It doesn’t matter whether you’re regularly traveling the country on business or if this is your first time stepping onto an airplane. Sometimes the most stressful part of traveling is often navigating the airport before your flight.
There’s a lot of planning that goes into flying, and you want to make sure that you are ready and fully-prepared and ready with everything you need to take with you. In order to make your entire experience as stress-free as possible, follow these guidelines 24-hours before your flight to make your airport navigation a breeze.
Do as much as you can beforehand
Back in the day, before the internet, everything had to be done in person directly before your flight, but now there are some steps that you can do at home to help shore up some time while actually at the airport. The day leading up to your flight, do the following:
- Check in online — Some airlines will let you check in online starting 24-hours before your flight. They will send you a confirmation email the day before your departure and allow you to skip the process of checking in at the airport, saving your some time the day of your flight.
- Have everything printed and ready — Make sure you have your boarding pass printed the night before your flight so you don’t have to worry about any mishaps in a time crunch. It’s also a good idea to keep all of the important documents that you need to take together; keep them with your shoes or your keys in the morning so you don’t forget to take them with you. You’ll need a valid driver’s license or passport for identification, as well. Even if you’re using a mobile boarding pass, having a printed copy can sometimes be a time saver since the scanning machine at the TSA line may be inoperative.
- Double-check your flight — Before leaving for the airport, check and make sure that your flight is scheduled to depart as scheduled. If there is a delay or a cancellation, you’ll know before you arrive and can plan accordingly. Consider using an app like FlightView as an easy way to keep track of flights from your phone.
Know where you need to be and when you need to be there
Once you get to the airport, you’re going to have to go through several more steps before you’re able to reach your gate, so make sure you know where you need to go.
- Find your terminal — Each airport houses multiple airlines, each with its own terminal. Determine which terminal you’ll be leaving from so you can enter the correct building upon your arrival.
- If needed, check your bags — if you’re taking multiple pieces of luggage with you, you’ll need to check some of your bags. If you’ve limited your items to carryons, you can skip this step.
- Don’t forget security — the final step before you’re able to head to your gate is going through security. You’ll be asked to take off outerwear, jewelry, and your shoes, so be prepared! Keep your electronics packed at the top and easily accessible since sometimes you may be asked to remove them too.
Find your gate and wait
After you’ve made it through security and packed your bags, the last step is navigating to your gate; your boarding pass will have this information. This is your chance to grab food and drinks before setting off, so grab yourself some sustenance and then sit tight and wait for your flight!