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How to Keep Your Cool Getting to the Airport

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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. But not all of us have the time to board the train, boat or bus to get to our destination, thus we just have to learn how to tolerate and even avoid the annoyances that are typically associated with flying and getting to the airport.

image credit: tnooz.com

Previously, we offered 10 Ways to Stay Healthy at 35,000 Feet which offers good 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.

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. The best thing to do is take after James E. Porter, President of StressStop.com, and 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.

Check in online

No one likes waiting in lines, and it's even less fun at the airport. The day before your flight, check in online and print your 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 and proceed to the gate.

Drive yourself to the airport

Public transport can be quite unpredictable and a hassle if you have too much luggage. Cabs are way too expensive. There the option to have a friend drop you off, of course, but the easiest alternative is to bring your own car, which will be readily available to you once you get back from your trip. There are various parking services at most airports although if you have some extra cash to spend, Parking4Less suggests that the Meet and Greet alternative is hassle free and suitable for those with lots of luggage.

Arrive earlier than needed

Christy at Sweet and Savoring suggests to pretend your flight departs one hour earlier than it actually does. Not only does this allot extra time for traffic, but it also gives you time to wind down with a little shopping, a book, or even a glass of wine before you board.

Comment below and share your best tips on minimizing airport stress.

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22 thoughts on “How to Keep Your Cool Getting 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. I never schedule anything the day of travel. It seems like something inevitably goes wrong and I hit a delay every time. What a hassle!

  5. 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.

    1. Good tips, Glen. People forget that TSA will permit you to carry sandwiches through security, as long as they can be x-rayed (no foil).

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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.
    Hope

  12. 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.

    1. 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!

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