29 Tips for Stress-Free Air Travel

Traveling can be a headache if you're unrepared. That's why guest writer Harry Peters put together these 29 tips on how to have a stress-free flight!

QDT Editor
6-minute read

Before leaving for the airport...

6. Book a night at an airport hotel

If you have a very early flight, stay at a nearby hotel the night before. Similarly, if you’re arriving somewhere late at night, it could be more convenient to spend that first night right after you land at a nearby airport hotel.

7. Plan your exit strategy

Have a clear idea of how you are going to get from your final destination’s airport to your accommodation before you land so you’re not left frantically searching for directions to the bus stop or taxis. If you need to arrange private transportation, book well in advance and take hard copy confirmation records and contact details with you.

8. Pack less

If you can travel with one suitcase instead of two, you’ll halve the heavy lifting or dragging that you need to do – even pushing a trolley is easier with less bags.

9. Dress for comfort – on both ends

If you’re traveling somewhere with a wildly different temperature, bear this in mind when dressing for your flight. You don’t want to start rummaging through suitcases as soon as you land, so being able to add or remove layers by dipping into your carry-on bag can be helpful.

10. Be fully charged

Make sure your gadgets are full of power so you can play games, listen to music, and watch films in the departure lounge or during your flight.

11. Load up your tablet/smartphone

A fully charged tablet isn’t much good if you have nothing to do on it. Download mobile games (such as Grammar Pop), helpful ebooks (such as Money Girl's Smart Moves to Deal with Your Debt), audiobooks (we highly recommend Reply All...And Other Ways to Tank Your Career), and podcasts (have you checked out the Savvy Psychologist yet?). Make sure everything is downloaded before you set off and you’ll be kept happy while waiting at the gate – especially if you’re unlucky enough to have a delay. Just remember to wear headphones and keep it appropriate!

12. Make sure you can phone home

It’s worth double checking with your cell phone carrier to see if you’ll be able to make and receive calls abroad. The worst time to discover you can’t make calls is when you arrive at your destination and need to contact your friend who was supposed to be picking you up.

13. Fill your stomach

Dining in an airport is rarely a pleasurable experience – paying too much for low quality food while keeping a nervous eye on the clock doesn’t lend itself to happy taste buds – so fill your stomach before you depart.

14. Fill your tank

If you’re driving to the airport, try filling your gas tank the day before. The less you have to think about on departure day, the less you will forget and the less stressed you'll be.

15. Download the app

Many airlines and airports have developed their own apps to help make flying as smooth as possible. The apps usually come with an array of features including mobile boarding passes. The Heathrow Airport Guide, for example, has a terminal map and live flight tracker, giving you the freedom to explore the terminal without worrying about missing your flight.

16. Check in online

Checking in online helps you save time and it gives you one less thing to think about once you get to the airport.

17. Double check your essentials

If you forget your toothbrush you can always buy another, but your passport isn’t too easy to replace. Make a short list of everything that is a non-negotiable essential and make sure you have it packed and ready. And remember that bringing pain killers is non-negotiable. The last thing you want at the airport is a headache, so make sure you’ve packed some before you leave.