We all dread it, the storm before the calm… having to go through the airport before we go on holidays. I mean, what’s worse- the lugging heavy gear into the airport to check in, having to strip and organise everything in security or just the general pain of joining a massive queue five times in two hours.
No, we’re not trying to put you off travel. After all, the travel there is part of earning the vacation. But there are some things you can do to make your trip through the airport easier…. You don’t want to start your holiday angry!
#1 Get acquainted with your baggage limits / weights
Every airline has different baggage limits. When you are diving, this can be tricky. Get yourself familiar with the baggage limits of the airline that you are flying. Weighing your bags before you get to the airport with a portable baggage scale or using the ones sometimes provided at the front of the airport, and repacking there is best. Don’t wait to get to the counter to check your baggage. Once you do that, often the checking agents will start to scrutinise your carry on too…
A great idea to keep your dive bag weight down is to pack your regs into your on-board luggage. It takes a bit of the weight out of the sporting bag and also means your regs are less likely to get damaged en route.
#2 Check-in online
This seems like an obvious one for some, and then not even come into the mind of others. You can never predict how the conditions are going to be in the airport. But, when you are there and there is a massive line, you will be so thankful that you did it. Ahead of time, find out if online check-in is an option and then mentally high five yourself when you can go straight up to the Kiosk / Bag Drop while everyone else is stuck queuing up.
#3 Dress comfy
If you’re doing a few stops at various airports (and even if you’re not), there is nothing worse than having to undress and redress in the security area. Jackets inside out, shoes not on properly, belts twisted, jewellery left in the plastic container – what a nightmare! If you can, wear something comfy and easy. Sneakers, street shoe, sandles, comfy flats etc. are all great options. We are aware that sometimes it can be hard to dress to suit, but thinking about your attire before you go to the airport can help you avoid disgruntled looks from the passengers behind you. Comfy jeans and t-shirt, track pants, dress or skirts are all options that can work for you through security and be comfy on the plane as well; we already have enough discomfort on the plane as it is.
#4 Fill out your departure forms before you get to the airport / in the line checking your luggage.
If you are flying international, you are only too familiar with the departure forms. Avoid being knocked around at the little tables in immigration and complete the departure form before you get there. That way you are not scribbling over the form and getting frustrated with the ever growing line in the hall. Ask your travel agent to ensure they provide you with correct number in your departure pack so that you can have them completed before you arrive at the airport.
#5 Store everything before security
Before approaching security, ensure that all items in your pockets are stored in your carry-on luggage. Check all your pockets, sunnies from your head, phone, keys, change etc. and put them in your bag. Before you leave home, if you are travelling international, put all of your liquids into a clear plastic bag so you are not messing around at security. Ensure your laptop (if you are travelling with one) is easy to access and not stored at the bottom of your bag. Ensure your ID and boarding pass are in an easy to reach location so you can pull them out before the scanner. This will make getting through security a breeze.
Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to vacation heaven and not airport hell. Happy vacationing!