How to make the airport run more enjoyable

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Everybody loves going on holiday (what’s not to love?) but few of us relish the stress and the panic of the mad dash to the airport. The airport run doesn’t have to be a chore though. Indeed, if approached the right way it can feel like the true start to your holiday. Follow the tips below, and you might end up actually looking forward to your next flight!

Book a hotel – If your home is enough of a distance from the airport that a traffic jam could result in your missing your plane then you might want to consider booking a hotel close to the airport for the night before. This way, you not only get a few more minutes in bed (so you’ll feel more rested and able to enjoy/tolerate your flight) but as you are already basically at the airport, there’s no need to panic about missing your plane. As long as you remember to set your alarm, that is.

Take the train – Transport to and from the airport can be needlessly expensive, particularly if you are a Londoner. However, travelling from London Bridge to Gatwick Airport by train is both affordable and convenient and will undoubtedly take far less time than a taxi or minibus.

Check-in online – One of the most traditionally fraught parts of the plane journey is the part before you actually get on the plane – that period where you’re waiting in line to check in your bags with hordes of screaming kids and their sweaty parents. If you’re flying short-haul, meanwhile, and don’t have any cargo luggage to check-in, you can circumvent this step entirely by checking in online and  either printing off your boarding pass at home or using your phone as your boarding pass!

Keep documents together – One of the most common worries for any holidaymaker is to lose the passports or forget the flying documents. Make sure all-important documents are kept together in one secure location at all times and keep them easily accessible.

Security plan – Research beforehand what can and cannot pass through the security checkpoint and make sure your liquids are all under 100ml and in a clear, sealed plastic bag.

That’s entertainment – It will make the trip fly by that much faster if you have something on hand to keep you entertained. Not all planes include entertainment packages, so don’t hedge your bets and make sure you’re prepared with an array of books, games consoles, iPads and magazines to keep your mind occupied whilst you soar through the skies to your vacation destination.

Finally, this is an old one (and an obvious one) but a good one – always arrive earlier than you think you need to. Gates might typically open around two hours before the flight, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim to get to the airport three hours before, just in case. When it comes to flying, you can never be too early!

We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Southern Railway. For more tips and advice, please pay a visit to our lifestyle page.

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