Surviving Airport Chaos

OMG!  Am I the only one who arrives at the airport in the middle of the night in order to catch an early morning flight?  I swear, I am there early enough to turn the runway lights on!

In what I call my “prior life”, the airport stressed me out so much that it would literally take my entire vacation to recover and relax from my airport anxiety.  I realized that this was crazy!  I stressed so much that I was a complete basket case before I even left home.  I decided that it was time to have a completely different outlook, and I decided then and there to change my mindset.  I now go into vacation mode the second I leave my house.  How do you do this you ask?  Simple…..read on….

 

Solo Travel

Solo

To begin with, I travel solo.  This eliminates any stress that would be caused by my travelling companion.  I realize that not everybody has this option, but trust me, it definitely makes a huge difference in the stress levels.

Direct Flight

Whenever possible, I pay a little extra money and book a direct flight.  A flight with a stopover is bearable, but connecting flights can be a nightmare!  My very first flight had a connecting flight in Atlanta.  I had only 20 minutes to catch my next flight, and as luck would have it, the gate was at the complete opposite end of the airport.  I felt like I was running the Amazing Race in order to catch the train and make it to my gate in time for departure.  Never again have I done that!

Surviving Airport Chaos
Print Boarding Passes the Day Before Travelling

Boarding Pass

I always print my boarding pass the night before departure.  This can be done within 24 hours of departure time and it sure saves a lot of time.  The less I have to do at the airport the better.

Transportation to Airport

I hire a limousine or take airlink to the airport.  I relax and have my morning coffee while on my way to the airport, which I need given that it’s always in the middle of the night.  On arrival, I am dropped off right at the front door so that I don’t have to drive around in circles to find parking.  I also don’t get charged the exorbitant parking fees charged by the airport.  If I can make any recommendation at all, this is it!  A must for me when I travel.  This is a win, win and a must do!

Airport Transportation
Hire Transportation to Airport

Check-In and Baggage Drop

Many airports now have self-serve baggage drops.  Since I have already checked in the night before, I print my baggage tags once I arrive at the airport, drop my bag on the appropriate conveyor, and I’m off to the customs lineup.

Security

Okay, okay, so there isn’t much that I can do to control this stage, but given that I usually arrive in the middle of the night, the lineups aren’t very long.  To ensure smooth and swift clearance, I never pack any liquids in my carry-on, my jewellery is off, belt is off, shoes are off, and everything is ready to plop into the tote to be cleared.

Airport Shopping
Browse the Airport Shops

Free Time

Usually within 15 minutes after arriving at the airport, I am through security and now have some time to kill.  I use this time to browse the shops, pickup my nuts and water, etc. for the flight, and then I go for breakfast (or lunch).  I prefer a sit down restaurant as I find them more relaxing.  A glass of wine always helps as well, if the bar is open.  By the time I am finished eating, it is pretty much boarding time.  If there is time left before boarding, I pull out my book or hook into the free WiFi, or simply sit back and do some people watching.

Grab a Bight to Eat at the Airport
Grab a Bite to Eat Before Taking Off

Above all else, remember that “shit happens”, so stay calm and relaxed.  Don’t let things get to you, YOU ARE ON VACATION!

SAFE TRAVELS

Kelly xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Surviving Airport Chaos

  1. jackiegately

    Thank you for these very useful tips for a stress-free visit to the airport. I completely agree about the connecting flights. A direct flight is worth every penny! It’s funny how all the little worries (where to park, boarding tickets, prepping for security, etc.) really do add up to a major feeling of chaos! I love that you’ve headed them all off at the pass. I will be doing the same next time, thanks to you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nafisa Habib

    Each and every option is must to follow for a relaxing vacation even from the airport. I totally agree direct flight is simply the best than connecting one, though cost a bit high in some cases. I had some bad experiences, almost going to miss my next flights, and it is so common unless you manage a direct one!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Freya

    Totally agree with all your good common sense tips! I hate being stuck behind people in security lines who wait until they get to the security belt before they take off their shoes and belt, take out their laptop and liquids – argh, c’mon people! I have to admit I’m about to break my own rule about tight connections for a trip next month (limited options) – stress levels are high just thinking about it :/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaimi Martin

    My pet peeve is people who hold up the security lines because they are wearing their entire families fortune of jewellery & belt buckles and don’t take it all off before getting to the end of the queue that they have been in for the last 30mins! So much unnecessary stress for everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Solo Travel – Bursting That Bubble

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