Like it or not, a great deal of holidays start at the airport (unless you're embarking on one of our no-fly cruises). And so before all the fun, sun and relaxing with your loved ones can start, you have to endure a great deal of waiting, waiting in lines and more waiting.
But the holiday needn't get off to such a frustrating start. And whilst airports are never going to be the most exciting places in the world, they will at least be made bearable by adopting some of the tips given here.
We're not talking phone numbers, we're not even talking lottery numbers, but you do need to know the vital statistics of your flight. This includes being aware of how much luggage you are allowed to take, knowing how long before you fly you need to be checked in and, once you are there, which gate you are flying out of. All of this will make things go a lot smoother and will mean there are no last minute surprises.
Another number you should become very familiar with is your flight number. Not just so you can pay attention to any airport calls, but so you can inform your friends and family who aren't lucky enough to be coming with you.
In this day and age, many airlines offer you the option to check in online or print off your boarding passes before you even leave your home. This is definitely something worth taking advantage of, especially if you are only travelling with hand luggage, as it's much easier to just scan your piece of paper than to wait in line. Even if you do have to queue to check in your luggage, having your boarding passes already printed will make things go quicker when you reach the front of the line.
There are a limited number of important items that you will need to use more than once during your time in the airport. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to keep these packed together and have them ready when you know you are going to need them. By packing things like your passport, ticket and boarding pass in a folder or small pack you will always know where they are and always be able to access them easily.
With all the security procedures that we have to go through at airports these days, you can end up really frustrated and stressed out if you aren't prepared for them. However, you can easily speed up the process by doing things before somebody asks you to. This includes seeing that your liquids don't exceed the limit and that any you do have are inside a transparent bag. Another good thing to do is ensure that your hand luggage isn't too tightly packed as this will attract attention and possibly result in a bag search.
Lastly, you can limit the time it takes to complete a random luggage check, if you are lucky enough to be selected, by having the keys to any padlocks close at hand or (when travelling to the US) ensuring your locks are TSA approved.
We all moan about having to stand in line for so long at the airport, but as soon as we are given the chance to queue for something we are far too eager to oblige. As soon as the check-in desk opens, there is a stampede to be the first to have your bags registered, whilst the rush to queue for a seat on the plane is equally as frantic.
The thing to remember is that as long as you already have your seat allocated, it will still be there when the queue dies down. Why not enjoy the comfy chairs in the departure lounge for a little bit longer rather than stressing yourself out standing in a slow moving line? Something also worth pointing out is that those having their bags checked first are likely to be waiting longer for them to reappear upon arrival at your destination.
We hope that by taking a few of these pieces of advice, you can minimise the frustration caused by having to go through the airport process. And now that you have a few more tricks up your sleeve, perhaps you will be more inclined to give yourself a reason to be at an airport in the first place. Fred.\ has a variety of different holiday options for you to choose from, including ocean cruises, river cruises, city breaks and polar expeditions.