Ever noticed how frequent travelers seem to breeze through an airport? Somehow, they pass through security faster than travelers who arrived earlier. Likewise, they effortlessly find their seat even after an airline changes its seating configuration. And they always find their car even in the largest airport parking lot. What’s their secret? Here’s what they know.
Make Electronic Copies of all Documents
Even when carried on your person, important documents like passports, credit cards, and travel insurance still get lost. So before leaving for the airport, scan and then save them on both the cloud and an encrypted flash drive. Then, carry the drive with you at all times.
Make a Packing List
Unless you want to travel without some personal items, double check your luggage every time you pack or unpack. Have a packing list and check off each item that goes into or out of a bag or suitcase. This way, you never leave anything behind even in a hotel. Also, you know what to claim when an airline loses your luggage.
Photograph Your Parking Spot
Airports build some of the largest parking lots around. And although their size means you never lack a parking spot, it presents an embarrassing problem. When you fly back, you have long forgotten where you left the car and, therefore, spend hours hunting for it. To save yourself the trouble, photograph the parking lot sign before you leave. When you return, simply refer to the photo for directions.
Store Your Itinerary Online
Like most travelers, you likely write down your itinerary or save it on your smartphone. But what happens if you lose your notebook or phone? You then lose your precious itinerary with it. So as a precaution, email yourself a copy of your schedule as well as all street addresses and destinations.
Confirm Seating Configurations
Different airlines have different seating configurations. And although seating review websites do their best to display the latest configuration, they sometimes display outdated information. For this reason, visit several sites just to make sure.
And while you’re at it, confirm the seating map as well to know where your seat is. Otherwise, you’ll board the plane only to waste time trying to find your seat.
Buy Water after Passing Security Checks
Remaining hydrated during a long flight remains a challenge for frequent travelers. While airlines offer about 9 ounces of water on long flights, security checks limit the water you can carry to about 3 ounces. That means you get 12 ounces in all if you’re lucky.
Fortunately, there’s a gray area in between. Instead of carrying water only to have it impounded at the check-in counter, wait until you pass all security checks. Then buy a large flask of water before boarding the plane.
Move to Fast-Moving Security Lines
After arriving at the airport, don’t dash to the shortest security line. You may discover when it’s too late that it’s the slowest-moving line and even end up missing your flight. Granted, you will receive flight delay compensation for avoidable flight disruptions. But it should always come as a last resort. So how do you pass security quickly, especially when you’re pressed for time? Look for the line leading to the fastest-working screener or security officers. It may be long, but it’ll get you through security faster.
Flying regularly can wear you down, but not if you do what frequent travelers do. Like them, safeguard your documents and luggage. Know everything you can about airports, airlines, and boarding procedures. And most importantly, keep an eye out for opportunities to make your trip easier.