Traveling by plane takes a lot of time: reaching the airport outside the city, passing the queues at the security checks, waiting for the gate to open. Really a lot of time!
Anyone who has traveled by plane can immediately understand what I’m talking about. Is there a way to save precious time during all boarding procedures at the airport and travel more relaxed? The secret is following small steps that combined together can help you to save time and energy.
Read our tips to save time at the airport:
1. Choose weekdays and flexible dates
If possible, try to avoid leaving during weekends or holidays. During the weekend most people come back home and prepare for the incoming workweek so, it is likely to find thousands of people standing in long and tiresome queues to pass the security checks. If possible, try not to choose the peak periods and the national festivals because these are the very moments when people return home to spend their holidays. If you are flexible with dates, choose to leave on Tuesday or Wednesday when fewer people travel and you can save time and money on the flight ticket.
2. Research beforehand the airport and the rules of the airline company
Have you ever ended up in such huge airports that you seemed to go around in circles before reaching the gates? Try to take a look at the airport website before arriving just to get an idea of the structure and where the departures are located. Since you are doing researches, check the airline’s rules, the size of the baggage allowed and any restrictions so as to be ready and avoid slowing down the control phase.
3. Check-in online
To avoid long queues at the airport, why not checking-in online? This way will save you valuable time in queues and once arrived at the airport, you will only need to head to the controls. Don’t forget to bring your boarding pass with you!
4. Priority boarding
Many airlines give the opportunity to buy priority boarding that allows you to skip the line at the gate and get on the plane first. One of the most known is Ryanair which allows you to reduce waiting times and carry a hand luggage with you through the priority boarding: just go directly to the priority line with your boarding pass and carry-on. Easy!
5. Arrive early
Getting to the airport early may seem like a contradiction, but it can actually be more important than it seems. As it is difficult to estimate how long it will take to check-in and pass the security controls, it is better to give yourself more time instead of running through the airport with the risk of missing your flight. If you arrive early, you will find fewer queues and waiting times will be shorter.
6. Do not wear too many jackets and accessories
During security checks, you will be asked to take off all the layers of jackets and accessories. Imagine the situation: take off the coat, the padded sweatshirt, the cap, the leather belt, the moccasins. Ready? Of course not! Now it’s the turn of sunglasses, pashminas, showy necklaces, cuffs, bracelets, watches and so on! The security checks proceed smoothly but … Now you have to put everything back as not to hinder other travelers. And quickly! A tip to save time: avoid wearing too many things or, if you can’t do so, at the end of the checks put everything in your bag and leave some space to other people. You will put on everything once got on the plane.
7. Organize liquids and electronic devices
To shorten the time during the airport checks, store liquids and electronic devices in separated organizers. Place all the liquids inside a transparent airtight plastic bag (remember that in most European aeroports you can carry up to 10 containers for a maximum capacity of 100 ml each one) and keep all electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, power banks handy. Be prepared, find an easy and accessible place in the hand luggage without unpacking all the contents. Organization in advance means avoid opening the backpack due to the toothpaste tube you forgot inside!
8. Travel light
If traveling without checked luggage, you can check-in online comfortably sitting at home and, once arrived at the airport, go straight to the security checks. Moreover, once you land at the destination, you will not have to wait to collect your luggage. All this turns into a considerable saving in terms of time and money as well. If due to distance, duration or personal needs it is not possible to travel just with hand luggage, be sure to attach a personalized sticker or a colored ribbon on the checked luggage to make it easier to recognize it. We wrote a post on How to travel light. Find out our Brigante 28 liters daypack that, due to the small dimension, can be used as hand luggage.
What could you do to kill the time at the airport and spend it productively?
1. Use wi-fi and search for travel information
Make use of the waiting time to find the latest information and check all the reservations. You could also update the playlist, download city maps and, if you haven’t done it before, check the transfer from the airport to your accommodation.
2. Send a message to your family and friends
Get in touch with them and catch up about your travels… they will be reassured!
3. Free up the memory of the phone and the camera
We never have time to delete photos we don’t need, remove old messages and order the mailbox. Well, what better time to do it? Make sure, however, that no one is around violating your privacy and put an eye to steal personal information.
4. Learn a few words in a foreign language
Look around and pay attention to the signs scattered here and there … if the waiting time is pretty long, you will have the opportunity to learn a few more foreign words that could come in handy one day! Start with some foreign words that have no equivalent in english.
5. Order your travel notes
Whether it’s a travel research before leaving, useful information or memories to keep when you are about to return home, use the slow times to write a bit. You can use the time also to analyze your budget and expenses, but be sure not to pull out your wallet and attract the attention of pickpockets … Better safe than sorry!
6. Make some friends
Sometimes at the airport, you can get inspiration for future trips and make friends with other travelers. Talk to people sitting next to you and ask them where they come from, maybe he can give you travel ideas! Be careful not to reveal too much personal information and don’t be too intrusive. If the other person doesn’t seem interested in the conversation, don’t force it, he/she could be tired and not feel like talking! Read our post on How to make friends while traveling.
7. Grab something to eat
It sounds like grandma’s advice: do not travel dehydrated and hungry, give yourself a healthy snack before leaving. It will boost the energy you need to live the adventure to the fullest! Stay hydrated with our reusable thermal bottles in two capacities and different colors: good for the planet and the wallet!
8. Read an ebook
Before leaving, make sure you have packed a Kindle or a tablet with some books to read in your spare time. Digital formats, unlike paper, take up less space, are lighter and have a lower impact on the environment.
Have you prepared the backpack according to the destination and the duration of the trip? We are here to help you! In the guide “How to choose a backpack” you will find useful information about the features to consider in a backpack. Find out our Brigante 28 liters, Santiago 45 liters and Himalaya 65 liters backpack!
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