How to airport like an adult
Woman with luggage outside an airport

As a child, airports are the gateway to flights that will whisk us off to new cities and countries. But of course, everything is easier as a kid because you don’t have to worry about all the airport prep and navigation. However, as an adult, an airport can be a stressful place that often incites anxiety - even if there’s a tropical beach and cocktail waiting at the other end. So how can you make the airport experience a little more relaxed and less stressful? Here are some tips on how to airport like an adult.

Give yourself time

Airports have been criticized for being very disorganized since all of the COVID-19 cutbacks, and the security lines seem to just be getting longer and longer. With this in mind, be sure to allow yourself the proper amount of time at airports. For international flights, this means 3 hours. For domestic flights, it usually means 2 hours, but you can likely get by with a little less if you aren’t checking a bag.

That being said, the time of day can play a role on how busy the airport is as can the airport itself. Most airports will have information online and suggestions on how early to arrive, so do a quick search in advance of your flight and plan accordingly.

Be organized 

Again, security lines are long and tedious, so make sure you have your bag organized in a way that can get you through security as quickly as possible. This can be tricky sometimes since many airports differ in what they want you to take out versus what to leave in your bag; some airports don’t require you to take anything out at all. But as a general rule of thumb, you should take out any electronics larger than your cell phone. This can include:

·       Laptop

·       Tablet or e-reader

·       Camera and/or drone

·       Large power bank

In addition, if you are carrying on any liquids make sure that they are no more than 100ml per bottle and kept in a clear plastic bag.

Being properly prepared for security means you don’t hold up the line for others and can get through faster, and it can also reduce your risk of your bag being flagged and searched.

Come prepared

Not only are airports busy places, but they’re also expensive places - so make sure you come prepared in order to avoid additional fees that might arise. A good example of this is your luggage size – it’s wise to confirm ahead of time that your bags fit the airline allowance, whether making sure it’s the right size for carry-on baggage or under the weight limits for checked luggage. Otherwise, you could be charged extra fees. Keep in mind that different airlines may have different restrictions, and the type of ticket you have may also impact how much baggage you are allowed.

Tackling the airport like an adult also means coming prepared with drinks and snacks. Granted, you can’t bring liquids through security, but most airports have fountains where you can fill water bottles so it’s a good idea to travel with a reusable water bottle wherever you go – and it’ll save you the high cost of bottled water in the terminal shops.

On that topic, while airports do typically have restaurants or at least kiosks where you can grab a snack, prices tend to be at least 2-3x higher than what the item would cost elsewhere. It’s best to bring your own food and snacks in order to save money. Things like granola bars or protein bars, dried fruits and nuts, crackers, rice cakes, or even pretzels and popcorn make easy-to-bring snacks. However, be cautious with fresh fruits and vegetables as they may be confiscated by security.

Consider lounge access

If you are someone who spends a lot of time travelling and in airports, it might be worth looking into lounge access. Most airports these days have lounges in the terminals, which means a quiet, more comfortable area in which to wait for your flight. Added perks of lounges include free food and drinks, and some lounges even have shower facilities for long layovers. Lounge access can be especially beneficial if you travel for business as they have free wifi (with no time limit) allowing you to work while you travel.

Lounge access can often be purchased at the counter, but regular travellers may find it more beneficial to get a credit card that includes lounge access, or else sign up for a program such as Priority Pass.

Airports can be chaotic, but following these tips and suggestions can help alleviate some of the stress.

Hannah Logan is a Canadian travel writer who dreams of being just like Indiana Jones. You can follow her travels on her personal travel blog Eat Sleep Breathe Travel where she shares her travel tales and (mis)adventures around the world.

Hannah Logan is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.
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