Friday, 8 May 2015

Airport Tips For A Relaxing Experience

Going on holiday can be a stressful experience, especially if you are flying. These tips will hopefully help ease your transition through the airport until you are board the plane and starting to enjoy your holiday.




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Prior To Travel

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Advance Passenger Information must be given before travel in and out of the UK. These details can be given online, through the airline call centre or at check in desk and are used to perform security checks. Giving this information before you turn up at the airport can save you valuable time.

Weigh Your Bags

Check the luggage allowance and weigh your bags to check you are within your allowance and you won't be charged for going over. If you have no luggage scales you can weigh yourself first, then weigh yourself holding the case to get a rough idea of the weight.

Check Timings

Check your flight status before you leave the house. There is nothing worse than getting to the airport and finding the flight cancelled. The most common reason for this is bad weather such as snow.

Consider how you are getting to the airport. Are you taking public transport, a taxi or driving yourself? Staying overnight at an airport hotel, especially if you have an early flight can be a relaxing way to start your holiday, and can avoid the stress of traffic jams and roadworks making you late for the flight. Hotels near airports often have great deals including parking.  If you park, take a photo or make a note of your parking bay number. After a 2 week holiday you will be glad you did!

Check with your airline how long you need to be at the airport before your flight. If you are flying from the UK to a long haul destination (e.g. Asia or the US) it is usually recommended you get to the airport 3 hours before your flight, whilst short haul ( e.g. a trip to Europe) is usually recommended at least 2 hours. To be on the safe side it is always best to check with the airline/airport direct.

Check In Online

Checking in online, especially if you are not checking in bags, can save you time. Seats can be selected, boarding passes printed and it's always nice to know where you are sitting on the plane. Certain airlines have apps you can use to manage your booking and check in online from your phone or tablet.

At The Airport





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Airport Lounges

Airports are busy places. For a tranquil start to your holiday it is worth paying for an executive lounge. Lounges such as the Number 1 lounge at Heathrow and Gatwick, or the Servisair lounges worldwide, give you food, drink, alcohol and free wi-fi in a peaceful surroundings for a charge. Well worth it, for a stress free time in my experience.

If you do not want to pay for an airport lounge, consider buying food from a cafe and restaurant at the airport, and basing yourself there. If you like shopping now is the time to try out the duty free shops, I know some people find shopping relaxing.

Don't forget to check the Flight Status boards as you rarely get called to the boarding gate these days.

Your Flight Bag

You can often take a bag the size of a small carry on suitcase on board the plane for free.  If you are only staying a night or two this is a good option as you will often have to pay for a suitcase in the hold. 

Minimise your bag clutter. Put essential documents in one pocket like passports, tickets, and the boarding pass if you have printed this out.  Everything else that you do not need until you get on the plane can be put in a separate area. 

Put valuables in your flight bag, and essential items, such as medication and contact lenses. If your suitcase goes missing at least these items will be safe.

Security




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Generally airports have the same security guidelines and these are the ones for Heathrow for example. 

At present liquids, creams, and gels that are in your hand luggage cannot be more than 100 ml. They must be carried separately in a single bag which is transparent and resealable no bigger than 20cm by 20cm.

    Sharp items including razor blades, certain tools, explosives such as fireworks and projectile-firing weapons such as bb guns cannot be carried onboard.

    Computers and tablets should be removed from the carry case and put in a separate screening tray. 

    Minimise Screening Times

    Scanning equipment will recognise any metal so remove jewellery, and try to wear clothes without any metal fastening where possible to help prevent 'pat downs'.

    You will be asked to remove any boots, shoes and belts. Electronic equipment needs to be removed from cases to go through security and needs to be charged before your travel. If it doesn't switch on when asked you maybe told you have to leave it at the airport.

    On Board The Plane

    Take activities and snacks for the kids to keep them entertained. It's a great idea for kids to have their own back pack with colouring books, paper, colouring pencils, and old fashioned games, as well as a simple tablet loaded with their favourite shows and films. If you have an entertainment system on board, you could have problems with it, and the food, if included, may not be to your children's taste. 

    If you get nervous flying, taking your own relaxing music on an Ipod or mp3 player can really make a difference. 

    The air conditioning can be fierce on the aeroplane. Warm fleecy socks and a cardigan or hoody is useful at these times.

    Make sure you get up and walk around to help prevent a DVT. Flight socks can help and there are other ways of preventing this, check out this link by the NHS.

    Now you are on board, try to relax and enjoy your flight as before long you will be in a new country with great experiences ahead.

    Tell me do you have any tips for a relaxing experience at the airport?

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    30 comments

    1. I think the key to a good airport experience is definitely being well organised and prepared :)

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    2. Some great tips I will be following! I'm travelling out on my own with the kids this Summer (as I always do - husband arrives later) and it's always the most stressful part of the trip. One adult with 2 strong headed kids doesn't make the airport bit much fun but planning ahead certainly helps - we do always stay the night before in an airport hotel - I highly recommend it! Tx

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      1. I don't envy you travelling the children on your own I have to admit ;)

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    3. Great tips!! I love airports usually, unless your delayed for ages. I just need a book and a coffee!
      Two Hearts One Roof

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    4. Absolutely great set of tips. We always stay in a hotel the night before a flight, it's the real start of holiday for us.

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    5. Excellent advice! We'e not travelled abroad for many years but I am flying in November and am bookmarking this for future use!

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    6. Excellent tips - especially taking a pic of where you park as far too often you can't remember later on!

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      1. Yes, I learnt about this when I visited the theme parks in Orlando.

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    7. I love airports - always have since I was little. Your tips are fab x x

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    8. What some great tips - it can be so hard waiting to go on holiday. x

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    9. These are all good tips. I always buy a bottle of water in the departure lounge to take on the plane too. I went to the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick before an early morning flight recently - it was great.

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      1. Yes, I am a big fan of the Number 1 lounge myself.

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    10. I say lounges are the way to go each and every time!

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    11. Some great advice as it is so important to be organised when flying as there is always something you forget to do!

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      1. I think organisation is key to a calm and relaxing experience too.

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    12. Great post.
      We've yet to brave flying with the kids so it's been many years since I was on a plane

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    13. Great tips lovely, travelling stresses me out so it's always good to be organised! xx

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    14. Great tips! I have to be super organised at the airport, in fact I like to organise everyone we are travelling with. The amount of times smiles have spread across faces as I pull out my bumper family packs of mints. Everyone always forgets them x

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      1. Now that is a great point, I always carry mints too :)

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    15. Great tips, airports don't usually sound relaxing at all!

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    16. I took Sebby away last year and was pleasantly surprised that it was mostly stress free (apart from passport control) and that they had soft play

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      1. An airport with soft play must be great for those with little ones.

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    17. Great tips especially if you haven't flown for a while.

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    18. We are the ultimate thrifty travelers and take a yummy packed lunch with us, but obviously have to buy the drinks once we have gone through security. We love travel and saving the pennies whenever we can means we can afford to have 2-3 foreign trips a year :)

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      1. I'm all for saving money on things to spend it on luxuries

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    19. great airport tips , I do rather love my travel

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    20. Really great tips - my number one is simply to get there with good time, I've had so many rushed, npleasant experiences that now we get there with hours to spare!!

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    21. Great tips, I find waiting at the airport so tedious!.

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    22. My tip - fly without your toddler - much more relaxing airport time that way! ;)

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