I still remember the days when I first started travelling when packing was exciting and heading to the airport was considered a special occasion. But after taking over 100 flights in the past two years and having a few airport mishaps, the novelty has completely worn off. These days, the airport is simply a mission I endure before the fun actually begins. With stress-prevention at the forefront of our priorities in life, Toby and I have refined our packing setup to ensure that each visit to the airport feels like a walk in the park. Here are some of my favourite hacks:
Airport Hacks For Enduring Long Waits
1. Find an Empty Gate to Hangout At
If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax or get some work done before your flight, find an empty gate (not too far from your own, of course) that doesn’t have any pending departures. You’ll likely have plenty of chairs to rest on, free power outlets and empty bathrooms. Depending on how early we arrive, Toby and I usually manage to turn these areas into a makeshift office with food and electronics scattered across several seats. We can tend to very comfortable waiting for our flights!
2. Bring a Power Board
Living in a highly connected world in which most of us require the internet, our phone or laptop to get work done, having them go flat is huge source of anxiety. It’s difficult enough to find a power point when you need it and when you finally find one, you’re faced with a tough choice: which of my 4394 devices do I need to charge first?! Bringing a power board allows you to charge your most important devices through one outlet. This is a super handy hack for hotel rooms as well!
3. Rollback Your Computer’s Clock for More Wifi
When I was backpacking and on a budget, I discovered a hack to extend free Wi-Fi access in airports. If you’re on a budget and find yourself over the Wi-Fi time limit at the airport, try turning back the clock on your computer by one hour. This is a godsend if your flight is delayed and you need more access. Do note that I haven’t tried this one in a very long time so I’m not sure if it works anymore.
4. Use SMART luggage
Over the last few years, SMART luggage with built-in GPS, scales and removable battery packs have exploded onto the scene. Once you have the convenience of being able to track your luggage, charge your phone or weigh your bag anywhere you are, you’ll wonder how you ever travelled without it! My favourite SMART luggage is from Away.
Airport Hacks For Getting Through Security Faster and Stress-Free
5. Use Your Coat to Carry What You Normally Have in Your Pockets
While waiting in line, start removing your phone, wallet, belt, watch and so on and put them into your coat pockets or handbag. As you need to take your coat off anyway, this will reduce the amount of time you need spend at the security check. Once you get on the other side, you’ll be able to quickly grab your bag and coat and move away from the chaos to sort yourself out. You also reduce the risk of losing any of your valuables or forgetting them in the tray – so much win!
6. Wear Shoes You Can Take off and Put on Quickly (I.E. No Laces!)
This is for anyone who feels like it takes a million years to undo their shoes and tie them back up again during the security check. What shoes you wear isn’t something we tend to think about when we go to the airport, but when we find ourselves fumbling with our shoes during security, we wish we would have.
7. Keep Electronics and Toiletries in the Same Place
Instead of keeping toiletries in the suitcase and your laptop/iPad in your handbag, keep both in one place. I recommend using your handbag rather than your suitcase. You’ll be able to easily pull out your devices and toiletries from one bag and simply put your suitcase through the x-ray. This hack saves me from opening my suitcase and revealing my semi-chaotic packing style to the world. Please make sure your toiletries are sealed to avoid any hazards!
It’s easy to get stressed during the security check, however, you should always be mindful that airport security workers have to deal with this process a lot more often than you do. Just smile and you’ll find the process much more pleasant, and the workers will appreciate it too!
Airport Hacks to Save $$$
9. Bring an Empty Waterbottle
This might be the oldest trick in the book but I love hydration so it needs to be included in this list. It’s a real money saver given the hefty price tag for bottled water at most airports. If you drink a lot of water, this can really add up! While you’re not allowed to bring water bottles over 100ml through security, you can still bring an empty one which you can refill at the drinking fountains once you get through security.
10. Bring Your Own Healthy Snack
Does anyone else find it difficult to find healthy food at airports? For this reason, I tend to pack nuts or foods that are high in the nutrients I’m specifically including in my diet. Not only does this save money, but I can work on my long hair goals at the same time (see my favourite snacks for hair growth).
What are some of your favourite airport hacks? Would love how you get through the airport experience in the comments below! Also, if you happen to enjoy airports, please share your secrets! I’m still merely surviving it 😉