These 5 tips may seem simple, but can definitely help your overall Airport and flying experience…
1. Pack a Pen
There are many people out there that forget the all-important pen. It might be handy to fill in a crossword or other puzzle or two, but it’s also really important for filling out custom forms and the like. If you are able to fill out your custom form in line (this applies to more travelers headed to the US at major Canadian airports) then you are able to breeze through the line ups of those having to use the provided pens and you can easily get ahead 10-15 people in line for customs (if not more!). On the plane, it saves you from having to ask for a writing utensil and ensures that you are finished even quicker. Efficiency is key!
2. Become a Security Line Pro
Security has definitely changed over the years, but now for the most part security experiences are very similar. Go through the steps and be prepared for them (i.e. sweater/shoes off, laptop already out of your bag). This ensures you don’t hold up the line behind you and it makes getting through a breeze. And, somehow everyone still forgets this – no liquids!! Pack these in your luggage or buy your water bottle inside the terminal.
3. Keep Your Essentials In your carry on
(But not liquid) Things like your wallet and other valuables, laptops, reading material, toothbrush and (small) toothpaste and an extra pair of underwear (you never know if you will have your luggage lost) definitely come in handy. Or, if you are headed to the beach, pack your bathing suit to have with you. You may not be able to check into your hotel right away so it’s helpful to have some key items with you instead of ripping apart your luggage at the Bell Desk…
4. Check in ahead of time
I learnt this the hard way – if you don’t check in ahead of time you could be stuck with the dreaded ‘middle-middle’ seats when travelling alone. Checking in online ensures you get a better chance of a seat preference (or at least, more options) but also makes your time checking in at the airport that much shorter. Nowadays many airlines are letting you prepay your baggage fees by credit card online so when you show you just print your baggage tags and off you go! It’s really that simple.
5. Know the weight of your bag
Most airlines baggage maximums are 50lbs PER bag (not 75lbs in one and 25lbs in another) – and this isn’t just a guideline, it’s a rule. The workers carrying your bags aren’t allowed to carry more than 50lbs. With that being said, the airlines are constantly changing their rules and because it was that way last year, does not mean it is the same now. Always check out your airline’s website before packing and know the weight of your bag BEFORE you go to the airport. Invest in a luggage scale (this one is $25 will probably save you at LEAST $25 in excess weight fees) or weigh it on a scale (we’ve weighed our suitcases on our Wii Fit before!). This will ensure you don’t head to the airport and have to rip open your suitcases and start tossing things back in forth between bags to ‘even them out’. I always like to leave around 10lbs extra so I can do a little shopping…but more packing tips to come!
What are your tips to make the airport experience a breeze?