your lost items.
Tip 10: Bump Up to Business Class
Finally, this tip isn’t going to help you save time at the airport, but it could give you an extra dose of comfort when you need it most. One of the best tips that travel veterans give is that you should wait until the flight closing announcements start being made before you try boarding the plane. At that point, if you see any empty seats in business class, as you walk through towards economy, you can always sit in one. Here, you’re probably going to have to sit and pray that your flight attendant won’t question your presence – but it does work sometimes.