It goes without saying, having something to keep you entertained during the arduous hours between check-in and take-off will make your airport experience exponentially better. l'd rather just teleport to their destination. And then there are those who relish in the novelties of air travel, whose adventure begins not when they touch down on the other end of their flight, but as soon as they set foot in the airport. Whichever camp you fall in, these airport survival tips will make the experience a whole lot better.
Not all of us have the airlines miles, status or flashy credit cards required to gain access to the top-tier airport lounges. But that doesn't mean you need to rough it out in the main terminal. Many large airports have multiple lounges, including ones where you can purchase a one-off pass.
The pass will often include food (typically buffet-style), drinks (alcoholic if you're lucky!) and shower facilities. There's usually a dedicated work space for those travelling for work, with plenty of charging ports and (usually) free WiFi.
There is almost always a maximum capacity so be sure to purchase your pass in advance. Visit the airport website to find out which lounges you may have access to.
Bring a good book or make use of Netflix downloads
It goes without saying, having something to keep you entertained during the arduous hours between check-in and take-off will make your airport experience expinentially better.
If you plan on buying a book specifically for the plane, you might want to purchase it before you arrive at the airport. You'll likely pay more for it at the departure gate. Although, browsing the shelves at WHS Smith is an excellent way to pass the time.
If there's a series or movie you've been eyeing off, now is your chance to binge. Airport WiFi isn't always the fastest or the most reliable so you might want to have a few shows downloaded and ready to go.
Cut down on your liquids
For the sanity of the staff and every single person behind you in the line at security, please make sure your toiletries are less than 100mL. And try to have them packed neatly in a clear plastic bag. Not all airports require you to remove your liquids from your carry-on anymore but just to be safe, be prepared to bare your bag of deodorant and lip balm (yes, lip balm is a liquid).
Make an exit plan
When you step off the plane at the other end of your flight, you don't want to be fumbling around trying to figure out how to get from A to B, particularly if you're in a foreign country.
If you're travelling to a destination where you won't have mobile data, download a map of the region or city while you're waiting for your flight. While you've got access to WiFi, have a look at some local transport options for when you land. It also helps to know what the average taxi fair is from the airport to your final destination. You can also do a quick search on ride share services like Uber, Careem and Lyft.
However, the easiest option is to ask you travel agent to organise an airport transfer, or see if the hotel you're staying in has an airport shuttle service. It can be costly depending on how far you need to travel to get to your accommodation, but it's the best way to make a clean break from the airport (and ensure you don't get ripped off by a taxi driver.)