Long queues and waiting around are a by-product of air travel, but with our simple tips and advice, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t speed through the check-in and security.
Check Your Flight – Sounds pretty obvious but I’d always recommend checking your flight status 24 hours in advance as many flights are subject to change or even cancellation. And check again before you head off to the airport and again before you ditch your rental vehicle. Sounds a bit obsessive but a few seconds spent checking this could be several hours saved waiting around instead equalling a stress-free flight!
Check Your Documents – Make sure you have your passport and documents to hand when checking in at the airport. And make sure you have your boarding pass, passport and any visas that may be required, at the point of security and beyond. Again another obvious one bit it saves a great deal of time. Maybe invest in a travel wallet to keep all your travel documents together, but keep your photocopied backups and travel money separate!
Get Weighed – Invest in a small portable set of weighing scales which literally just hook onto your luggage handles. This saves time at check in and reduces the likelihood of excess baggage charges. Watch out though if you’re on a multi-stop journey as connecting flights very often have a much smaller allowance which can catch you out!
Get Ready for Security – Before you get to the front of the security queue, make sure you can slip your shoes off, take your belt off and make sure all your liquids are in the requisite zip-lock bag. And another tip to breeze through security – join the queue with business travellers, singles and couples; generally families and group tours slow the whole process.
Pack for Carry-on – Pack a small capsule carry-on bag that contains everything you’ll need for the actual flight, so wipes, toiletries, headphones, magazines etc. this saves having to keep getting up and down when in flight and having to rummage around, blocking the aisles. Keep your wallet or purse on your person as well during flights, especially if you plan on having a nap during the journey.
Get to the Gate – Shop in the terminal if you must, but make sure you get to the gate well in advance of your departure. Some gates involve a hefty walk from the point of security so prepare for this. Being the last on the flight because you had to have that latest gadget is not recommended.
Get Organised – And whilst you’re waiting around in the airport lounge, take the chance to add all the important names and phone numbers into your mobile phone. Include all the car hire companies, accommodation and tour operators that you’ll be using on your trip. It pays to be prepared!