With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic finally on the horizon thanks to the vaccine rollout, many of us are now starting to look forward to the time when we can travel freely again. Whether you are flying domestically within the US or to an international destination, the adventure begins as soon as you arrive at your departure airport. For some people airports have an image of being stressful places full of long lines, tight security measures and last minute dashes to the gate. However, it does not have to be this way! If you plan properly, your time at the airport can become a fun start to your trip. Here is how to do it.
Arrive in plenty of time
This is key. If you have ever been stressed at an airport it is probably because you were running late and worried about missing your flight. Try to arrive two hours before a domestic flight or three hours before an international one, and the whole dynamic of the experience changes. There will be no need to panic even if there are long lines for going through security, and you will even have time to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat.
Arrange parking in advance
One of the most potentially stressful airport experiences happens before you have even entered the building: finding a place to park. That is why it is important to arrange your parking space in advance. Simply Google airport parking orlando fl (or wherever you are flying from) and you will be able to reserve a spot in a convenient parking lot for the exact dates you need, giving you one less thing to worry about.
Know what you can pack in your bags
In order to make your security experience smoother, be sure to know what you can and cannot have in your on-board baggage. Avoid oversized liquids and other items that will have to be thrown away or might cause you to have your bag searched in-depth and waste time. To speed up the process further have your ID and boarding pass easily accessible, as well as any electronics that have to go through the scanner separately.
Check in from home
To save time at the airport, do as much of your travel admin from home as possible. Nowadays you can often check in to your flight online 24 hours in advance, as well as choose your seat and request a special meal if relevant. Do not worry if you do not have a printer – you can still print your boarding pass when you arrive at the airport or alternatively simply get an electronic one for your phone.
Try and think of your time at the airport as part of the fun, not a necessary evil before you can enjoy your trip. Sit back with a drink at the bar, a coffee at a cafe, or a meal at a restaurant. Browse around the stores, read a book, or log on to the Wi-Fi and get some work done. By changing your mindset, you can change your whole airport experience!