Flying is fun, for the first hour or so. But when you factor in things like getting to the airport, expensive food and drink prices, a lack of entertainment in most airports and delayed flights, airports can turn into the stuff of nightmares. If you’re going to travel, even if it’s just a short trip, chances are you’ll find yourself taking a flight at some stage, which means you’ll wind up dealing with airports. I can’t even count how many airports I’ve been to. While some are great – Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok all have wonderful airports – the majority are not. When you’re sleep deprived, jet lagged and just ready to be in the next place, airports can be a nightmare so use these little tips to make things a bit easier on yourself.
1) Organize Airport Parking
Parking at the airport is a great way to save time and to allow yourself to have the convenience of having your own car with you. It means you can leave your house exactly when you need to, put all of your luggage in your car and depart the airport as soon as you arrive home. It makes getting to and from the airport stressful. I used to avoid airport parking in the past, because it was hideously expensive, but thanks to the wonders of the Internet you can book airport parking online, in advance, and save a considerable amount of money.
2) Take a Water Bottle with You
I’m not sure who it was that first decided to hike airport food and drink prices up to a ridiculous amount, but I guess the fact is – they can get away with it. You’ll end up paying 2-5 times the price for a bottle of water in the airport and if you travel a lot that can wind up really expensive. I always buy a small, decent sized water bottle before I head to the airport and simply fill it up at the drinking stations around the airport. When it comes time to go through security, I simply empty out the liquid and keep the plastic bottle. On the other side of the security there’s always a fountain. On planes I ask the air hosts to fill up my water bottle so I don’t have to constantly nag them for water. You’re not allowed to take the liquids off the plane so either leave the water bottle on board when you depart or empty it in the bathroom.
3) Pick a Good Flight Time
Choosing a decent time to fly will make all the difference. For my upcoming travels to Asia, I’ve chosen to take a really, really crappy flight. It’s kind of regrettable, really. But it was SO cheap it was OK. It’s also into a city I’ve been a few times before: Kuala Lumpur, so I’m going to feel navigating my way around at 5.00am without worry. I am also prepared to pay for a hotel room for the night of our flight so that we can take a taxi straight to bed and sleep if we need to. Picking a good flight time can make a huge difference, even if it costs a little more. For my sister and I, the $200 difference to fly at a different time simply wasn’t worth it, but if it was a smaller price I’d have happily paid it.
These are my favourite tips for making a trip to the airport run more smoothly. Do you have any secrets or tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below.