Airports can be stressful places. These are some of our top tips on how to make the experience less stressful and more pleasurable.
Plan Your Route In Advance
It is always useful to plan your route in advance to allow yourself plenty of time to get there. Google Maps, the AA route planner and using your SatNav are all different ways to plan the best route. The website Roadworks.org allows you to check for any road works that may add time to your journey.
Check In Online
If you can, check in online to save time at the airport. This is especially good if you have no luggage. I always print out boarding passes though for peace of mind, in case my mobile is flat when you get to the airport.
Remove Your Valuables Before Security
It takes time to remove your jewellery, belt, watch and boots. It maybe best not to wear these items to the airport at all, or if practical, remove them well before you get to security. This will save you being patted down or even searched. When my 8 year old son had to be patted down by security because I forgot his jeans had a key chain attached, was not my best parenting moment.
For a calm start to your holiday it can be worth paying for an executive lounge. The Number 1 lounge at Heathrow and Gatwick, or the Servisair lounges worldwide, give you food, drink, alcohol and free Wi-Fi in a peaceful surroundings for a charge.
Don’t forget to check the Flight Status boards as you rarely get called to the boarding gate these days.
Be organised. I put all the important information like hotel details, passports, boarding passes, itinerary and travel insurance in a file so all the information is at hand. In my bag are also my travel essentials which include wet wipes, deodorant, sweets (to stop my ears popping), noise cancelling headphones, camera and purse. I also put my contact lenses and specs in as you don’t want to lose these if your suitcase goes missing. If it’s a long haul flight I also put in a spare pair of socks to keep my tootsies warm and a cardigan or hoody as the air con can be fierce. Always make sure you buy currency in advance as the poorest rates are usually at the airport.
Goody Bags For The Kids
If you are travelling with kids make sure you have enough things to keep them entertained. A tablet or IPod with downloaded movies, games and music can be a godsend if you are delayed. Something as simple as a colouring or puzzle book and crayons can also be useful as well as a couple of favourite toys and some snacks, especially for fussy eaters. When they are fed up, resorting to simple old fashioned games like I Spy can keep everyone, even dad entertained.
Goody Bags For The Adults
If kids can have them why not adults? Mrs W’s bag contains her trusty old Mac, a magazine she has been keeping for the journey like The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, a guide book, a notebook, pen, and relaxing music on her IPhone (as she doesn’t like to fly). Mr W’s goody bag contains his IPod and headphones, his Filofax, a men’s mag like GQ and his Mac as well as some sweeties for the journey.
Get To The Gate On Time
If you haven’t been to the airport before ask how long it takes to get to the boarding gate when you check in. In some large airports this can take you some time. This saves rushing when you are buying Duty Free and realise you’v been called to the boarding gate or missing your plane. It can happen!
So here are some of our top travel tips. I hope this has been useful to you. Which ones do you use?