Whether you are a frequent traveler or only occasionally step foot on a plane, navigating an airport can be stressful. You have to juggle luggage, security checkpoints, and connections, and at the end of this ordeal you still need to figure out how to get from the airport to your final destination. The following tips can help you minimize stress in the airport.
Tip #1: Pack light
Luggage limitations are here to stay, which means most airlines place strict limits on the amount of luggage you can check. Each checked bag also comes with a hefty fee. Packing light enough to only require a carry-on is the best way to save yourself the stress of checking bags and then waiting for them at your destination; and you won't have concerns with lost luggage, which can make connections less stressful. Generally, you are allowed to fly with one 19x14x22 inch carry-on bag, as well as a personal bag such as a computer bag or purse. Some items are also exempt from carry-on limitations, such as strollers or necessary medical equipment.
Tip #2: Get an app
Navigating an unfamiliar airport is a major cause of travel stress. The in-flight magazine usually has a basic map of your destination airport, but the information is minimal at best. Instead, download one of the many airport apps available. These apps range from low-cost to free. Look for one that provides information on airport layout as well as updated gate and flight information. The best apps can also tell you what is near your gate, whether you are looking for a restroom or a phone charging kiosk. By uploading your flight info into the app, it can direct you to exactly where you need to go, ensuring you get to your connecting flight on time with little to no stress.
Tip #3: Arrange for transportation
Waiting in the taxi line can be a particularly stressful part of flying, especially when you are vying with other travelers to get a cab into town. Rideshare apps have helped eliminate some of this stress, but they aren't perfect. A better solution is to arrange for airport transportation before you even leave for the airport. Contact a transport service company and book a place in advance on an airport shuttle or with a car. You can even reserve fancy rides, such as an airport limo, if you are traveling with someone you want to impress. This way you have a driver waiting for you and you don't have to compete with other travelers to get a ride. Companies like SempeRide can offer more information.