If you’re a follower of my blog, you’ll know that I try to travel as much as I possibly can. I travel with work often and a lot in my personal life too. This means that I have come to know my way around an airport! Airports can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for people so I’ve put together my tips to make it as stress, and drama, free as possible.
This is an obvious one, but one that not everyone is using, considering there are still always massive queues to check-in at the airport. Do it online so you don’t have to queue at all. To make the process even easier, save an electronic version of your boarding pass to your phone. That way you’re not running around trying to find a printer!
If you’re checking in bags, there is now a self check-in service in Dublin airport. It is so handy. You literally just put your bag on the scales at the terminal and scan your boarding pass. A luggage tag will be printed and all you have to do then is put your bag on the conveyor belt!
If you’re travelling for less than a week, I wouldn’t bother checking in a bag. I just bring hand luggage on 90% of my trips. You’ll be surprised how much you can fit in those tiny cases! It also saves time waiting around for your luggage to come back off the plane and eliminates the risk of it being lost or stolen (both of which I’ve been victim to).
I shared this tip on my Facebook and Instagram a couple of months ago, but I think it’s worth sharing again. You can purchase access to the Executive Lounge in Dublin Airport for €19.95 per person (most airports have an equivalent). You receive 3 hour access to complimentary drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), snacks, and WiFi (which is a must for me), all while relaxing in a comfortable lounge.
Of course, there’s a catch. They say that drinks are limited to 2 per person but if I’m being honest, I’ve never heard of this being enforced. If you’re planning to have a couple of drinks in the airport before your flight (it’s tradition!) this is definitely worth considering.
I think Airport Security makes or break the airport experience (sometimes even the travel experience). Here are a few tips so that you’re not pulling your bag apart at the security gate, having valuable items binned or sweating looking for one of those little plastic bags:
- Take off your jacket.
- Make sure your pockets are empty.
- Remove anything with metal including (fake) jewellery, belts and even place your money into a tray.
- Wear shoes that slip on and off! I’ve come to accept that I can’t wear my Docs or high top Converse to the airport. That’s because they need to be unlaced and are a nightmare to get back on.
- Any laptops, iPads or other electronics, need to go into a tray (I actually sound like I work in the airport now!).
- If you’re carrying liquids in your hand luggage they need to be under 100mls. I always bring sample sized products (one of the many reasons to start asking for samples).
- All liquids, even those under 100mls, need to be in a clear bag. Some airports charge you for them, some airports send you on a treasure hunt for them. To avoid the drama, you can buy a big box of clear zip lock bags in LIDL for a couple of euro. Put your liquids into it before you leave the house.
- Don’t buy a tea, coffee of bottle of water until after you pass security because you will have to bin it.
So just to recap, check-in online, bring hand luggage instead of checking in luggage (for shorter trips), follow the security guidelines and you’ll glide through the airport, stress-free! Oh and leave yourself plenty of time! We nearly missed our flight to Berlin and it was so stressful! We made it though and had a ball. You can read all about our trip here.