Whether you are flying for work, heading off for a romantic weekend getaway, or off on your annual vacation with your family, one of the most challenging elements of the travel experience is getting through the airport with your sanity intact. There are many factors at play that can positively or negatively affect your journey from the airport car park to the departure gate. Everything from excessive crowds to budget-busting hidden costs can impact your airport experience, and in this article, we discuss a few ways to help you survive each of them.
Don’t instantly defer to the main airports
While the cheapest flights and most convenient package deals quite often rely on the main international airports, one way to smooth the airport experience is by seeing if you can fly from a smaller regional airport instead. Long haul flights with many changes often use them, anyway, so see if you can hop on somewhere along the route. Smaller airports usually mean less walking along endless corridors and almost always means shorter baggage and security queues too.
Pick your travel time wisely
As a rule of thumb, you will find that during the week, between roughly 11 am and 4 pm, avoiding busy weekends are the best times to fly if you want to have the best shot at a quiet (or as smooth as possible) airport experience.
Prioritize parking plans
As you get closer to your flight day, you may find that airport car parks start to release a few deals or cheaper parking options so if you’re going to be driving yourself to the airport and leaving your car for an extended period you should try and get the best deal you possibly can.
Without a doubt, the best way to plan ahead for parking is to use a specialist airport parking company such as ParkON.com to organize your secure parking space as they can find you safe parking for the best price. Flexibility is important too, especially in this unpredictable world we live in, so using a company like this means you can cancel for free should your circumstances change.
Go for the smoothest check-in
The check-in experience is getting easier all the time, especially if you leverage the latest processes that most airlines have now integrated. Traveling light is always a winner because it means you can completely avoid the baggage drop part of the experience and go straight to security. Booking ahead beforehand is a no-brainer, but either printing out your boarding pass at home or even better, using the airline’s app to generate an electronic boarding pass will make it even smoother. Don’t forget to organize your boarding passes for the return part of the trip, too, so you’ve got everything planned well in advance.
There’s no doubting the slowest and most frustrating part of any airport experience is to be had at the security desk. There’s no way around this, the fastest way through security is simply to satisfy their regulatory demands. Making sure that you have planned your toiletry collection, segregated any electronics that might need taking out at the conveyor belt, and not having anything that might give cause for a more in-depth inspection is the fastest way through airport security.