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The Australian outbound travel sector is steadily increasing, with more Australians travelling internationally to destinations such as New Zealand, the United States, and India. While you’ve probably heard your fair share of travel stories, they often have to do with these exciting destinations; the process of getting there, on the other hand, isn’t too glamorous and can actually be a tedious process for some.
This can be especially true for your airport experience. At its best, you can expect to spend some idle time waiting around for your flight. At its worst, however, you could be dealing with unruly fellow passengers, pricey unappetising food, and generally bad surroundings, so be sure to check airport rankings such as Airhelp’s beforehand in order to prepare yourself.
But no matter where or how long your airport stay is, here are some tips to make your wait more bearable
1. Arrive early
This should be standard protocol, but it bears repeating. Arriving early not only saves you from a frantic rush, but it also gives you time to roam around and find quiet spots in the airport to relax.
2. Ask for an upgrade
Asking the check-in agent to consider you for an upgrade, when done politely, may actually yield possible results. As everyone says, the worst that can happen is the agent saying no — overall, not a bad consequence.
3. Check-in online
Most airlines, like Virgin and Qantas, offer this service, which means you can skip the airport queues and go straight to the bag drop counter. Just remember to look at your airline’s online check-in policy beforehand.
4. Keep your necessities within reach
Travel backpacks are spacious and have lots of pockets, but this often means that your smaller necessities could be buried underneath all your other items. Make sure that you can easily get to the things you’ll need most, such as your passport and wallet. You could also carry a sling bag that stores these essentials.
5. Bring an empty water bottle
Airport stores are notorious for being overpriced, so emptying out your water bottle and refilling it at the nearest water fountain or restaurant can save you a bit of cash. Brands like Vapur offer collapsible water bottles, which is a good investment since you can just roll it up in your bag’s side pocket and use when needed.
6. Prepare for the security line
Removing your belt, taking your laptop out, and emptying your water bottle (see tip above) all lead to a smoother breeze through the security line. Your co-travellers will appreciate you for not fumbling around and causing any delays once it’s your turn.
7. Don’t rush to board
Boarding time can be a bit hectic, especially if you’ve been waiting around for a while. But jostling around the gate may make your trip even more stressful, so save yourself the trouble and wait it out.
8. Dressing makes a difference
Being stuck in the airport doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress well. Pretty Me’s guide to dressing for the airport recommends sticking to loose clothing, such as straight leg linen pants and a simple sweater. The key is to pick comfortable clothing that won’t restrict your movements, while still being stylish.
9. Be smart about your chargers
Take advantage of the fact that lots of airports (and even some aeroplanes) now have power outlets. Trip Savvy’s packing list for your carry-on bag places chargers as a must, especially for essentials such as your laptop and your phone. Packing an extension cord could be useful, provided your bag has space for it. If not, there are even adaptors that offer multiple plug outlets in one so you won’t need the bulky extension cord.
10. Stay to the left
Travel veterans will always suggest you stick to the left lane when travelling. This is because people tend to subconsciously pick the right lane since people favour their dominant side, and most people are right-handed. So, when choosing among several lanes, remember to veer to the left. This tip is especially helpful if you find yourself rushing to your gate.
Depending on your journey, you might spend anywhere between 10 minutes to 24 hours in an airport. These tips will help you make the most out of your wait, ensuring that your mind is focused more on your upcoming vacation and less on how you’re going to survive in transit.
Article was written solely for travelinsurancedirect.com.au by Layla Taylor