A trip to the airport fills many people with dread. The typical airport experience is a series of minor annoyances, from the impossibility of finding good parking, the long lines, the overzealous security, to the lack of dining and recreational options inside the terminal. It’s only a drag if you let it be a drag, though. With a little bit of preparation and the right mindset, the airport can be a fun and exciting place to be in.
But not all airports are created equal. For instance, the Singapore Changi Airport dining experience is known all over the world. But not all airports are like Changi. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or an experienced flyer, you don’t want to have a subpar airport experience. There are things you can do to make your experience better even before you enter the terminal.
1. Find the best seat
As many regular flyers know, some seats are better than others. And I don’t mean the difference between Coach and First Class seating. For instance, everyone knows that the middle seat is the worst: You don’t have the view of the window seat and lack the easy access of the aisle seat. People often say that middle seats have both armrests, but not everyone follows this unspoken rule.
Before booking your ticket, check online for seat reviews for your flight. Some websites even have detailed specifications for each seat, including seat pitch, width, armrest availability, and features like USB ports and power outlets.
2. Book the first or last flight
Do you want to skip the lines and crowds? If you’re not on a tight schedule, consider booking a flight that leaves in the late evening or early morning (think 10 pm or 4 am). Red-eye flights usually have fewer people, and the airports aren’t that packed by then.
You get to breeze through traffic and arrive at the airport earlier than usual. Late flights are also cheaper than daytime flights. The only downside is that the airport shops and restaurants are usually closed.
3. Check-in online
Usually, you’ll have to line up at the airline check-in counter. Online check-in saves you a lot of time and energy, especially if you are traveling without checked baggage. You can also do it before you arrive at the airport, as long as you have a mobile device with an Internet connection.
4. Bring resealable storage bags with you
Resealable zipper storage bags are a godsend. You can put anything there, from snacks and liquids to travel documents and mobile devices. For instance, storing eslectronic devices in a resealable bag protects them in case of a leak inside your bag. You can also put soiled clothes inside to keep your other clothes clean and fresh.
These pointers will turn you into an expert flyer in no time. If you’re not in a hurry, take some time to explore the terminal. Some airports have hidden surprises that can make your experience more exciting. Always remember that you’re traveling, so every opportunity to explore a new place is a welcome one, even if it’s just the airport.