How To Breeze Through The Airport Like A Pro
When traveling, getting from point A to point B can be stressful, especially when it comes to navigating through the airport. Luckily, our team of seasoned travelers have been through it all and created a guide to help you get through the hours prior to your departure with the least amount of stress possible. Let’s set the tone – you’ve booked your airline ticket, accommodations are set and exciting activities are in the pipeline. Your bags are all packed (following our packing tips for your carry-on and suitcase) and your day of travel has arrived!
- Check-in 24 hours prior to your departure time. The majority of airlines have apps where you can check-in and get your mobile boarding pass. You’ll need your confirmation code which you can grab in your confirmation or check-in email. If the airline doesn’t have an app, you have other options: 1. Check-in on the airline’s website or 2. Check-in at the airline kiosk inside the airport. If you must use the kiosk, make sure you give yourself a few extra minutes.
- If you are checking a bag, pay the fee in advance. You can typically do this within the airline app or on their site. Some airlines even have self-tagging options that you can handle inside the airport yourself. This is an easy option instead of waiting in line to speak with an agent.
- If you have TSA Pre-Check, make sure your Pre-Check number is attached to your reservation and appears on your boarding pass. If it does not, you can log on to your airline account and add it to your profile. This will save you time going through security.
- Be sure to pack some easy snacks in case you don’t have time to grab something to eat at the airport, so you aren’t starving when you board the plane. A good book is also a good idea to pack for your day of travel.
- Use Google to check the usual traffic for your route ahead of time, and make sure to monitor traffic on your day of travel. Schedule or request an Uber / Lyft according to traffic times. If flying domestic, we recommend arriving at the airport 1-2 hours prior to your departure time, and 2-3 hours prior for international travel. If you are parking at the airport, checking a bag or need to talk to an agent at the ticket counter, use the more conservative estimation.
- Bring a sweater or jacket since the plane will get cold, but make sure to have it tucked away or ready to place in a bin (not tied around your waist). We all know you can’t bring drinks through security, but don’t forget your reusable water bottle – you can fill it up once you are through. Be sure to clear out your pockets and wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on. (If you have TSA Pre-Check / Global Entry you can keep your shoes, belt, and light jacket on and laptop and liquids in your bag!)
- Once through security, we recommend finding your gate first. Also, if you were unable to select your seat of choice, see the gate agent and ask nicely for what you prefer. You may get lucky!
- After you have found your gate, take some laps or check out the shops in your terminal to get your blood flowing because you’ll be sitting for a while on the plane.
- Many airports have free WiFi so take advantage of this and make sure you have all your content ready. You can finish up any work emails, download your latest podcast episodes, movies, etc.
We hope these tips help make your day of travel a smooth one!