One thing about working at an airport, I tend to see all kinds of craziness. I have seen a grown man have a temper tantrum, a woman not allowed to board a flight because she was mean to her children, and a manager run after an angry passenger to try and give her the cash voucher she was entitled to. All of these people lost their minds once they went through security (or maybe they were a little off before they started the trip) but here are a few tips for you to stay stress free when you travel this holiday season.
1. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and check-in
I have seen more arguments and angry passengers at the ticket counter. Some passengers seem to think they are the only ones that have a flight to catch. If your plane leaves at 12pm, there is no reason you should be getting to the airport at 11am as that just doesn’t make sense. You need to arrive at the airport three hours ahead. Yes, I said three. Why? Because this way if there are any issues at all with your ticket, baggage, parking, etc. you won’t be pressed for time. Three hours is enough time for you to check your bags (if you choose to do this which I don’t recommend) and get through security without looking at your watch or your phone every few minutes.
2. Don’t leave packing until the last minute
Packing at the last minute is no way to start a vacation. You are subject to forget some of the essential things you need which will inevitably stress you out once you remember the things you left. If you start packing at least a few days in advance, you will have time to make a list (if you do that), put everything you need in your suitcases and be able to have your bags packed and ready to go when it’s time for you to leave the house.
3. Make sure your carryon bags have wheels
I have seen people lugging around duffle bags and they look absolutely miserable. Some airports have shuttles to take you from one end of the airport to the other, but many don’t. Sometimes you have to walk a very long way once you get through security and that walk is extra long when you are lugging a heavy carryon bag on your shoulder. By having a carryon with wheels, this will free up your upper body and you will be able to walk freely which will be less stress on your body and your mind.
4. Do not wear belts or any jewelry until you get through security.
Now you may be thinking, “Why in the world did she say that?” Well, I’m going to tell you. When you are going through security it’s a big hassle, right? You practically have to get undressed and then put everything back on once you pass thru the scanners. I have learned to not put on my belt and my accessories until after I have gotten through security. I keep those things on top of my carryon bag, so then when it is time for me to put my things on the scanner, the only thing I have to do is take out my laptop and my plastic baggies with my liquid items. It really is the little things that make the biggest difference.
5. Don’t check a bag
Now I know what you’re thinking…that’s impossible! Well actually it isn’t. I have traveled all around the world with a carryon and a huge purse. It’s totally possible. If you are traveling to see your family for Christmas and you are taking Christmas gifts then ship your bags. If you use a shipping service from the airport or an outside company, you have a guarantee that your bags will arrive. You don’t have the same guarantee with an airline.
Think about how stressful it is to wait for your checked bags while your loved ones are waiting for you in the car, possibly circling the airport while you continuously wait to get your bag. And how stressful is it when your bags don’t show up? Then that opens up a whole other can of stress that you don’t need to deal with. And of course, you can buy my packing cubes which makes packing so easy!