There are certain things that can’t be put down to bad luck, no matter how much better it will make you feel. Check out these travelling tips to help you avoid “bad luck” (cough cough) at the airport.
- Weigh your bags. Then, weigh them again. Leave a few kilograms allowance since sometimes your scales may be giving you a lighter reading – I like to think due to a secret global Weightwatchers scheme – so do be prepared to hear that your bags may be a kilogram or two more than you expected. Even if they’re not a gram over your own reading, this means you’ve got a little extra weight for some last minute airport duty-free deals. Fun fact: a Toblerone weighs under 500g… and you can probably fit more too, now that they’ve robbed us of half the chocolate per bar! Sadly, evenRyanairis getting strict on this one, so do stay up-to-date on the latest baggage policies – you really can’t simply rely upon past experience to determine your limits.
- Dress to impress? Sorry, dress to de-stress. The dream of stepping offa plane looking like Kate Middleton, pristine, groomed and put together is,sadly, no more than a dream for most of us. So, you might aswell make yourself comfortable. Think Sunday afternoon Netflix attire: add some supportive shoes and you’re all set.
- Water. As airports continue to force us to pay for the very fluid that makes up around 60% of our own bodies, it’s a good idea to think ahead. Take your own bottle and drink it all before security (often feeling the burning eyes of those behind you in the queue as you make them wait till you’ve downed every last drop of that 1.5l you ambitiously bought). Then, once through security, whereliquids are a no-go, you can begin the search for a drinkable tap – or ask slightly cheekily if one of the food outlets will fill it up for you. I once managed to get a security staff member to fill up a bottle from the staff water fountain, so never underestimate the power of a friendly smile and parched visage.
- Charge your devices before going, and again at the airport if possible. Arriving in a foreign country with 5% off your phonebatteryleft is never going to reduce your stress levels, nor those of your companions relying on you for travel information. Besides, how will all your Instagram followers know you’re off finding yourself if you can’t check in once landed?
- Research your airport – this can be the difference between attempting to sleep on the floor and lounging on an almost-comfortable sofa for those long lay-overs or midnight waits until the check-in finally opens. A great site for this is Sleeping in Airports, dedicated mainly to those planning to sleep/spend the night in airports, but providing in-depth information and experiences of practical elements of various airports worldwide. From opening hours of cafes to places to charge your devices, these can make all the difference to your airport experience.
- Get your money beforeyou go to the airport to avoid losing out on an unfavourable exchange rate. If you’re planning your travel in advance, it can also be worth keeping an eye on the exchange rate and choosing your time wisely to buy your currency. Alternatively, you can get a pre-paid travel card to avoid carrying large amounts of cash on you at the airport.
- Make copies of documents, have digital copies on your phone/tablet, and give a trusted friend or family member a copy too. Covering all bases will save even the worst of luck of misplacing your passport.
So,stay clued up and prepare well. Save the spontaneity for the holiday itself – rarely are airport surprises of the positive kind.