It takes more than just an alert mind to dodge the hassles of traveling. Traveling with stress is a drag, so before it causes havoc on you and your plans, consider these tips:
Use public transportation. No car means not wasting time on looking for available parking. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about car thefts and lost bags when everything is slung over your shoulder.
Pack only the bare essentials. The lighter you pack, the faster you will get through airport security. This tip can save you cash, too, since most U.S. airlines charge a minimum of $15 for a first bag and $18 for a second.
Take advantage of self-service features. Print your own online boarding pass. If you forget to do this before leaving home, you can also print passes at an available self-service booth at the airport. This will prevent you from standing in a long line for check in. Additionally, if you have bags for checking, take advantage of curbside check-in.
Know your way around security. To make it easy for yourself and the airport security personnel, hold your identification and boarding pass as you pass through the security line. If you are bringing a laptop, put it on the conveyor belt apart from its container. Do not pack any liquid that may arouse suspicion either for its amount or consistency. Also, remember to arrive at the airport at least two hours before an international flight is scheduled to depart.
Eat only after routine security. You cannot eat while standing in line, so wait to do so until you cross to the other side. Additionally, remember that you might not learn about gate changes until you arrive, so hold off on snacks until you’re sure you’ve located the correct gate.
Blend in as you board. Passengers all go in one direction as they board the plane. If you do not go with the flow, you ruin the rhythm. How to be smooth in all of this is a question of how quick you can sway along with your carryon bags. Put your carryon bags in the overhead compartment, settle down, and put on your seatbelt. Never stick a foot out along the aisle, as this will also slow down your fellow passengers.
Take an alternate airport if you can. Secondary airports (especially those near your city) save you precious time and money in almost all cases. Additionally, secondary airports are not so crowded as the major ones.
Know the route of your destination. It may sound redundant, but you cannot underestimate the value of knowing where you are going. If you are taking a connecting flight, chart out the location of the terminals ahead of time. This will keep stress and anticipation in check.