This blog post was updated on August 5, 2021.

Between getting your travel documents in order, making sure your luggage meets air travel standards, and arranging for a reliable ride, getting to the airport on time can make you want a vacation from your vacation. This is particularly the case when the unexpected happens. When life feels like one big blur, you need the calm assurance that an experienced guru can provide. The following guide about how to get to the airport on time will help you breathe deeply, laugh a little, and begin to feel your well-earned vacation vibes right away!

How Early is Early Enough?

While you don’t need to spend the night in a nearby hotel to guarantee you catch your flight, you do need to arrive early enough to get there. In general, you should leave at least three hours before an international flight. American Airlines and United are examples of two airlines that require you to check-in at least 60 minutes before most of their international flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends leaving at least two hours before departure if you’re taking a domestic flight. No matter which type of flight you’re taking, you should give yourself a bit more than these suggested minimum times!

Make Travel Arrangements Early

No one wants to wake up the morning of a long-anticipated trip and realize you forgot to fill up your gas tank on the way home or schedule a ride. If you’re vacation matters, then don’t leave these little details until the last minute. At least one week before your trip, you should have firm travel arrangements for getting to the airport. The same goes for your ride home after vacation, unless you can’t get enough of sitting in airport lounge chairs. Whether you’re driving or booking a rideshare, have definite travel plans to and from the airport at least one week before leaving.

Make Your Luggage Travel-Ready

The day before you leave, you need to be sure your luggage meets all travel standards for your airline and TSA checkpoints. Look up the standards online, and be sure that you aren’t bringing any prohibited items. Also, make sure each toiletry inside your cosmetics bag meets TSA standards. Yes, details matter, and they will be scanning every part of your luggage. If you want to skip baggage claim, weigh and measure your luggage to meet the necessary standards.

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Have Your Documents at the Ready!

You can’t travel without the appropriate documentation, so please don’t leave your travel documents to chance! Most people don’t need to carry their passports with them every day. Designate a place for documents such as your ID, boarding passes, and other essential documents, and start compiling your documents at least one week in advance. If you’re using an electronic boarding pass on your smartphone, make a backup screenshot of it in case your internet connection decides to disappear at the airport. And remember that you can also print it out.

Watch Important Details From Your Phone

If you’re getting a ride to the airport, use the time to check important information such as traffic delays, weather reports, and flight status. You’ll stave off any boredom or nerves and spend the time productively. You’ll also be in a position to make adjustments. For example, you can suggest any changes to your driver in the event of a traffic jam, or take your time if you find out that those cheap flights in August you snagged a few days ago are delayed. With a bit of pre-departure day preparation, you’ll go from blitz to bliss in no time!

What helps you get to the airport on time? Let us know in the comments below!

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