9 Useful Airport Tips for Travelers

The long awaited holiday or an urgent business trip abroad usually starts with an airport. Traveling can be quite exhausting and stressful, especially if very little time spent planning it. Being late, getting lost, forgetting passport at home are the most common troubles travelers go through every day.

Airport found at flikr.com made by OliverN5

There are a number of useful tips which can help you make the trip smooth and hassle free.

Before Leaving for Airport

1. TICKET: If you bought your ticket online, make sure you print out your booking or boarding pass to be able to present it at the check-in. Some airlines don’t require a print-out, but it is better to have some proof of your booking on hands as technology as great as it is sometimes can fail, and this just might ruin your trip (i.e. system can’t find your booking as if you never bought a ticket).

2. LUGGAGE: Before you leave the house, find out what you CANT take to the airport or carry on the plane. The most common restricted items are liquid and gel containers that are too large (for hand luggage), as well as anything that can start a fire, explode or be used as a weapon or allowed only in checked-in bags. It’s always such a pity to look at those huge trash bins at the security points at the airport full of travelers prohibited items.

Make sure you know what the luggage allowance for checked-in bags and carry-on bags is. Every airline is different.  If you don’t know this and go over the limit you will have to pay for the extra kilograms and usually it’s quite costly.

3. TERMINAL: A lot of airports have more than one terminal and sometimes they can be a distance away from each other. Make sure you know which terminal you should be flying from and have enough time to get to it.

4. THINGS TO CHECK: Besides luggage with whatever you might need on your trip there are three main things that you need to make sure you have with you before you are out the door: wallet, ticket and passport

Wallet found at flikr.com made by L&B AccessoriesTicket found at flikr.com made by millennium2001    Passport

Arriving at the Airport in Time

5. The best practice depends on the type of the flight and number of security checks required to get in.

  • Domestic flight – 1-1.5 hour is usually enough, as check-in process and security is quite quick and simple.
  • International flight – 2 hours.
  • Long-haul flight – 3 hours as usually flight takes off from a very large and extremely busy airport where security checks are numerous and extensive.

If you fly business class or first class there are usually fast tracks available and it takes much less time to go through the check-in and security procedures. Traveler should clarify with the airline on times and conditions specific to business class and above.


6. When at the security check point you will need to show your boarding pass and your identification. Your bags, jacket, even shoes (if asked) will be scanned and examined if suspicious. You will have to go through the metal detector and might be even body-searched. The main advice here is to treat security measures and staff performing those with respect. Jokes about terrorism and bombs are not appropriate as well as aggressive behaviour. Best case scenario you will not be allowed on your plane, worse –  you arrested.

Duty Free

Duty Free found at flikr.com made by Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka

7. Everybody loves duty free shopping! Great deals, special offers, all aimed to make your purchase worthwhile.  You are allowed to take on board anything bought from the departure lounge duty free shops: gifts, cigarettes, food and alcohol. Though there are few rules to watch out:

  • Depending on your final destination you may only bring in a certain amount of cigarettes, alcohol, and other items. If you go over the limit you will be required to pay duty/tax on the excess. Check before traveling or ask for advice at the duty free shop.
  • Restrictions on food might also apply as to what can be brought into certain countries (e.g. meat products, flowers)
  • Sometimes goods bought in duty free shops are given in a special sealed bag together with receipt. You are not supposed to open the bag and keep the receipt safe until you get to final destination. If opened before, it might be confiscated due to security and custom rules.


8. Once passed the security, check if the boarding gate for your flight is available. If it is, check how long it takes to get to the gate. It is important as some airports are so big it can take you up to 25 minutes walking to get to the boarding gate you need. Allocate enough time, especially if you planning on shopping or eating before departure.


9. If you are not a frequent traveler and you don’t know how to read information screens at airport, or you got lost or confused in the crowd, ask for help from any member of staff or information desks that should be available throughout the airport. Don’t lose time trying figure things out yourself; you just might miss your flight.

Have a great fight!

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