How to make sure your journey through the airport doesn’t overshadow your actual trip

You’ve planned, you’ve packed and are ready to embark on that well-earned vacation. There’s one thing standing between you and your goal – the airport.

Checking in, getting through security and getting on that plan can sometimes seem like an unpleasant barrier between you and your holiday. Here are just a few tips to help make sure the journey from your home to the plane doesn’t overshadow the real journey you’re embarking on.

  1. Check-in online: Most airlines in Australia offer online check-in, which can definitely save time at the airport. You can check-in for your flight, select your seat, and print your boarding pass from the comfort of your home or office.
  2. Arrive early: Arriving at the airport early is crucial for a stress-free experience. That’s even more true during school holidays when everyone has the same holiday dream as you. It’s recommended that you arrive two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. This will allow enough time to check-in if you need to, pass through security, and get to your gate. And maybe even grab a coffee on the way.
  3. Know your baggage limit: If you’re just taking carry-on luggage, be aware of the weight limit and size limitations of the airline you’re using – they vary. If you have check-in luggage included in your flight, or have purchased a check-in allocation, know how much you can take. Buying additional luggage allowance at the airport is expensive, and rummaging through your carefully-packed bags at the airport is extremely stressful.
  4. Airport screening: Airport security screening is daunting and unavoidable. Pack your carry-on bag appropriately to make the process easier. Be aware of limits on carrying liquids and aerosols on the plane. Keep laptops, tablets, and other large electronics somewhere you can easily remove them from your bag. Wear clothing that doesn’t have metal zips or buttons that could set off the metal detector. Avoid wearing jewellery that could set off the metal detector or cause delays during the screening process.
  5. Bring entertainment: If you’ve followed the above tips and have arrived at your gate with time to spare, you’ll want something to keep you (and any children you’re travelling with) occupied. This could be a book, a tablet, or a handheld gaming device. Consider bringing a portable charger in case of delays.
  6. Pre-flight fuel: Bring some snacks to avoid blowing the holiday budget on airport food, and a water bottle. You can take an empty water bottle through security and fill it up once you’re inside. A collapsable water bottle is a great idea to save on carry-on space.

Negotiating the airport doesn’t need to be a chore if you’re prepared, even during peak travel periods such as school holidays. By taking some simple steps ahead of time, you can concentrate on the real journey.

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