Airport Hacks That Will Change Your Vacation Experience Pt 1

One of the best ways to wind down and let loose your hair is to go on a vacation. But sometimes even going on a holiday can bring about stress when improperly planned, and a lot of us are guilty of doing just that. Most people plan their holidays centered around attractions, sceneries, accommodations, etc. and whereas there is nothing fundamentally wrong with that, they tend to forget to plan for the one place where most holidays begin — the airport.

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Don’t ruin your holiday mood with unforeseen circumstances, especially at the airport where there are a lot of laws and regulations in place. Here are some hacks that will help you avoid all the mess and get you on that dream trip you planned for.

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1. Baggage policies

Probably one of the worst ways to bust your mood. While you may be familiar with the luggage policy in your home country, the same cannot be said for your destination country’s airport and it is a huge downer if you realize that the precious collectible you purchased on holiday is not allowed on the plane and you have to discard it (speaking from personal experience). The good news is that this is probably the easiest problem to avoid just by simply spending about 5 mins reading up on the airline’s policy. For example; some airlines do not allow carry-ons unless it is stowed under the seat and a carry-on stowed in the overhead compartment would incur extra fees. Another thing to take note of is baggage requirements such as size and weight, these might differ according to the airlines you take or the type of booking you have; promotional flights might not include luggage space and you have to purchase the upgrade.

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2. Parking spaces

If you are feeling thrifty, you might consider researching nearby parking lots that offer cheaper parking fees as airport parking spaces costs a bomb. Alternatively, some airport parking spaces allow online booking which allows you to save a lot. The last thing you want when returning home is to be met with an exorbitant parking fee when exiting the parking lot, or worse, a parking ticket for your vehicle’s overstay. Certainly, not the best way to end your vacation.

Of course, if the parking lot is way too far from the airport, then maybe a cab is your best bet.

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3. To follow or not to follow?

Mostly applicable if your arrival destination does not have signboards in your native language. Sometimes it is best to just follow the crowd to get your bearings right, even though most airports are built to passively guide you to where you need to go, but sometimes it can get a little confusing. For example, usually, the first place passengers go to after touching down is the toilet, and if you do happen to need the washroom, you can simply follow the crowd, but don’t forget to check the signs as well less you might wander into the wrong toilet.

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4. Glasses instead of contacts

You will not have the comfort of adjusting the air conditioning on the plane or airport, so it’s best if you bring along a pair of glasses if you need them. Contacts are fine when you touch down but chances are during a flight, your eyes will get dry especially on long-hauls. Furthermore, toilets on a plane are not exactly very spacious and you do not want to accidentally drop your contact lenses in there. Bring enough eye drops to keep yourself fresh and comfortable as well as lip moisturizers to prevent your lips from cracking if the air is too cold and dry. It’s no fun when you can’t laugh due to the pain.

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5. Empty disposable water bottle

It is common knowledge that you are not allowed to bring any liquids onto the plane and airport retailers have really expensive water. So it will be very helpful to bring your own disposable water bottle. Keep it empty for the flight and you can request for the flight attendants to fill it up instead of pouring your drink into a cup which has more chances of spilling. If you are environmentally conscious (which you should be), bring a lot a proper water bottle for your trip, not only does it save money it keeps you hydrated when you need it too!

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6. Devices and chargers

Keep your portable devices in your carry-on, preferably in a compartment or pouch of its own. This will make it immensely convenient for you to access during a flight or during baggage checks where you might need to place devices in a separate tray. Another reason for keeping it in a separate pouch is so that you can keep it on you during the flight while your main carry-on (backpack or sling bag) can be kept in the overhead compartment or under your seat. Also, be sure to have your portable charger together with you, as you do not want your laptop to suddenly die out mid-flight. Good luck finding a power outlet.

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7. Email yourself necessary documents

This is more of a failsafe. Sometimes you may be approached by random security officers in the airport for an “interview”, it will save you loads of time if you can simply pull out the relevant documents from your email instead of scrolling through your endless cat photos in your phone’s gallery. Email accounts allow you to “pin” certain messages to the top, allowing for easy access and some even allow you to download it in “offline” mode, which negates the need for an internet connection; really handy when you just touched down and have yet to get yourself a SIM card — this is even handier when you are booking multi-city flights and do not want to waste money purchasing multiple SIM cards.

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These are just Part 1 of airport hacks that can make a difference in your holiday experience whether be it you are traveling alone or looking to travel with friends. Stay tuned for Part 2 whereby we share even more tips!

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