12 AIRPORT HACKS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
I still get that feeling of excitement, but it has now been tainted by all those annoying things that happen at airports… overpriced food, queues for days, terrible wifi.. cheap hand soap in the bathrooms… the list goes ON!
Luckily I have now got the whole airport thing down pat, and thought I would share with you my top 12 secret hacks to dealing with airports stress-and-annoyance free. You’re welcome.
1. ALWAYS TAKE AN EMPTY WATER BOTTLE THROUGH SECURITY
RIP to all the dollars I have spent purchasing water after I have cleared security over the years. I once spent $6 AUD on a water waiting for my plane to board, shame on you Brisbane Airport! There’s two solutions to this problem- 1. Don’t buy water at all (not ideal as planes are very dehydrating) or 2. Bring an empty water bottle from home and fill it up after going through security. Genius! Usually there are fountains after security for you to fill up your bottles, or you can resort to using taps from the bathroom. (Please note: This tip doesn’t apply to countries where tap water isn’t safe to drink!).
2. HAVE YOUR ITEMS IN YOUR ARMS WHILE YOU WAIT TO GO THROUGH SECURITY
It seems obvious, but so many people forget to do it… this little tip will save you SO much stress going through security. Simply line up with your laptop, phone, and toiletries out of your hand luggage ready to go straight into the tray, send your bags through and you’re good to go. You’ll thank yourself, the airport workers will thank you, the travellers behind you will thank you… doing so will upgrade you from ‘noob traveller’ to ‘traveller who has their life together’. Yes.
3. PRELOAD THE ROUTE TO YOUR ACCOMODATION ON GOOGLE MAPS
THIS has saved me more times than I can remember, especially travelling through Europe. There is nothing worse than landing in a foreign airport, realising that airport doesn’t have wifi and you now have to try and figure out how to get to your accommodation with barely any money and no resources (been there, done that, never again). Now I ALWAYS look up the route to my accommodation when I have reliable wifi, save it on google maps and then when I land I can easily navigate my way to where I’m staying – that little blue dot that shows your location is seriously a god-send, ty GOOGLE!
4. BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS
Airport food is SO EXPENSIVE. Why?! It’s not even that good usually!
You’ll save some serious money by packing some of your own snacks to take with you to eat while waiting for your plane to board (and during the flight). I always take packaged foods – museli bars, nuts, crackers, some sneaky lollies or chocolate… tried to be healthy and take a banana once and it got crushed and went all over my bag. Don’t repeat my mistake.
5. BE THE LAST TO BOARD THE PLANE
Last year I was the last to board my flight from Milan to Dubai, and was upgraded to business – shout out to Emirates for making this happen. Now I always follow this rule, just in case it happens again… you should too! I always wait til the final boarding call before lining up – I especially don’t see the point in queueing up before boarding has even been announced – I’m always the last to board. Usually this just means my bag gets to travel in business (there is never any overhead locker room in economy) but at least my bag gets the luxury life.. right?
6. FIND YOUR GATE AS SOON AS YOU GET THROUGH SECURITY
Never will I forget flight … Amsterdam to Milan.. arriving leisurely at the airport, Kate and I thought we would grab a nice breakfast before finding our gate. We thought we were sitting 2 minutes from our gate… Turns out we were a 20 minute walk away from our gate, and because we left it til final boarding call (as per the above tip) we had to do a dramatic sprint through the airport to reach our gate. Which we literally made by seconds. Save yourself the stress and head to your gate straight after security to make sure you know where you are going , and then go shopping/get food/go for a nap. Don’t make our mistake.
7. BRING A PORTABLE CHARGER
If you’re like me, waiting for your flight usually means flicking through social media or watching hilarious videos on YouTube. This unfortunately also equals your phone or laptop battery being drained. We all know how hard it is to find a plug in an airport, let alone it be VACANT and free for you to use! Charging stations are ok, but are always in the most inconvenient position and are rarely vacant either. Bring a portable charger for your phone and social-media-away. PS: Make sure your portable charger is actually charged the night before!
8. CHANGE A SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR YOUR DESTINATION
Although I usually travel with just my card, I almost always get a little bit of my upcoming destination’s currency when I’m at the airport, just to tide me over. It’s a good idea to have a small sum on you, even for emergences – better to be safe than sorry! I usually get around the equivalent of $30 AUD.
9. PICK THE LINES WITHOUT FAMILIES
This is an important one! Check in lines, security lines, passport control…Always avoid the ones with families or large parties. If you can, go for the ones with business people or solo travellers, as these will move far quicker than the ones with families – leaving you more time to shop at duty free 😉
10. WEIGH YOUR BAGS AT HOME
Tip ten-and-a-half: invest in a luggage weigher – can confirm will save your life. Strap it on and hold your bags and tells you exactly how much your bag ways. What a product! Weigh them all and then you have no stress when you get to the airport!
11. IF YOU’RE OVERWEIGHT ON LUGGAGE, WEAR ALL YOUR CLOTHES ON YOU
I’ve caught flights wearing two pairs of pants, 3 tshirts, a hoodie, a jacket and even a coat on top of all of it to hide everything. Not even joking, it was really hot but saved me 5 kilos in wight which meant I was under with my bags! Pro tip: If you happen to have an extra carry on, quickly hide the bag by keeping it under the desk when you go to check in. Sneaky, but it works!
12. HAVE YOUR PASSPORT AND BOARDING PASS ACCESSIBLE ALWAYS
When you are in an airport, these are obviously the most important things. I’ve lost many boarding passes over the years (by being irresponsible) and it has caused me a lot of trouble! I recommend getting a travel wallet and keeping everything safe in there: your passport, boarding pass, a pen, and all those random papers you need to leave a country. Keep it handy and you will never have a problem!
I hope these hacks can help some of you, and if you have some hacks of your own that I haven’t mentioned, let us know in the comments below! I would love to hear them!