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17 genius airport travel hacks to travel like a pro

Airport travel hacks are an amazing way to have the best possible experience at the airport. Going to the airport can be a polarising experience! It is a combination of exhilaration high excitement with anxiety, hassle, exhaustion and boredom (depending on what happens). 

These 17 airport hacks will help you save time, money and hassle and make your journey through the airport and on the plane more comfortable.

Get to your destination with ease with these genius airport travel tips.

airport travel hacks

1. Book an early or late flight

The first of our airport travel hacks is to book an early or a late flight as opposed to one during the day. Most flights start mid-morning and go through to early evening. When you book a flight during these busy times you are much more likely to get stuck in long queues (& will have to deal with more traffic to get to the airport!). Early flights before 7 am will allow you to breeze through security lines and relax with a coffee with plenty of time before your flight.

The first flight of the day is also rarely delayed!

Late-night flights can be challenging if you cherish your precious sleep but they do have advantages. There won’t be much traffic when you are getting to the airport, short queues and you can (if possible) sleep on the plane. Plus you will save money on accommodation for the night and will have a full day to get settled in your new destination. If you catch a late-night flight home, you can just spend the next day napping and unpacking.

2. Dress comfortably and in layers 

What you wear to the airport is so important! You will be walking and staying seated for extended periods of time. So save your most comfortable clothes and shoes for the airport. Avoid tight waistbands and stiff fabric that isn’t stretchy like denim. 

Always wear layers and brings something warm as we all know how cold air conditioning can be on planes and in airports. Your warm clothes will be your heaviest so wearing them on the plane will also save space in your checked baggage. Plus you can use warm clothes as a blanket on the plane.

Another tip is to wear shoes that aren’t too tight and you can slip off easily (just make sure you wear clean socks, no one likes stinky feet!). This will help you get through security easily but also will make it much more comfortable on the plane when your feet start swelling.

3. Choose your travel bags carefully

Don’t make the mistake of travelling with multiple shoulder bags you have to lug around. Make moving around the airport easily by being smart with your luggage. Get a suitcase or backpack with good quality wheels and use a backpack instead of a shoulder bag for your smaller items.

This will make it much less stressful when you are rushing to get on a flight or shoving yourself into an airport transfer bus. If you are travelling alone, remember that you will need to take all your bags with you into the bathroom as you can’t leave your bags unattended.

4. Make a habit of checking monitors at the airport

Our next airport travel hack is to regularly check the airport monitors. Every time you pass one just give it a check! This way you will become aware of when you should be boarding, any delays or gate changes to your flight. Airport announcements are not always audible so it is much better to safe rather than sorry and keep checking the board.

There is nothing worse than finding our your gate has moved to the other side of the airport minutes before you should be boarding!

airport travel hacks

5. Download your airline’s app

Downloading your airline’s app is our next airport travel hack. Most major airlines will have their own apps which are really handy to have! You can use these apps to books flights, check flight status updates, make changes, check-in for your flight and also hold your boarding pass.

The apps usually have in-flight entertainment and flight tracking. You will be able to watch movies and TV without paying for wifi!

6. Pack all your most valuable items in your carry on

This should go without saying, but it can be easy to get complacent if you travel a lot. Always pack your most valuable items in your carry on so they are on your body. This reduces any risk of them getting lost or stolen when they are not in your possession. 

This includes money, jewellery, credit cards, electronics, IDs and any other important travel documents.

Try not to put anything in your checked baggage that isn’t replaceable and you would be devastated if you lost.

7. Take care of your checked luggage

If you are unlucky and you lose a checked bag in transit, it is always handy to have a picture of it in addition to your luggage receipt. This may make it easier to locate and identify your bag. Also, remember to not throw your luggage receipt away!

Always have a luggage tag on your checked bag that states your name, email, phone number and street address so it can always be traced back to you no matter where it ends up.

It is also a good idea to have a unique identifier on your bag such as a bright ribbon. This will make it so much easier to spot on the conveyor belt and make it easier to identify if it is lost.

8. Always pack your laptop in an easy-to-reach place

This is a super practical airport travel hack but essential. Always put your laptop in a place that is easy to access. The same goes for any other large electronic items like cameras. You will get really sick of unpacking all your stuff every time you go through security as you will always have to take it out.

Plus it makes it so much easier to access your laptop when you are on the plane. There is nothing worse than trying to find things in the overhead cabin! Better yet pack your laptop and other gadgets that you will need inflight in a bag that can be stored under the seat in front of you. 

airport travel hacks

9. Research airport sleep spots

This is a great airport travel hack if you have a long layover in an airport or if you are dealing with a flight delay or cancellation.

There is so much information out there on the internet about which spots in different airports are best for sleepingin. Sleeping in the airport isn’t fun, but you can make it more comfortable by finding the right spot! You should also have plenty of warm clothes to keep you warm and use as pillows.

If you are at a nice airport that has the right facilities like Singapore Airport and you have the budget, it may be worth hiring a bed to sleep in for a few hours.

10. Go left at security

This is a great time-saving airport travel hack! Studies show that people naturally veer right, so when you reach a security checkpoint or border control head to the line furthest to the left. Chances are there will be fewer people in it!

11. Download before you go

Always download your favourite books, movies, shows and podcasts before you fly (just make sure you have enough storage!). This way you won’t have to rely on dodgy airport wif or expensive inflight wifi but you can still enjoy all your favourite forms of entertainment. Don’t restrict yourself to what may or may not be provided by the airline.

Most apps like Netflix, Youtube and Apple Podcasts will let you download shows for when you are offline. Just don’t forget to pack headphones!

airport travel hacks

12. Keep your documents in one place together

This will make checking in to your flight (as well as hotel etc) much easier and safer. It’s best to travel with a travel wallet that can fit your passport, credit cards, cash, licence, boarding pass, visas and any other essential documents in one place.

You won’t have to be that unorganised person going through security trying to find your passport at the bottom of your bag! Put them all together and keep them in a place in your bag that is easy to reach. You will also reduce your risk of losing things by keeping them always in the same place.

13. Bring a reusable water bottle

It is so important to stay hydrated when you are at the airport and in the air. But water is like liquid gold if you have to buy it at the airport! Avoid overpriced water (and plastic pollution) by bringing your own reusable water bottle. Just make sure you empty it before going through security!

Most airports will have water refill stations for you to fill up your water bottle for free with filtered water. Make sure you fill it up before you get on the plane.

Another tip (as hard as it may be!) is to avoid drinking alcohol on the plane, even if it is free. You get incredibly dehydrated when you are in the air and alcohol will only exacerbate this. Avoid alcohol to reduce jetlag and help you feel healthy and energised when you arrive.

14. Bring a portable charger

This airport travel hack is super important in the modern age of travel. The last thing you want is to have your device die on you in the middle of a movie! It’s also not a good idea to arrive at a new destination with a flat phone, how else will you book an Uber or show your hotel reservations?

Avoid this by bringing a fully charged portable charger with you to the airport. You will be able to charge all your devices without having to be plugged into any source of electricity.

Some airlines do have USB charging ports on their seats, but many don’t! And sometimes they don’t even work. So avoid the hassle and get a portable charger.

15. Take advantage of charging stations

While having a portable charger is great, they don’t have unlimited battery either! So when you are at the airport take full advantage of the charging stations to charge your phone, laptop and portable charger. Charging stations are usually dotted are all airports. You can also search out power points on the walls to use for this.

16. Walk around the airport

If you are going on a long haul mission or catching multiple flights, don’t just sit around when you are waiting at the airport. Go for a walk and keep moving. This will help your muscles from cramping up, it gives you energy and it can also reduce your risk of getting a blood clot.

airport travel hacks

17. Pack your own healthy snacks

Our last airport travel hack is to pack your own snacks! This is especially true if you have dietary requirements like being vegan or celiac. It is so worth the effort. Food and snacks at the airport and on the plane are usually processed, unhealthy and not friendly for those with dietary requirements. 

Flying is hard enough on your body as it is without adding expensive sugary and salty foods to the mix. Pack nutritionally dense but easy to eat food like fruit, nuts and seeds. 

We hope you enjoyed our list of 17 genius airport travel hacks to make your next trip through the airport as fun as it should be!

Off the Map

Off the Map Jewellery makes travel-inspired travel charms including St Christopher pendants, coordinate rings, compass pendants, keyrings and so much more. All our pieces are solid sterling silver and handmade in Brighton. 
We deliver worldwide for free. Check out our full range here!