How to Avoid Stress Going to the Airport

Last Updated:

It’s pretty obvious that the quickest way to get anywhere in the world is by plane. It’s also a well documented fact that airports can induce a great amount of unnecessary anxiety, and yet we still choose to travel by air.

Not all of us have the luxury of time to board the train, boat or bus to get to our destination. So we just have to learn how to deal with the annoyances that are typically associated with flying and going to the airport.

Man on phone with suitcase rushing to the airport

Our article 10 Ways to Stay Healthy at 35,000 Feet offers excellent advice on keeping up with your health in the air. But it is also important to manage your stress level during check-in, immigrations, and flight delays.

Building on that, we would like to share our tips on combating getting-to-the-airport anxiety.

1. Don’t schedule anything important on the day of travel

Part of stress comes from the kind of mood you’re in when you get to the airport, especially if you’ve had to rush from work or a prior appointment.

If you can manage it, try to allocate an entire day each for your departure and arrival. This kind of schedule for flying will help you relax rather than build on exhaustion.

Stressed out man at the airport

2. Check in online

No one likes waiting in lines, and it’s even less fun at the airport. Check-in online the day before your flight and download the boarding pass.

This will make everything so much easier when you get to the terminal: If you only have a carry-on, you can breeze straight past the check-in line straight to the baggage drop.

Woman approaching a taxi with a carry-on size bag. Avoid stress when going to the airport by packing everything in one small rollaboard.

3. Keep your boarding pass in multiple locations

When you check in online, you’ll have the opportunity to print or save your boarding pass. We suggest you do both.

After you have saved the pass to your phone, take a screenshot of the pass itself. Few things are as stressful as not being able to get online when you need to present your boarding pass to an agent. (It’s happened to us!)

Cell phone with boarding pass. Coffee, alligator clips, pens and paper nearby

4. Find a stress-free way to get to the airport

Public transport is an option, but it can be quite unpredictable and a hassle if you have too much luggage.

Cabs are a good option if price isn’t a concern, while services like Uber and Lyft are often more affordable. When we lived in Malaysia, GrabCar (an Uber equivalent) charged a flat fee to take us to the airport. We used that a lot.

If you can rely on a friend to drop you off, that will make getting to the airport a lot more fun. As long as they arrive on time and know where they’re going, that is. Otherwise, they may add to your stress!

Another alternative is to bring your own car, which will be readily available to you once you get back from your trip. If you want to drive to the airport yourself, you can find parking services at most airports. The disadvantage is that the cost can add up if you’ll be away for a while.

We’ve also found that using an airport transfer service is a stress-free start to your journey. A friendly driver will collect you at home (or hotel), handle your bags, and transport you to the airport. Perfect if you’re packing heavy!

ⓘ PRO TIP: Both Kiwi Taxi and GetTransfer are reliable and affordable airport transfer options.

Two men running through airport to catch a plane

5. Arrive earlier than needed

For international flights, it is best to arrive 3 hours before flight time. This allows time to get through the baggage drop and security lines.

For domestic flights, two hours is advised. You can spend your extra time with a little shopping, a book, or even a glass of wine before you board.

ⓘ TIP: If your travel partner has a habit of being late, tell him or her that your flight departs one hour earlier than it actually does.

Taxi at airport

6. Keep track of all your arrangements with a travel app

A travel app like TripIt (free) keeps all your travel details in one place. You never have to worry about having to find printouts, and everything is neatly organized in chronological order.

We couldn’t do without it.

Hand holding a phone with words that say Best Travel Apps for Mobile

Is this helping you avoid stress when going to the airport? Save it!

Man behind the steering wheel with his hand on his forehead. Text says How to avoid stress going to the airport

Plan the rest of your trip

Here are some ideas to help you plan your own trip. If this article was useful, you can thank us by using the links in this article to make your arrangements. Some of these companies will pay us a referral fee, at no extra cost to you.

  • Lodging: Check hotel prices and reviews on Booking.
  • Transportation: This website shows how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry and car.
  • Private tours: Want a unique experience? We have had good experiences with Get Your Guide, a reputable source for booking a wide variety of local tours, attractions and activities. That’s why we’ve chosen to affiliate ourselves with them. Find shuttle services and tours here.
  • Travel inspiration: We probably have shots of your destination in our photo gallery.
  • Need travel gear? Find our favorite travel gear in our Amazon shop.

More helpful travel tips

Other travel tips on As We Saw It include

Share this story with others

You may also like...

We often link to affiliate products and services that we believe will benefit our readers. As TravelPayouts and Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. Details here.

22 thoughts on “How to Avoid Stress Going to the Airport”

  1. My spouse and i appreciate these helpful tips in order to keep cool getting to the airport. I get stressed out easily so I need to know the simplest way to access the airport. I like your idea to check in online also to drive yourself to the air-port rather than relying on the. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hii!!
    Flights can be stressful. So you should always go for the professional airport car service to avoid any kind of difficulties during your travelling. They provide you a comfort and safe travelling.
    Thank you so much for great sharing.

  3. Hi Linda… Your tips for airport travel are really awesome and helpful too. Checking in online really saves time and sometimes the money.. if one left for airport at time and reaches there almost an hour or two before the departure time. Thanks alot

  4. Awesome tips. As a frequent traveler myself I do check-in online just because it ups my chances of boarding the plane should I get into any delay. And since airport food can be a bit pricey, I make sure to pack myself a sandwich and a small bottle of water. Cheap and light.

  5. I appreciate these helpful tips to keep your cool getting to the airport. I get stressed out easily so I need to know the simplest way to get to the airport. I like your idea to check in online and to drive yourself to the airport instead of relying on public transportation. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for the tips about how to get around in airport. I personally feel that one should choose comfort over cost.
    Al another tip: Always make a copy of your passports and documents. Just in case you lose them because this might ruin your entire trip, and this can happen to anyone.

  7. Absolutely love these helpful tips! Going to the airport, especially as a family, can certainly get stressful at times, so having a clear guide like this really does make everything go along much more smoothly! Thanks so much for sharing your input!

  8. I usually go on at least a few flights every year, and I agree that the tips on this list are helpful and good to keep in mind. Pretending your flight departs an hour earlier can help reduce stress, and it can be really nice to have time to do some shopping at the airport or get some food. Remember you can eat and drink at the terminal, so you don’t need to rush to do those things beforehand.

    • You’re right, Vivian. Bolting down a quick bite to eat before leaving for the airport is no way to begin a trip. Far better to enjoy a relaxing bite at the airport after clearing security.

  9. I agree that driving yourself to the airport can be a good idea, when possible. I also have experience with taking a rental car to the airport, which has sometimes been a good way to not have the stress of worrying about possible maintenance issues on a less reliable car than rental cars. I think that shuttles can also be stress-free as long as the shuttle is on time in picking you up, which they usually seem to be.

    • We agree with you, Rob, both about driving and taking a rental car to the airport. Our favourite way to travel is to take a limousine, however. Not only do they arrive in plenty of time to avoid any “arrival stress,” but nothing compares with the service they provide.

  10. Great Tips. Thank you for sharing. I will remember these checking in on line if there is a printer and pretend the flight is an hour earlier. Thanks again and happy traveling you two.

  11. Great tips. I can see from number three though that you don’t live in Sydney – lol. The parking at Sydney Airport is, I think, the most expensive in the world. You can easily spend the cost of your flight several times over in parking fees. We always check-in online, even if you have luggage there is often a separate queue if you have checked in online. It is always shorter and quicker than the queue for full check-in. As for the stress of flying – that’s why I love road trips so much. You don’t have to go near an airport.

    • No, we don’t live in Sydney and yes, we do realize that parking can be expensive. For those with the budget to leave their cars at the airport, it pays to shop around because not all parking facilities cost the same. Either way, we agree with you: Online check-in before arrival is definitely a good idea!

Comments are closed.

As We Saw It