Seven Ways to Make Air Travel Easy and Worry-Free
Whether you’re going on a short break, traveling solo, or taking a well-deserved long holiday with family and friends, catching a flight can be a stressful experience for anyone. Together with getting to the airport in good time, getting through security checks without issue and avoiding additional baggage charges, there are several factors that can send your stress levels through the roof when setting off on what is often meant to be an enjoyable trip. We’ve put together an extensive guide to all the various steps that you can take to turn travelling by air into an enjoyable, stress-free experience.
Tip #1. Choose Your Flight Time Wisely:
The process of planning a stress-free flight begins as soon as you book your airline ticket. Whilst it can be tempting to simply go for the cheapest ticket on offer, bear in mind that this doesn’t always mean it will be the best option. For example, if you’re really not a morning person, it’s probably not worth booking your flight out for 6 AM in the morning just to save a little bit of money.
If you’re travelling with kids, you might want to consider booking an evening or overnight flight to allow your little ones to sleep – a calmer and more peaceful experience for the whole family. Don’t just consider the time of day – the day that you fly on will also affect your airport experience. If you can, try to avoid flying out on a Friday or weekend since these tend to be the busiest. Lastly, always opt for a direct flight when possible, to avoid the stress of delays and worrying about missing your connection.
Tip #2. Plan Your Trip to the Airport Beforehand:
For many passengers, getting to the airport on time and without issue is a massive factor when it comes to keeping the trip stress-free. A stressful, rushed trip to the airport will leave you feeling flustered and, as a result, anything that happens at the airport is likely to get to you more. Instead, take the time to carefully plan out your trip to the airport at least a few days before your flight. For an easier experience, booking a taxi well in advance or arranging a lift with a friend or relative is a great choice. For others who don’t want to drive, many airports in the UK are also large public transport hubs with several bus, train, and tram connections.
Tip #3. Arrange Parking:
If you’ve decided that driving yourself to the airport is the easiest method of getting there, the last thing that you want is to have to drive around looking for a suitable parking space or cough up hefty parking fees once you arrive. Although there’s no getting away from paying expensive long stay car park charges at most UK airports, booking in advance is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
Since long stay car parks tend to be some distance from the terminal, it’s a good idea to research shuttle bus pickup times and arrange your journey accordingly, to minimise time spent waiting around. Often, larger airports will offer many different services to make parking easier, for example, for people parking at Birmingham airport, there are valet, park and ride, and meet and greet parking options. Before booking this however, you should check the prices online at birminghamparking.com, as often these services can come with a larger price tag than your usual perking. This is likely to be a similar case for other larger airports that offer these services – so make sure you check the extra costs! It may be worth arranging a lift from a family member, or normal parking if you’re on a lower budget, since, as long as you set off well in advance, you should have enough time to spare without worrying or rushing.
Tip #4. Pack Smart:
Whether you’re taking a couple of big suitcases or trying to squeeze everything you need into one small carry-on bag, packing smart is essential to ensure that you avoid running into any baggage issues once you arrive. Bear in mind that if your bags are too heavy, you’ll need to either get rid of some items or pay extra to stow them in the hold when you fly. To avoid being hit with any unexpected charges, it’s a good idea to invest in some cheap baggage scales that you can use to check that you’re within any weight restrictions before you leave. Don’t forget measurements, too – most airlines will only allow carry-on bags that are under a certain size in the cabin.
Tip #5. Be Ready for Security:
Passing through security is easily one of the most stressful parts of the airport process, but the good news is that you can take several steps to minimise stress and ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. For example, if you’re taking any liquid items along in your carry-on, be sure to place them in an easy-to-reach place, such as on top of your belongings in your bag or in a side pocket where you can get to them quickly.
You can also purchase small, clear plastic bags before getting to the airport to ensure that all your liquids fit nicely, and you’re sure you won’t be required to throw any away. Remember that any liquids taken on board in your carry-on must be under 100ml. You’ll also need to have easy access to any packed electrical items that you’re taking through security, such as your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or even your hairdryer. Lastly, wear coats, jackets, and shoes that you can easily take off and put on quickly and keep accessories such as watches and belts to a minimum.
Tip #6. Eat Before You Leave:
If possible, eating a hearty meal before you leave will keep you satisfied whilst at the airport and minimise the need to find food whilst you wait. Since many airport eateries charge premium prices and are ridiculously busy in peak times, the last thing that you’ll want to do is spend the time you have in the departure area waiting in line whilst you’re hungry. Filling up before you set off will mean you’ll have more time to browse shops or simply sit and enjoy a drink instead whilst waiting for your gate to open.
Tip #7. Book Some Chill Time:
Once you’ve gotten to the airport and are safely through security, it’s a good idea to book some relaxation and chill time before your flight departs. Most major UK airports have lounges that you can book; here, you’ll find comfortable chairs, tasty food, and a selection of drinks to enjoy whilst you wait. Some even have entertainment available with something for everybody to enjoy. Airport lounges are open to anybody for a price, so save money and be prepared by booking your lounge pass online and well in advance. If the airport lounge isn’t an ideal option for you, look into the other facilities available at the airport.
Many have hairdressers and beauty parlours at the gate area, where you can go for some well-deserved pampering before taking off. If it’s important to you, you can find prayer rooms at all major UK airports that anybody can use to pray and spend some time in the peace and quiet. Lastly, if you’re flying out early in the morning, it may be worth booking a stay in an airport hotel the night before; similarly, booking an airport hotel for one night once you arrive can be a more relaxing experience if you’re landing late.
Traveling by air can be a stressful experience for many passengers, but it doesn’t have to be!