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Likely the least exciting part about taking a vacation is the time you’ll spend at the airport, checking in, passing through airport security, and waiting for your flight to take off. If you’re lucky, all of this will be a breeze, but if you’re like most, there are sure to be a few hiccups along the way, especially if you’re traveling with children. If you’ve got a long layover and are looking for what to do in an airport, are traveling with kids and need a few airport tips, or are simply looking for a few airport hacks to make your time more enjoyable, you’re in the right place. The following airport travel tips will help you navigate life in any airport.
Weigh your bags at home. One of the best ways to reduce waiting time at the airport when checking in is to make sure your checked bags are under the weight limit before you arrive. Avoid paying extra or having to shuffle your stuff from one bag to another by weighing them before you leave.
Have your documents and bag payment easily accessible. There is nothing worse than being stared down by TSA Agents, airline agents, and other customers because you don’t have your documentation readily available when they ask for it. Put them in a bum bag or backpack pocket where they can easily be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
Get to the airport early. While this may not always be feasible, it's a great way to reduce waiting time at the airport. The earlier you are, the shorter the lines at check in. You’ll also reduce your stress when you don’t have to rush to get through security and you’ll have time to stop for a drink, use the restroom one last time, or get in a good stretch before boarding the plane.
Use travel containers and a sandwich bag for your carry-on liquids, and place baby wipes where they are easily accessible. To make getting through security easy, put all your carry-on liquids in a plastic bag that you can easily remove from your bag and set on the conveyor belt.
Don’t wear jewelry, belts, and other accessories that you’ll have to remove at security. Not only does it take a long time to remove them all at security, but if you’re rushing to get to a connecting flight, you may forget to grab some of them in the rush. Avoid the risk and pack these items in your carry-on instead of wearing them.
Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to remove. One of the best airport hacks has to do with your feet. Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off so that you can pass through security with ease.
Take a fold-up stroller or baby carrier for small children. These items make getting through the airport easier, especially because your children won’t be running off in all directions. It’s also one of the best airport safety tips because it keeps them close by and always within your reach.
Bring a few small toys to keep them busy. Magnetic games, travel coloring books with colored pencils that are attached, and tablets with earphones are all great ways to keep your kids entertained when you’re looking for what to do in an airport between and on flights.
Bring Kid-Friendly Snacks. Avoid paying airport prices for your kid’s favorite snacks or risk not finding something they’ll like to eat. Pack a few small snacks you can put in their carry-on for them to eat when they wish.
Pack a Change of Clothes in your Carry-On. You never know when your child is going to have an accident, so one of the best airport hacks is to come prepared with a change of clothes in case they accidentally dump their juice on their lap on the airplane or have an unexpected accident.
Walk! One of the best airport tips for those who get anxious on the plane or who get restless legs is to get some steps in before your flight. Find your gate and then take a walk. Once you’ve got your bearings in the airport, it should be easy to gauge just how long of a walk you can take.
Shop. The airport has some great stores where you’ll find books to read, souvenirs you forgot to buy, or good duty-free shopping. Walk around, window shop, or stop in and pick something up.
Eat. Even if you only have a short layover, there is bound to be something you can grab to satisfy your hunger pangs. Find your gate and then grab something close by. Just make sure you leave enough time to get back to your gate before boarding.
Know TSA Rules. One of the best airport travel tips is to be aware of airport rules before you travel. Not only will you keep yourself out of trouble, but you’ll know what to look for if someone else is doing something unsafe.
Follow COVID guidelines. Currently, one of the most important airport safety tips is to wear your mask, even if it isn’t required, wash your hands as much as possible, and get screened after your flight.
Use only official taxis or airport transportation. Stay safe and avoid getting into a car with anyone who isn’t official.
Keep your kids close! Make sure your kids know the importance of staying close so they don’t get lost. If they do, make sure they know to go to any airport gate agent to get some help.