If there's one thing that every person who's traveled knows, it's that waiting in airports is annoying. As much as airports try to offer good food stores, shopping, wifi areas and even sleeping pods - it's just not fun. No one enjoys being in an airport because you're more focused on getting on that plane and arriving at your destination. The whole 'it's the journey, not the destination' thing does not apply to flying somewhere. Seriously, unless you made sure to get your flights within an hour of each other, you have to wait for ages in the terminal. Also, as an added tip, we don't suggest getting flights that connect within 30 minutes, especially if you're traveling internationally. The security and customs take a while most of the time, and you don't want to miss your flight! Waiting for your flight would be boring if you had all your best friends with you, so you can imagine its a lot worse when you're traveling solo.
We think the only true way to avoid waiting times is to have your own private jet that leaves when you want it to. Sadly, for most of us, this is a very unrealistic goal, so we're going to discuss ways that make it easier to travel like normal humans. In this article, we'll cover 20 airport hacks that make waiting in airports easier and getting through them. By following these trusted tips, you'll have a smoother time and can relax a little more while waiting to get to your destination.
20 Check The Layouts Of Airports
One thing we cannot stress enough is searching for a map of the airport you'll be going to. This is such a handy tip that can save you lots of time, stress and confusion. Obviously, we don't mean your hometown airport, because generally, you should know how that works. Of course, if it's your first time flying, checking the hometown airport man can help too.
We're talking about checking out the layout of your destination airport. That way when you get there you sort of know where to go, which makes you feel a little less stressed about being in a new place.
19 Pack Ziplock Bags
This one may seem silly because why would you need bags if all your stuff is already packed, right? Well, true But they can also make your trip easier. Airports often have a rule about liquids needing to be packed away and in small amounts, so keeping your liquids in small ziplock bags makes storage easier.
They can also be really helpful for making sure the important stuff like your passport/keys/necessary items keeps dry in case the liquids spill. Small ziplock bags are also very useful for easy access to your items. It saves you from having to waste time searching through your bags at the check-in desk.
18 Check Your Seats
This one might seem obvious, but it's still handy to have all the information. By choosing your seats when you first buy the tickets, you can be reassured that you have the seat you want. No one wants the middle seat, we get that, so spending a little extra money can make so much difference for your comfort, especially if it's a long flight.
It's also useful to know which aisle your seat is in. If you're an uncomfortable flyer the knowledge of where your closest exit can be relaxing. We believe once you're settled into your favorite window or aisle seat (seriously, who likes the middle?), it's easier to enjoy the movies and nap while you travel to your destination.
17 Portable Charger
Let's admit that our phone battery life isn't the best. iPhone or Android, let's end the debate. On a long-haul trip that can take over 24 hours, no one's phone is lasting that whole time. That's why portable chargers are a gift to travelers. Yes, most of the time, you can charge your phone on the plane, but by using a portable charger as well, you won't be bored waiting.
The days of turning your phone off in transit while waiting for your flight are over. Portable chargers can save you so much stress as well because you no longer have to worry about not being able to contact anyone.
16 Bring Your Laptop
Bringing your laptop with you on trips has both negative and positive points. We'll start with the negatives: they're big and get in the way, they're fragile and just an all-around difficulty. However, we do feel the positives outweigh the negatives.
Your laptop may not be very useful while you're actually on your holiday, but while on the plane and waiting in airports, it's a savior. This way, portable charger included, you can still save battery on your phone while keeping entertained. Buying a sturdy laptop bag also makes it more manageable to carry your laptop around.
15 Wrap Your Bag
For a relatively inexpensive price, you can have peace of mind that your bag is safe. Depends on where you're traveling, you could worry about your bag being broken in and having your stuff stolen. Or the threat of someone planting something in your luggage.
The simple fix of having your bag securely wrapped in tight plastic is a way of taking another worry off of your mind. This makes traveling that little bit more relaxing. If the plastic on your bag is tampered with, you will know that someone has rifled through your luggage, and can alert the authorities immediately.
14 Extend Your Wifi
This one is a little sneaky, so prepared to be a rebel to try out this hack. Some airports offer free WiFi for a certain time to passengers. Some airports don't have WiFi at all, and some offer it for a price.
If you're in one of the ones that charge, we have a tip to extend your internet time for free. By simply rolling back the time on your phone the WiFi will keep going as it's set for a certain time. It's a bit naughty, but hey it makes the time between flights go quicker.
13 Go Left
We've discussed smart tips and tricks, but this is a psychological airport hack. For some reason, when people go through customs they tend to steer to the right side. We're not sure why, but it happens. So for a slightly speedier x-ray process, head to the left lane. It's not much speedier, but the line is probably shorter. Go ahead and try it next time you're traveling.
We can all agree on one thing, we get slightly nervous when unloading our items into those trays. We know we can basically see them the whole time, but still. It's uncomfortable to be without our phones.
12 Wear Extra Clothes
If you're as prepared as we are, you'll already have a dedicated set of clothes you've deemed 'travel clothes'. If you're not, then you'll just go with the flow and get dressed the day of, but we don't recommend it. By wearing your travel clothes and an extra layer or two, you're not only saving weight on your luggage but keeping warm.
Planes are surprisingly cold so more layers are always the better option. If you get too warm you can always take a jumper off and tie it around your waist, but you can't grab more clothes from thin air.
11 Weigh Your Bags First
We're continuing on with the focus on your luggage for a moment. If you're an over-packer like most of us are, chances are your bag could be overweight at check-in. There is literally nothing worse than having to stand there and take items out while everyone watches on. Or pay the expensive extra fee.
A good way to avoid this embarrassing act is to simply weigh your bags at home. That way you know that your check-in will be smooth. You can buy bag weighers, or to avoid that just stand on the scales and hold your suitcase. Then take your weight off the number and there you go.
10 BYO Snacks
Airport food, like the movies, is a lot more expensive than other places to buy food. We're not sure why as the airfares were expensive enough already, but that's how it is. While waiting for flights, people often use this time to eat because let's face it - plane food isn't brilliant.
A way to save money is to bring your own snacks. They may take up a little space in your carry on bag, but you can skip the expensive costs and lines for the fast food stores. Just make sure to throw all your food out before getting on the plane.
9 People Watch
The original way to pass time. Excluding reading, people watching is the classic activity to pass time at an airport. Admittedly it gets kind of weird when people make eye contact with you, but sitting in the airport watching people rush around and guessing their destinations is actually pretty fun.
It's also quite relaxing for those more laid back people. If you're not one of those people then we suggest you follow our other tips and buy yourself a good book. That passes time pretty quickly too!
8 Don't Pack Essentials Away
A tip for getting through check-in and customs really quickly is to have all your essentials on hand and easily accessible. This spares you from having to flip open your suitcase when they ask for your visa, for example.
As a tip, we recommend keeping all items like this in a handbag, or backpack. The little suitcases you can get for carry on aren't a good idea, as if the plane is full, they may be checked in and then you've got a lot more problems.
7 Wear Comfortable Shoes
We get that you want to look good arriving at your destination. Whether it be winter or summer, you want to fit in straight away, and we get that. But for your own sake, don't wear shoes that have lots of straps or ties that take a while to get off.
Simple sneakers or slip-on shoes are way easier. Not only are they comfortable, but when you go through security screening, it takes only a few seconds to slip them on and off. With all the hustle and bustle of the airport, this trick will make it easier and soon you'll be an old hand at it.
6 Learn The Rules Before You Pack
We cannot stress how useful this tip is. Each country you visit has different rules for entering so it's useful to know the rules of what you can and can't take in your suitcase. It would be irritating and embarrassing to get to the airport and have to repack your bags.
By researching the country and the airport rules, it'll save you a lot of time and bag space. Most places have the same obvious rules but there are sneaky ones for each country. Always remember prevention is better than cure.
5 You Don't Have To Wait At Your Gate
We guess that for most people, finding your gate number and going to wait there is just natural. It's like assigned seating nearly, that's your seat so you go. But it turns out a good trick to make waiting more comfortable, is not to worry about this.
If you get to your gate and its filled with people who are also waiting, there's no need to try and squeeze in the corner on the floor. Just got find an empty gate and take all the space you need. Airports have so many announcements about flights it's nearly impossible to miss it, so don't worry about being in the gate until you have to.
4 Dress For Comfort
We talked a bit about this earlier, but we think it's an important point to bring up again. When choosing your clothes for a plane ride, comfort should always come over fashion. You always have time to go to the hotel and change, sure.
But most of the time you want to just be comfy, then go to the hotel and sleep. Dressing to be comfortable is so helpful because not only is it easier to rest on the plane (as much as you can rest on a plane), but it makes the added airport waiting time easier as well.
3 Nap If You Can
We understand that sleeping in public spaces is a little uncomfortable and probably doesn't come easily to a lot of people. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try it. If you're traveling with friends and family and have long waiting periods between flights, it's best to try and rest when you can.
Traveling definitely takes it out of you and resting when you can mean you stay alert until you can pass out in your hotel room. Jet lag can be tough, so when and where you can, nap!
2 Bring Hotel Toiletries
As we mentioned earlier most airport law states that liquids can only be a certain amount. So taking the complimentary toiletries on the flight back home is useful to take the items you need on board with you.
Their soaps and mini hair products probably aren't that useful on the plane, but they make traveling altogether easier. They also take up way less storage than normal sized ones, meaning an easier journey for you and less in your baggage.
1 Pre-Check Is Best
If you're able to pre-check we definitely recommend it. Pre-checking in at your flight means you don't need to wait in the long lines at security and customs. You can have your ticket and be at your gate before your fellow passengers have gone through the xray machine.
We recommend this most to frequent flyers. By following all these tips and tricks, you'll become professional travelers in no time and start to notice how much easier traveling can be if you do it the right way!