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

Going through security...

18. Dress wisely

It’s likely that you’ll be asked to remove your belt, watch, and any jewelry – but do you really need to be wearing any of these things at the airport in the first place? Meanwhile wear shoes that can easily slip on and off and remember your mismatched socks will be on display.  

19. Have your laptop ready

Pack your bag so that your laptop easily slips in and out to speed up the security process for you and everyone else involved.

20. Follow the rules about toiletries

Liquids, creams, gels, and pastes must be stored in containers of no more than 3 oz and carried in transparent, resalable bags that are 8" x 8" maximum. These will be screened separately so make sure that they’re easy to remove from your bag.

21. Breathe

It’s easy to become frustrated when people are delaying you – but this is why you arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Just take a deep breath, relax and wait your turn.

In the departure lounge...

22. Relax with a massage or a drink

What better way to unwind before a flight than by having a massage? Just make sure you’ve got more than enough time to have those knots untied before take-off. While getting drunk before you fly is definitely not a good idea, many people will enjoy having a pre-flight drink to help them unwind.

23. Soak in the culture

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has its own Rijksmuseum while Terminal 5 at Heathrow has an impressive fine art collection in the T5 Gallery. Even smaller regional airports will have art pieces dotted around their departure lounges, so make sure to keep your eye open for something beautiful.

24. Keep your carry-on luggage with you at all times

Because you don’t want to be frantically looking for it with minutes to get to the gate, and you don’t want security destroying your luggage because they consider it a risk.

During your flight...

25. Fill out paperwork correctly

Depending on where you’re traveling, you may have forms to fill out that are required by the governing body of your destination. Complete these before you land, asking the cabin crew if you need any assistance, to ensure that getting through passport control once you land doesn’t take a moment longer than it needs to.

26. Be polite

It’s easy enough to get frustrated on a flight. Whether it’s a line for the bathroom, a screaming baby, or parents not bothering to tell their kids to stop kicking the back of your chair, you might feel your blood boiling before the "Fasten your seatbelts" light has switched off. Speaking to the relevant people about your concerns in a polite manner will lead to a satisfactory conclusion in a speedier, calmer way.

And in case of delay...

27. Take a deep breath

Delays are frustrating, but there’s not much you can do about them. And getting yourself worked up isn’t going to help. Why don’t you play some chill-out music instead?

28. Know your rights

Knowing what you’re entitled to in the case of a delayed flight can help you feel more in control of the situation as well as ensuring you get the support and assistance you need. You could even print out a copy of your rights to show to one of the airline or airport officials if necessary!

29. Let the hotel know

Let your hotel know that you’ve been delayed. This will help settle any fears that your room might be given away when you eventually turn up.

So there you have it, 29 tips to help make your airport experience as stress-free as possible. Do you have any other suggestions that help make going through security feel like a stroll on the beach? Let us know in Comments below!

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Harry Peters writes for Just The Flight (often from an airport departure gate). Visit him at justtheflight.co.uk.