As I write this, I have just left Newark international airport on my way to West Palm Beach, Florida, happily flying high above after just having had a relatively peaceful airport experience, but I know, just as well as any traveler, that that’s not always the case. It really puts a damper on your excited vacation mood knowing the possibility you’ll be subjected to long lines, stressed out passengers, and intense security checks before you can get to your final destination. Here are some short tips to ease the stress and keep you looking forward to your trip during those trying airport hours.

Arrive Organized

Keep your liquids separate in a baggy, your travel documents handy, and personal items you’ll want to use in the airport easily accessible. In the rush to pack and get out the door, sometimes things get jumbled or shoved in the wrong pockets of the wrong bags. It’s worth taking the extra time before departing your home to organize yourself.

Prepare for the Worst

Now that your stuff is organized, it’s helpful to mentally prepare yourself. Of course, things may go wrong: delays, baggage fees, seat changes…whatever it is, if you prepare for the worst and hope for the best you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised when things are easier than they seem. Realistically, none of these little problems are likely to have a lasting effect on the fun you’re about to have on your trip. Prepare to grin and bear it. Taking off your shoes at security is worth the sunshine and palm trees!

Don’t Worry, Be Patient

Though you may be frustrated with airport and airline staff at times, just know they’re doing their jobs. It’s likely they have some kind of expertise over you on the fees, regulations, and rules you need to follow. So don’t argue, be patient. They’re there to help and guide you to your destination.

Be Kind to Your Neighbors

As I sit next to my sister elbowing her neighbor, this tip particularly comes in handy when dealing with your fellow passengers. Everyone is stressed out, and some more than others. You never know where someone is going, where they are coming from, and what their level of comfort is with flying. Be kind when you can and it will surely come back to you in some way or another when you’re in need of a little extra elbow room on your next flight or the last available seat in the airport lounge in the future.
Now that you’re less stressed, go ahead and start planning your next trip! 

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