When we travel these days, we have to spend more time in the airport than ever before. We have extra security measures, earlier check in times and of course, airports are busier than ever before. This can make air travel much more stressful than it was in years gone by.
So what can we do to make the whole rigmarole more pleasant?
CHOOSE YOUR FLIGHT TIMES CAREFULLY
Most business travellers prefer flights early in the morning or later in the evening. And they usually fly Monday to Friday. Weekends are popular for leisure travel. This means that as a general rule, airports are less busy on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between noon and 5 pm.
If you can book your flights to accommodate those times, you’ll be likely to find the airport a lot less crowded.
Two aspects of airports that I really dislike are a) checking in bags and b) watching that interminable carousel as it goes around with everyone’s luggage on it except my own. I used to gaze grumpily at people who travelled with just hand baggage until I realised that I could do that too.
Even on extended trips it’s possible to pack light. You’ll find tips on this site.
BE PREPARED FOR SECURITY
All the passengers at the security gate always seem to be so stressed. That’s because so many people just aren’t prepared. We all know what’s going to make the detector spring to life so it’s a good idea to leave that large metal belt buckle at home.
At many airports everyone has to remove their shoes (or at least, people who are wearing clunky ones) so if you do have to wear your big boots, take them off before you get to the end of the line.
FIND QUIET AREAS
The busiest parts of an airport are the retail areas – the stores and the refreshment concessions. Getting away from these areas will instantly make you more relaxed. The seats at the departure gates are often much quieter. Seek areas such as the observation deck or, if you’re really desperate to get far away from the madding crowd, you’ll find serenity in the airport chapel.
CHOOSE YOUR BELONGINGS CAREFULLY
See below for a few suggested products that can provide you with your own quiet and clean haven – even in the busy airport. You’ll find that they are useful on the plane too and during your trip.
CREATE YOUR OWN QUIET ATMOSPHERE
Imagine finding your own quiet spot in the airport and casually unpacking everything you need to keep you happy, entertained and relaxed while others stress out. The products we have suggested below only take up a tiny amount of space in your hand luggage and of course, you can select the products that suit your own needs.
With a collapsible water bottle that you can refill at water fountains, you’ll stay comfortably hydrated – for free.
A simple pair of noise reducing headphones will keep the noise at bay. They’re great to use on the plane too.
It’s much easier to relax and forget your surroundings if you’re engrossed in a great novel or magazine.
Create your own hygienic atmosphere in which to relax. These will have many uses on your journey.
STAY WARM & DRY
It’s a lightweight towel, it’s a wrap, it’s a pillow, it’s a light blanket – useful in the airport, on the plane and when you get there.
CARE FOR YOUR SKIN
Pour some water from your collapsible bottle into this tiny atomiser and keep the skin on your face hydrated and fresh.
There’s no need to stand in line for that cold pizza. Take healthy snacks with you. Take plenty for when you’re on the plane.
Snooze anywhere with your own sleep mask. You’ll find this will be so useful on your trip and when you get home too.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.