Over 4 billion passengers took to the skies in 2017, most of whom travelled on several flights. So why is it that we find each airport trip as stressful as the last?
Whether you are a frequent flyer or are planning your first trip, these tried and tested tips will leave you cruising to cloud nine before you know it.
Check your luggage allowance
Airlines tend to have slightly different hold and hand luggage size and weight limits, so be sure to check these on their website. An overweight bag could lead to either a hefty fine or a highly embarrassing “I never liked those shoes anyway” involuntary decluttering session in front of a long line of impatient travellers, so it is definitely worth weighing your bag as you pack, leaving enough souvenir space for the return flight.
E-tickets and travel plans
No matter how spontaneous you are as a person, some basic level of organisation is required here. Checked-in online? Print off your E-ticket. Mobile Boarding Pass? Keep your phone charged. Taxi to and from the airport? Bring some cash in the local currency.
Give yourself time
If you take one thing away from this article, it should be this. Once you accept that there may be traffic on the roads or queues at security and allow plenty of time for it, then what really is there left to be stressed about?
What to wear
There are two things to consider here: in-flight comfort and avoiding a strip-tease at security. Belts are a definite no-no, as are lace-up boots, chunky jewellery and skinny jeans. Try trainers, leggings or loose-fitting trousers, and a t-shirt plus extra layers in case of chilly air conditioning.
Organise your carry-on bag
Given that you have already decanted any liquids into 100ml bottles and squashed them into a resealable plastic bag ready for security, make sure that the bag and any electronic devices are easily accessible . It is worth keeping your passport and boarding pass handy too.
Airports and aeroplanes are rarely the final destination but rather an unavoidable part of the journey. Why not embrace the journey and make the most of it? Grab yourself a coffee, listened to your favourite album or read that book you’ve been meaning to read but never have the time.
Drinks and snacks
Aeroplane food is sometimes edible, but going hungry always sucks. You might want to pick up a light meal deal in the airport to take on board, plus plenty of water to combat the low level of humidity in the cabin.
Take a stroll to the powder room
Some people refuse to use aeroplane toilets on principle, but it can actually be more beneficial to your health if you do. Not only will you be able to sit more comfortably afterwards, but the act of standing up and walking there will improve blood flow from your legs to your heart and consequently reduce the risk of a blood clot.
Rise above it
And finally, have you ever noticed how selfish and inconsiderate people can be when disembarking an aircraft? Even the British, known for their love of queuing and apologising unnecessarily, push to the front of the plane and race to border control as if there were a finish line with a cup of tea for the winner. Give them the benefit of the doubt, let them pass, but don’t let it ruin your calm – karma will catch up with them at the baggage carousel.