12 airport hacks every traveler should know

Nobody, with the exception of Tom Hanks and the cast of Love Actually, enjoys being in an airport. Here are a few travel hacks from Blacklane that will help you progress through the unavoidable experience of being at the airport.

Getting through an airport unscathed and without stress is all you can ask for. While a successful visit to the airport is quickly forgotten, a problematic experience can be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

  1. Focus on the gate closure time

    With so much to bear in mind during your outbound journey, it’s best to have as little rattling about your brain as possible. Totally ignore the departure time for the flight – focus only on what time your boarding gate closes. With all you need to focus on – getting to the airport, packing your stuff – the last thing you need is to be thinking you have more time than you do to get to the plane.

  2. Avoid metal belts or metallic jewelry 

    You can save yourself and the airport security staff some hassle by making sure you’re not wearing any metal. Main offenders are belts and shoes. There’s no better feeling than getting to the front of the security queue and simply gliding on past and collecting your belongings on the other side. This is something you should bear in mind if you usually enjoy B. A. Baracus levels of jewelry.

  3. Work out how you’re getting to and from 

    Getting to and from the airport can be a stressful affair. An airport transfer from Blacklane is just the ticket. Your driver is professional, experienced and, most importantly, locally knowledgeable. Putting this important part of your journey in the safest hands possible is a good way to ensure you get to your flight on time and with minimum fuss. Booking your ground transportation in advance is the best way to create a stable base on which to build the rest of your day’s traveling.

  4. Fully charge your phone 

    If you’re sitting about waiting for your flight to board, your phone will be one of your key releases from boredom. Make sure you’re fully charged up as you leave the house, and don’t forget to bring a charging cable in your hand luggage so you have access to one in case of delays. A portable battery pack is also a useful acquisition, meaning you can peruse those battery-draining apps on your phone with a clear conscience.

  5. Download podcasts 

    The age of the podcasts is well and truly upon us. Use your time to learn something new and interesting. A podcast exists for almost any subject and you can spend an hour being blissfully informed by world-leading experts while you’re sitting waiting for your flight. Pick a subject on which you know nothing and download something relevant. It’s a great feeling to land in another country with an ounce or two more knowledge than when you took off.

  6. Reading materials 

    If you’re lucky enough to have found a quiet spot in the airport then you’ll thank yourself for having brought a book. It might seem like a blatantly obvious point to make, but if you’re able to immerse yourself in some other reality then waiting around in the airport will seem far less tortuous. Reading books is a great way to keep your mind agile. Think of it as a workout for your brain in one of the dullest environments possible.

  7. Be relaxed, avoid caffeine 

    If you’re hoping for a couple of hours sleep on your flight, try to avoid coffee or any other stimulants while you’re waiting at the airport. Getting some shut-eye on a flight is often difficult enough without having consumed a couple of Americanos in the hours directly before. Give yourself a great change of getting some solid sleep in by making sure you board the plane as relaxed and stress-free as possible.

  8. Double check for your travel buddies 

    If you’re traveling as part of a group, then a problem for one individual becomes a problem for the everyone. Nobody likes to be patronised, but it’s worth checking with your travel buddies that they have remembered the obvious: passport, check in and wallet. There’s little point in making sure all your ducks are aligned if you find yourself anxiously waiting for a friend or family member to rush back to their home to pick up something essential.

  9. Wear trainers instead of shoes 

    If you’re not aiming to dress to impress straight off the bat after your landing, then aim for optimal comfort. A pair of comfortable trainers and some cotton jogging trousers are fantastic attire for traveling long distances in. Airplane travel can be stuffy, cramped and uncomfortable at the best of times, so making sure you don’t add to that with your own clothing is a solid idea.

  10. Hearty meal 

    Making sure you’re very well fed is a good way to ensure you’re not grouchy or ill-tempered in the airport. Whether it’s a solid breakfast or hearty lunch, having a full stomach means you can relax easier and concentrate to a better degree. Airport food also tends to be extremely overpriced and largely terrible, so your wallet will thank you as much as your stomach.

  11. Pack something nice to eat 

    Having said that, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be packing a couple of snacks for while you’re waiting. If you’ve got the time in advance, aim to make something truly tasty. Instead of a cheese sandwich and a pack of crisps, try a falafel wrap or caesar salad – something you can have in your bag that you can genuinely look forward to eating. An hour or two of delays is far more palatable when you know you have something delicious as a distraction.

  12. Talk to other passengers 

    Contrary to many a soppy Hollywood romance film, airports are not places of love and wonder. They are cramped, uncomfortable and absolutely nobody in their right mind would wish to be there for any longer than necessary. But remember, everyone else is in the same boat as you. Don’t feel weird striking up a chat with the person next to you who is similarly irate with the latest delays. Almost everyone from every walk of life must pass through an airport at some point. You might end up having one of the more interesting chats you can remember.

How do you prepare for your time at the airport? We would love for you to share your hacks with us on our social media channels!