Better airport experience for travellers, 5 tips to Know
There are ways to have a better airport experience and make it a more pleasant time. Whether it’s a short-haul or a long-haul flight, some basic preparation is needed to avoid airport hell. Some things are out of our control, like delays and cancellations.
Airport experience hell can be an overcrowded terminal, phone battery dead, fight for a taxi or not enough local language skills to find your way around. Whether you are a seasoned traveller, a backpacker, travel bloggers or a digital nomad, here are 5 tips for a better airport experience!
1. Wi-Fi or a local SIM
Free Wi-Fi in an airport, you either get it or you don’t, sometimes if you do get Wi-Fi either free or paid it may of poor quality. I had a long stopover in Bahrain for an airport experience. The Wi-Fi was free, but only 45 minutes worth and it was patchy to say the least! You can always pay for a package at the airport, but they are usually expensive and not good for a budget. One sneaky way to get free Wi-Fi is to place yourself near the business class or frequent flyer rooms and tap into the free Wi-Fi!
A local SIM card is an option, buy the SIM card in advance and use one of the local networks. Another option is Boingo which offers Wi-Fi at $4.98 per month or Pay As You Go and Hourly plans. With 1 million hotspots globally Boingo looks a good short solution, especially if you have a long stopover.
2. Book a Taxi in Advance
Another airport experience that can be good or bad, is taxis! I have done it myself, 12-hour flight and got to my destination, where to find a taxi and lots of dodgy looking taxi stands. The last thing you want after a flight is a nasty surprise and a taxi that has ripped you off. It happened to me once and now I either book an airport taxi transfer or plan in advance to where the official taxi rank is. If you are booking a taxi in advance, keep a contact number in your phone and in a notepad.
3. Prepare your phone in advance
Power banks, same as the phone battery or spare battery, make sure it is fully charged up and take the data cable and plug. Most airlines have free apps that you can store your boarding pass, you can check-in and see if there is any delays or cancellations. A full choice of music, movies, games and anything that doesn’t need an internet connection should be stored on your phone in advance to make a better airport experience.
4. Travel midweek
Did you know it is better to travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday? Why is that, well, most holiday makers tend to travel at the weekend and business travellers tend to book at the beginning or at the end of the week. So travelling midweek is a good time to take advantage of cheaper prices and quieter airports.
I usually travel midweek because of this reason, but Sundays can also be good for cheaper flights and quieter airports. Always do research on multiple broker sites and airline websites for the best prices.
5. Hit the bar
Everyone tells you not to drink alcohol on a plane, right? I’ve always had a few drinks before the flight at the airport bar and carry on during the flight, nothing excessive though! Maybe a couple of pints at Heathrow in the departure lounge and a couple of cigarettes too, T3 has a smoking area in the departure area.
During the flight, short or long haul, a few beers before and after my meal, play some music that I preloaded and fall asleep, perfect airport Passenger Experience!
The end bit of airport experience
So, those were my 5 tips to make a better passenger experience at the airport and beat the stress, the boredom and to make it a lot more pleasant. Let me know what you think and what tips you would suggest?