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20 Important Airport Decisions That Completely Change Your Experience

Let's be honest with ourselves here, nobody can ever really enjoy every single aspect of going to the airport. While the initial premise behind going there is for you to either have a good time or go on a work trip, that doesn't mean it's always an enjoyable experience. Some people love it and others hate it, but either way, there's no doubting the stress involved.

Case and point (as an extra 21st entry): do you go to the airport in your car and leave it there overnight, or do you get the train? There's the risk of your vehicle being broken into, but in equal measure, at least you know that you'll be able to hop straight back into your car - whereas, with the train, you'll probably either have to wait around or pray that your flight isn't delayed.

We've just presented you with one of the many, many taxing questions associated with going to the airport, and we haven't even started off with our list yet. Of course, there are a tonne of positives to speak of too, but every single decision you make en-route to the day you fly out is going to matter: especially when you actually get there.

You'll probably sit there nodding along to yourself as you think back to your own amusing travel experiences, and if you've never flown on a plane before, then hopefully this can serve as a guideline of sorts for the future. If not, then perhaps we need to re-evaluate our own airport techniques in response.

20 Arriving - The Age Old Question

Via: Madonnarama

The standard practice when you're being advised to go to the airport is for you to arrive at least ninety minutes to two hours before your flight. That way, you'll be able to make up for any hectic lines in security, and you won't be panicking about whether or not you're going to miss your flight.

Then again if you arrive too early, you could find yourself waiting around for hours on end when you don't even need to. After all, a lot of people get up in the middle of the night to start their journey to the airport, so you need to make sure that you're able to find that sweet spot.

19 Boarding Pass - Print It Off

Via: Readers Digest

A few years ago, printing off your boarding pass was a pretty standard thing to do. You'd either get a paper version from your confirmation email, or you'd print it off on one of the machines at the airport. Now, however, there's a third option of using your phone to simply scan your way through to the other side.

It's a nifty technique, but you have to take into consideration whether or not your phone is fully charged (which is something we'll come back to later). On the other end of the spectrum, it's much less stressful than the paperback version which you could lose pretty easily.

18 Liquids - Take Them Out!

Via: Daily Mail

Ah, the neverending process of sorting out your liquids. It's something that nobody ever really wants to have to deal with, but it has to be done all the same - and as we say, it's all a part of the process. There's so much controversy over whether your products to be under 50 ml, 75 ml or 100ml, and we don't mean in the media, we mean between your family members.

Anyway, there's always one person that seems to forget to take them out of their bag prior to going through security. You know who you are. It's an arduous process at the best of times, but doing this makes things go ten times more slowly.

17 Podcast Catch-Up - Keep Your Ears Open

Via: ThinkSEM

Books and CD players were all the rage five or ten years ago, and many people used them when flying as a way of passing time. In the present day, a new form of entertainment has come to the surface in the form of podcasts, of which there's a huge selection to choose from.

It's a great way of passing the time, but you can also get quite carried away with it. Whether you're in the terminal and you don't hear an announcement or you're on the plane and you can't hear the attendant speaking to you, listening to podcasts could actually end up being a bit of a hindrance.

16 Early Check-In - Make Life Simple

Via: Copybook

Modern-day technology really is fantastic, and even if robots eventually rise up and take over the world, at least we had some fun in the meantime. One such thing that has become a much simpler process in checking in, because you're able to do so on your phone before you even get to the airport.

Unless, of course, you either forget or you're a traditionalist and you want the old-school experience. If you do that, though, then you'd better take a good 30-40 minutes extra to get to the airport, because the queues can be an absolute nightmare. Trust us, choose logic over pride.

15 People Watching - I Wonder Where They're Going

Via: Skyscanner India

People watching is something that a lot of people enjoying doing, but ironically, most only choose to do it when they're on the holiday itself. You're sat outside of a restaurant with some lunch and a glass, and you can't help but let your mind wander.

If you do that in the airport, though, it becomes all the more entertaining. From elder couples going on a trip for their anniversary to 12 lads heading off to Ibiza, you'll see all kinds of individuals passing you by. Alas, you probably shouldn't let them catch you staring, because some people can take exception to that kind of thing.

14 The Phone Dilemma - Only 12%?

Via: Aaron's Area

This one is all about common sense, and if you're lacking in that department then you could seriously struggle here. Most people in 2018 simply cannot live without their phone, and even if you aren't one of those individuals, it's still a good idea to have it with you in case of an emergency.

So then when you go to the airport, for the love of god - make sure that you've charged it up. Otherwise, you're going to find yourself panicking prior to the flight if you'd originally planned to watch 10 episodes of your favourite Netflix series.

Use your head, people.

13 Duty-Free Browsing - Shop Till You Drop

Via: Porto Airport

Duty-free isn't for everybody, and we fully accept that. The problem is that it's one of the first things you see once you get through security, meaning that it's the first real opportunity you have to relax and really prepare for your venture away from home.

But travellers often seem to forget about their budgets when they head to duty-free, meaning that they run the very real risk of breaking the bank before they've even gotten on the plane. It's all well and good wanting to take a bottle with you or some cheap sweets, but it's time-consuming to walk around, and the prices can be deceiving.

12 Overnight Stay - Hello, Neck Problems

Via: Waytogo

Many airports around the globe provide you with hotels that are just a stone's throw away from the terminal, meaning that you're able to have a pleasant night of slumber before you get up and head to your destination. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pay the fees associated with such a luxury.

So if you can't afford to drive or get the train in for an early flight, then your best bet is to sleep at the airport overnight. For some bizarre reason, this is frowned upon by quite a few members of security, even though it makes all the sense in the world. Still, make sure you set your alarms, and even if you do, prepare to have a stiff neck for the rest of the day.

11 Social Media Presence - Let The World Know

Via: July Systems

What's better than going on holiday either by yourself or with your family & friends? Letting the rest of the world know that it's happening. It sounds a little bit petty and a bit sad, but it's quite fun sometimes to be proud of the fact that you're heading away on an adventure, no matter how big or small it may seem.

Of course, you'll open yourself up to some backlash, whether it's because you forgot to tell your parents you were going or because people are just insanely jealous of you. Whatever the case may be it highlights just how fickle and unpredictable social media is, even when it's something as innocent as this.

10 Free Perfume - What's That Smell?

Via: Menaherald

In something of a sequel to the duty-free entry, we arrive at the dreaded 'free perfume' samples. It doesn't matter whether you're a man or a woman, because anything that can be done free of charge is always going to be appealing. So then, you should probably prepare yourself for a few funny looks as you head to the gate.

Why? Because it doesn't matter if you told anyone you got the free sample or not, they're going to be able to smell it on you. It's not that unusual in reality, but it can be quite amusing to see seven or eight people sitting next to one another whilst all smelling like they've got the same sponsorship deal.

9 The Lounge - A Life Of Luxury

Via: Luxury Travel Diary

We're going to be honest here, this isn't something that we've ever done before - but we've seen enough pictures online so that makes us experts (that's how it works, right?). Airport lounges are pretty interesting because they provide those with a little bit more cash with the opportunity to chill out in style before their flight.

Many people tend to sneak in without even needing to pay, but one way or another, these places can be dangerous. If you get too carried away then there's every chance that you could fall asleep and miss your flight, or worse, not even want to get on it because you're having such a good time in the lounge.

8 Perfect Timing - I Thought We Had 20 Minutes?!

Via: Allianz Travel Insurance

There's a difference between being cocky and being confident and pretty much anyone reading this can vouch for that. As such, there's a constant back and forth between most people travelling together as to when you should go to your gate.

We all know that the 'gate closing' time means absolutely nothing because most of the time they close it way after that time. Unfortunately, this leads to most people not arriving until much later on, running the very real risk of missing their flight. So then, if you fall into this category, don't be surprised if you have to get your running boots on one of these days.

7 Loud & Proud - Make A Statement

Via: SmarterTravel

If you're only heading somewhere for a day or two, then the chances are that you aren't taking a big suitcase. If you're going away for longer, though, then you'll probably need to check your big bag in before waiting for it on the carousel on the other side.

It's an arduous thing to do and the waiting game is quite stressful, and it's made even worse if you can't actually pick out which is your suitcase. If you want to ensure that doesn't happen, though, you could always pick a very bright and colourful bag that isn't just recognisable - but also gets you quite a few funny looks.

6 Pre-Flight Beverages - One Won't Hurt?

via:Eater Denver

This is something that's actually a bit of a hot topic right now, especially in Europe. There are plenty of people out there who don't really understand the logic behind having a beverage at the airport, with some believing that it's only being done for the sake of it.

Others feel like it's a nice way to unwind and begin your holiday, and there's no real wrong answer one way or another. Of course, if you have one then that could lead to seven or eight, and there's nothing worse than sitting next to someone who's stocked up on a few too many bright blue drinks during your flight.

5 Together Or Apart - Is it worth the risk? Probably not

Via: CNN

Sometimes, even if you're heading away somewhere with people that you've known for years, you might not be travelling there together. There could be multiple reasons for that, but in the end, all that matters is making sure you all get there on time and don't arrive late.

It's the definition of 'better to be safe than sorry', because if one person is delayed in traffic or on the train then there's quite literally nothing you can do about it. You're helpless to both them and yourself, and you'll suddenly feel like you're in a very tense action movie or romantic comedy.

4 Plane Spotting - Hello, Flightradar24

Via: Lanzarote Information

This one goes out to all our fellow nerds out there who not only enjoy the art of flying but also enjoy the art of reading all about it on apps like Flightradar24. All you need to do is stick your phone in the air and direct it at any given plane, and you'll be able to find out where it's heading to.

Or, you could just watch them fly overhead and marvel at just how far aviation has come in the last few decades. Just make sure that you don't linger for too long, or there's a good chance that you'll end up doing your own imitation of a dramatic sprint through the terminal.

3 Pre-Flight Meal - To Eat Or Not To Eat

Via: TravelUpdate

Much like the pre-flight drink, there are pros and cons associated with this. More often than not, when you've made your way through security, you're going to be pretty hungry. It's a natural instinct to want to fill up on food no matter what time of the day it is.

But before indulging, think about the potential risks. If you end up overeating then you could experience some discomfort during your travel, and if you don't eat enough then you've just opened your stomach up to the point where you'll be tempted by cheap airline food (depending on how luxurious your service is).

2 Carry-On Luggage - Risk It?

Via: Lifehacker

It doesn't matter if you're a backpacker or not, you're going to want to try and get your carry-on luggage on with you as opposed to putting it in the hold. If your bag is even slightly considered to be oversized then you'll be asked to part with it for the duration of your flight, and you have to ask yourself at that moment: is it worth the risk?

We've never personally been caught out, but even after they put the hold tag on your bag, you can always choose to take it off. This is something that's extremely common in the UK and particularly with RyanAir, or any cheap airline for that matter.

1 The Big Welcome - Get The Signs Out

Via: YouTube

This final entry is a light-hearted one for people who are either picking others up from the airport as taxi drivers, or as friends and loved ones. It's always nice to return home to a big message or sign, as it makes you feel that much more special.

Then again, it depends on the person involved, and there's always a chance that they'd rather you just quietly greet them and then proceed to your form of transportation. It's all about reading the situation, guys.

So as you prepare for your upcoming travels, perhaps take a quick glance down this list for some inspiration.

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