Travel Tips

9 Airport Tips to Help You Travel Better

As lockdown restrictions ease more and more each week, the prospect of travelling domestically and internationally to New Zealand only in the beginning is slowly turning a reality.

So I thought I would help get you prepped for when that time comes, with a few tips and tricks to help you travel better.

Not to take precedent off anyone who doesn’t live in Australia, but let me just say us Aussies go through a lot when we travel overseas. Yes alright, play the violin LOL.

That’s not to say of course, anyone else who lives outside of Australia doesn’t endure a long-haul flight like we do. This does also include any of you who are travelling to New Zealand, South Africa, South America, and yes, even travelling to us here in Australia.

And, often a lot of those flight we need to endure include very long layovers at international airports. The longest I have ever had was eighteen hours at Dubai. And thankfully, I opted to book myself into a hotel for the night, so I could at least shower, change, do some shopping, sleep in a bed and relax, all before heading back to the airport to make the final trip back home to Sydney. Which is generally around fourteen hours.

So for anyone planning a long-haul flight and part of those travels include a very lengthy stay in an airport, these are my go to hacks for surviving any airport.

BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS: Although there are a lot of foods (and drink) you can take in between travelling from airport to airport. If you aren’t needing to actually leave the airport during your layover, do pack your own healthy snacks and treats, with as much fluid (like water) as possible. This will help to avoid spending too much money at the airport on expensive foods. And, this way you can stay reasonably healthy eating food you have prepared, rather than fatty fast foods from the airport.

PACK AN EMPTY WATER BOTTLE: To prevent yourself from running out of water, do pack an empty water bottle of your own, so you can constantly fill it up. This comes in handy at most restaurants in the airport too, where you will be able to go to a bar and have them fill it up for you. I always pack an additional one and fill it with juice also, so when I want something other than water, I have the option and don’t have to bother flight attendants on the plane asking for a drink every hour.

CHECK IN 24-HOURS BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT: Most airlines now allow for all passengers to check in early for their flight. Provided there is nothing complicated with your bookings that is, where you require special circumstances. Check in for your flight 24-hours before your departure. This means you can often print out your luggage tags and boarding pass and can skin the ques entirely at the airport. And, you don’t need to arrive three hours before a flight, as you have already checked in. An hour is plenty. Simply drop your bags off with the tags and be on your way.

DON’T WEAR BELTS OR EXCESS JEWELLERY: If you can avoid wearing pants which need belts or wearing jewellery you don’t really need to wear, leave it in the bag or at home. Trying to get through security is hard enough when the crowds are big and security are trying to scan through everyone and everything. Make it easier for you and them, by keeping your outfit simple (including shoes with no heels) so you can simply drop your stuff and walk through with any issue.

TIP: I always make sure to have everything packed away in my bag (including jackets and scarves – if any) so I am not held up stripping off clothing to get through security.

PACK A PORTABLE CHARGER: Many airports have finally installed charging ports and locations throughout the airport. However, there are still many which don’t have at all and if they do have any, they are often all taken up by other people. Make sure you take additional portable chargers with you, so you can keep your phone or any other device you may want to use when waiting at the airport for long hours, has a full battery life to help keep you entertained.

ALWAYS USE A PERSONAL LUGGAGE TAG: So many people’s bags go missing every day at airports. Often it’s the result of luggage tags being accidently ripped over during transit or perhaps it was too old and came off. I always have an personal tag with contact details on it, along with a tag from the airline with their details also (including the flight number, my name and phone number) in case any of the tags get ripped off. It’s doubtful you would lose both at the same time.

PACK PLENTY OF HAND SANITISER: This is a no brainer really. Although the flight attendants and cleaners do their best to keep things on the plane clean (to a point) you would be shocked to know how many germs are still laying around. Take wipes for wiping down trays, handles, arm rests and anything else in the bathroom you will use and some extra sanitiser for your hands to use before eating or drinking for extra protection.

FIND OUT WHERE SLEEP PODS ARE IN AIRPORTS: If you don’t know what sleep pods are, many international airports now provide sleeping beds or pods in some parts of the airport. It’s a first in first served type of situation, where you can’t book, but if you know where to find them in a hurry, then you can often secure a nice spot to chill and wait for your flight. Especially if you have a few hours and wish to catch some downtime in a comfy spot where it’s a lot quiter than the rest of the airport. You can track them down on the airport website of where you will be spending some time, so you can map where to go right after you disembark from the plane.

ALWAYS PACK TRAVEL TOILETRESS: Whether it be for the long-haul flight, or a long stay at an airport. I always pack a small bathroom kit (which is airport approved) to make sure I can stay fresh on long travels. Even moist towelettes make the perfect alternative to showering if you need to freshen up in the bathroom after a long flight and during a long layover. For me, I always have an exfoliant, cleanser, eye cream, serum and moisturiser for my face and moisturiser for my body, with toothbrush, toothpaste, earcleaners and of course foundation to apply before landing.

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