10 Useful Airport Tips And Tricks That Will Make Flying Easier

Monday, September 4, 2017

Airports are my happy place. Sometimes. More often than not, however, airports are just places where there's a lot of waiting and a lot of queues. They're shiny and crowded, filled with stores and eateries with sky-rocketed prices. However, if you have to get from A to B by plane, they cannot be avoided; even less if you have a layover. Here are my few tips and tricks that will make your flying endeavors easier, and let you glide through airports seamlessly!

#1 Do Bring Your Own Food And Drinks

This advice applies if you're traveling on a budget. Even a simple sandwich and a latte can cost a lot on an airport. I guess the rationale is—you have no choice and cannot go eat elsewhere, so you have to pay what they charge. Sometimes you'll splurge, and that's fine; but if you want to save some dolla bills, make a sandwich, bring some snacks and a bottle of water.

#2 Have A Boarding Pass Prepared Either On Paper Or Cellphone (Bright!)

We've all been guilty of tugging boarding passes in our bags or purses and then slightly panicking when boarding! Or just thought we can do with a passport and not bothering printing out boarding passes. If you're traveling light, meaning no checked baggage, don't forget to either print the boarding pass out, or store it on your cellphone. If you opt for the latter, make sure to turn up the brightness, because some boarding pass readers will not be able to read them if your phone is not as bright as it can be. So save yourself the trouble and have it ready!

#3 Check In Online

I mentioned printing boarding passes—what comes before that is checking in online, and I highly recommend it if you're traveling without checked baggage! Having checked in prior to coming to the airport, you're free to just proceed to the security control and thus saving yourself the waiting time at the check-in counter. Depending on the airport itself, sometimes there are separate counters for those who checked in online even if they have to check in their baggage, so I'd say checking in in advance definitely doesn't hurt! Also, some low cost airlines charge for checking in at the airport, so why spend money if you don't have to? :)

#4 Have Your Passport Secured In A Separate Pocket In The Purse

Over the ages, my mantra for leaving house before traveling has become: passport, cellphone, wallet—everything else is replaceable. Because you'll have to show your passport several times, and because it's like super important document, have it secured in a separate pocket where you'll easily reach for it and where it cannot possibly be mixed with tons of journals and other junk.

#5 Empty Bottle And Fill It After Security Control

Speaking of water, have you ever experienced having your bottle taken away because of the "no liquids allowed on the plane" policy? I know how to avoid this rule and I do it successfully all the time! Especially bearing in mind the dryness of air on the plane, and how small their glasses are. What I do is: a empty my bottle before the security. Nobody has ever had a problem with an empty bottle! After I pass the security control, I go to the bathroom and fill the bottle. And here's my free water bottle on the plane. Because hydration matters :)

#6 Overall, Be Ready For Security Control

I'm guilty of this one in the sense I almost always keep my sunglasses on my head! So, what to do: empty your pockets, all your pockets, jeans, jacket, you get it. Remove your jewelry and don't forget to separate your liquids and place them in a plastic bag or a see-through cosmetics bag. The liquids must be in containers not exceeding 100 ml, so there's no place for your regular sized shower gels or body lotions in your hand luggage! As for sharp objects, sometimes it depends on the airline, but I usually make sure I pack my tweezers in the checked baggage. Some airlines allow lighters, some don't. Get your info in advance to avoid negative surprises.

#7 Know What To Pack

I have never had the misfortune of having my luggage lost, but I don't want to challenge the destiny. If you're traveling with checked luggage, it doesn't hurt to include a spare pair or two of undies and socks, together with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt or a sweater. Just in case your suitcase gets lost somewhere—you'll have something to wear until it reaches you, and won't have to run to the nearest shop to get something cheap or unsuitable. I once lent a dress to a colleague of mine because she had travelled to a conference and was presenting, but her bag got lost somewhere between NYC and Venice!

#8 Sit Tight

So you've reached the gate and waiting for the boarding. When they announce it, you get up and rush to the queue... wrong! You'll be standing for another 20 minutes before they actually start admitting people on the plain. Instead, stay seated and do your thing. Read a book, do work on your laptop or, here's an idea: delete unnecessary files on your phone, because you know you never find the time to do it. :)

However! There's an exception, the one that made my jump on my feet whenever they would announce boarding on every leg of my latest trip to New Zealand: and that's having a piece of hand luggage you definitely want to put in an overhead bin. If every passenger had a small suitcase, no way it would all fit in the bins, so airlines are basically counting on people traveling with just a purse or a small backpack or nothing really. You shouldn't! If you're amongst the first peeps boarding, you'll place that suitcase in the overhead bin hassle-free. #likeaboss

#9 Make Your Suitcase Stand Out

This is my own advice I don't follow, but I have reached for other people's suitcases in the past because they resembled my own plain black one! It doesn't have to be anything special, a colored ribbon around the handle would do. 

#10 On The Plane: Do Keep Your Purse With You

In the past I would bring along a book to keep my occupied on the plane and then put my purse in the overhead bin. Huge mistake, as it cannot be open during takeoff, nor can I move from my seat! If you're having something for your own entertainment, such as laptop, book or a magazine, keep your purse on the floor below the seat in front of you. And yes, do bring a book or a magazine because you won't be allowed using a device during takeoff and landing!

Have a safe flight, and enjoy your time in the air, as much as possible!


  1. I always end up with stuff in my water bottle causing a panic at security. Great tips :)

  2. I make sure it doesn't happen, because I usually drink so much water so even short flights leave me super thirsty if I don't have my bottle! Thank you Megan :)

  3. I always worry about paying so much for bottled water at airports that I bring my own bottle but I forget about it until I get to the security checks! And I've had people pick up my bag by mistake too but thank goodness I spotted it with my bright pink ribbon! :)

  4. Hahaha, at least once or twice I had to drink half a liter of water at once because of the same reason! Love your choice of the color, I'd probably opt for something similar (and I should, because as I said, that's the advice I don't follow! Have a great day, Amanda!


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