- What to expect at the airport
- How to make the most of the departures hall
- The best advice for relaxation before travel
by The Passionate Traveller
A lot of people love the whole airport experience, whereas others see it as a necessary part of getting to a fantastic destination. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot over the past few years and so here are my top 5 tips for making the airport experience as simple as possible!
1. Don’t Dress to Excess
One of the main places where I observe people getting stressed is going through Security. Jackets will always be requested to be removed, so if you are layering make sure you can easily take off your top layer. It is rare that shoes are requested to be removed – but if you are wearing boots, heels, wedges or similar large shoes then you may need to take them off. So with that in mind, err on the side of comfort and wear footwear that’s easy to take off and put back on. Accessories may look lovely, but why not save them for once you are on your holiday – chunky belt buckles, lots of jewellery or large watches can often set off the security detector.
2. Hand Luggage
We’ve all been there, you check online for the maximum weight of hand luggage and then you fill a cabin case to within 3 ounces of the limit. But it doesn’t need to be this way… Just think carefully about what you are going to need at the airport and on-board, and pop everything else in your main case. Refreshments are readily available so I find for an average flight I only need a few items – a good book, an electronic device (like my iPad or Kindle), headphones, passport, wallet/purse and maybe a few toiletries. You’ll find this fits into a small and manageable bag, is a breeze to carry around the airport and will fit under the seat in front of you for easy access all flight long!
3. Get Settled
Once you have checked in and passed through Security you have done the hard work – so now it’s Me Time! Avoid the temptation to look around the plethora of shops, they aren’t as good value as you think anyway and I’m sure your pals can live without the giant Toblerone. Check the departure board to see if there is any indication of your flight gate – if there is head over that way, if not then find a nice spot and relax. A coffee shop often does the trick for me – nothing gets me in the holiday mood like a nice cup of coffee and a cake. Alternatively find an area with fewer people and sit yourself down and get stuck into that book you have been looking forward to. Just remember to keep an eye out for news of your boarding time as not all airports make announcements these days.
4. Make Friends
If you are travelling on a solo traveller holiday with Riviera Travel then keep your eye out for the distinctive luggage labels (and make sure yours is visible too!) so you can spot your fellow travelling companions. The best places to spot people are at check-in and at the departure gate – so if you fancy getting to know people early on you might want to wait around in either of those places.
5. Lounge Around
Airport lounges are becoming increasingly popular… and for good reason. They offer a lovely, tranquil start to your holiday and also offer you that little bit of luxury that you deserve! They usually cost around £20 or so and at first I thought that was a little steep. But after my first visit I was converted! A variety of different seats, tables, sofas, massage chairs await, not to mention complimentary drinks and food as well. Different airports have different options so have a look at what’s available. Riviera Travel’s solo customers are entitled to a discount on lounges when booked through Holiday Extras – a leaflet will be sent with your booking confirmation.
The most important advice I can give anyone is just to relax. Airports can seem intimidating, but there is no need to worry. Every airport I have ever been to follows an almost identical formula and so if you take the above tips on board you will have nothing to worry about other than whether to have a cappuccino or hot chocolate and how much of your book to read before you fly!
Looking for a Solo traveller tour? Our Solo Traveller Collection is full of tours, river cruises, yacht cruises, and long haul travel. We also have a Solo Traveller forum to get advice and make friends before travel.
The Passionate Traveller
I live to travel and have visited over 50 countries. I love to see the world’s most iconic sights in person, as well as seeking out some quirky finds. I love to share my tips, whether it be about packing, airports or sightseeing!