This blog post was updated on July 12, 2021.
Check online, weigh your bags at home, etc … we all know all those “savvy tips” to save you time, money and hassle at the airport. Here are four more from my own experiences to add to your carry-on items. Bon Voyage!
Yes, but which terminal?
Always check which terminal you’re flying out of well before heading to the airport. At larger international airports separate terminals can be miles apart. Knowing which terminal to go to is especially handy when you’re taking a cab or hired car to the airport, as fares can vary depending on where you’re dropped off (this is definitely the case at Heathrow), or when driving yourself and leaving the car in long term parking.
Passport! Passport! Passport!
If you’re travelling to a foreign country, don’t forget your passport and check well ahead of time that it’s not expired. If you’ve ever arrived to the airport for an international flight to discover you didn’t have your passport with you, then you know it’s one of the worst feelings imaginable (particularly if you’re travelling with others). Ditto if you have to an airline rep at the check in counter inform you that your passport is out of date. Yep, it’s happened to me (the latter not the former). Now I’ve got a special little man bag for international travel to keep my passport accessible and safe. I’ve made a habit of grabbing the bag as soon as I start to pack for a trip and placing it somewhere that’s all but impossible to avoid when leaving to catch my flight.
Think about all that stuff you’re going buy waiting around at the airport, gum, magazines, batteries, snacks … Sure browsing shops a good way to while away the time until you board, but wouldn’t you rather spend your money at the destination? Pack some sandwiches, check you’ve got all your toiletries, something to read, some gum … all that stuff … before you go. Maybe you can make a checklist of airport essentials to have the next time you’re stuck at the airport or on a flight thinking of all the little things you wished you’d brought with you.
Bring an empty water bottle
No, you can’t take water with you past security, but you can bring an empty water bottle. Once on the other side most employees at any bar, restaurant or food concession will be happy to fill it with tap water for free.