For better or worse, we all have to pass through airport terminals. With the convenience of being able to generally get anywhere around the globe in less than 24 hours in the 21st century, there are some unsavoury things travellers have to encounter in airports around the world. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some things globetrotters can do to make the whole experience that much smoother. Whether you are an experienced businessman or a hippie backpacker Euro-railing around the continent for the first time, what follows is a little bit of practical advice for everyone.
Bring a travel power strip and an extra battery for phone and laptop
You have seen the hungry, crazed look of a traveller on the last 2% of the phone’s battery in a crowded airport. They look ready to fight someone for that precious piece of real estate on the wall that will keep their digital hopes and dreams alive. The simple act of bringing a lightweight, compact power strip will not only save your phone or laptop’s battery from dying, but by walking up to someone already plugged in, asking to share, then inviting one or two more to join in the device charging party, you will surely win new friends. Portable batteries are similarly useful: they are cheap and ubiquitous, and easy to use.
Get some shut eye
Some airports have these amazing sleep pods: they sit in the middle of the lobby, only covering enough square footage to house a private, virtually sound-proof bed. And you pay as you use it, no more or less. Of course, short of this relatively new innovation in your local terminal, you are going to want to sleep as much as possible. Consider springing for an adjacent hotel through Airporthotels.com. You’ll be happy you did later.
Be liberal in marking luggage ‘fragile’
This typically insures you get your luggage faster, and your suitcase is handled much more gently than what is typical, where handlers through bags around all day.
Pack an e-book reader
If you are killing time in Manchester Airport hotels on a layover before a big business meeting, you might want to kill time but do not want to watch anything. E-book readers are a great way of carrying up to a library worth of books with you, without the hassle, and are relaxing to read.
Take advantage of duty free
Duty free shopping is a great way to kill time and save on money when you follow the rules. This is doubly true of countries with steep tariffs for certain items, like alcoholic beverages, or certain imported goods. It also helps if you are visiting a friend or going on a business trip and have not adequately prepared: bringing a gift makes everyone happier.
Prepare with various currencies
As an addendum to the previous entry about shopping, coming prepared with currencies of whatever country you are traveling to or through can be a time and money saver. Often, the airport exchange rates are downright theft, so if you know you will be spending some money at the bar or the duty free shop, visit a kinder exchange office beforehand.
Follow a few of these tips, and you are sure to have a more pleasant travel experience!