Lost at the Airport? How to Get Your Bearings

Airports can be intimidating places. They’re like their own little cities, with off-ramps and exits and twists and turns. If you’re not prepared before leaving home, you could be in for a stressful experience. Getting lost while trying to catch a flight on time can induce sweat-induced terror in just about anyone.

The biggest part of the stress is finding where you’re going to park. Will you get a spot quickly or will you be driving around for an hour? What if you can’t find anything? What if you have to overpay at the last minute? What if you have safety concerns about your car being so far away from the terminal?

These are all valid concerns, yet they can all be alleviated with proper planning. Incorporating DTW airport parking in that plan is a wise idea.

If you’re waiting to worry about parking as you approach the Detroit Metro Airport, you’re already behind the eight ball. Doesn’t even really matter which airport it is – they are confusing places in general. Doesn’t matter if they sport the latest designs and layouts either – the sheer number of passengers who patronize any given airport on any given day can be challenged even further due to increased security protocols.

No doubt the sensory overload people encounter on a visit to the airport can stop anyone in their tracks. The result? It’s easy to get confused and lost. So how can you avoid confusion and the prospect of getting lost at the airport? Here are some helpful tips to get your bearings. Hint: don’t panic. Just stay calm and assess your surroundings.

1.    Come Up With a Plan

Before leaving for the airport, make sure you have a plan in place. Know the route you’ll take, when you need to leave, and when you should pack the car. Set an alarm on your phone so you wake up on time. This will start the day off on the right foot. Waking up in a panic because you overslept sets the stage for a harrowing trip to the airport.

Factor in a buffer to contend with any delays that could be thrown your way, such as traffic, car trouble, or last-minute bathroom stops. Bring a map of the airport or find a layout on your phone. Keep this handy. It will tell you which exits to take and how to navigate your way around the complex once inside.

Know the location of the bathrooms and the food kiosks in case your little one needs the potty or you need a quick pick-me-up in the form of a granola bar or drink.

Apps make it easy to see the directions from the entryway to the boarding gate while offering up-to-date information about flight times, terminals and gates, currency exchanges, ticket counter locations, parking lots, baggage claims, restaurants, and cafes.

2.    Book Parking in Advance

Being pressed for time at the airport or worse, getting lost, often originates with poor parking planning. When you book DTW valet airport parking beforehand, preferably days or weeks before your trip, this makes the whole process easier from the get-go.

Not only can you reserve a spot of your choosing, but you can also simply pull up and let the valets take over the details. Now all you have to do is hop on a shuttle (ours drop by every 10 to 15 minutes) and breeze into the terminal. These few minutes on the shuttle can give you a chance to get your bearings, collect your thoughts, and think about the next steps to tackle.

3.    Get There Early

Nothing spells stress like being late. Getting to the airport early sounds like a no-brainer but you would be surprised to learn how many people show up with just minutes to spare for their flight. If you don’t travel often, leave some time to get familiar with the check-in process. If you’re going on a domestic flight, get there two hours beforehand. If you’re going on a foreign flight, get there three hours beforehand.

It’s far better to go grab something to eat or read before boarding your flight – even if you’re bored stiff – than to run up to the gate five minutes before takeoff. It’s important to budget extra time in case of delays, long queues, and other snafus. 

4.    Follow the Signs

Most airports are good at making it easy to identify various check-in points, gates, baggage claims, shops, bathrooms, and waiting areas. Rely on signage to guide your way, as well as tile patterns, ticket counter placement, and security checkpoints to get you where you need to be. Way-finding signs are typically positioned at key decision points so you can quickly and easily understand the direction you must take next.

When in doubt, just ask for help. Security guards and staff members are everywhere so politely ask where you need to go. They will be happy to help.

In the end, preparation is key. The biggest part of that preparation is to book DTW valet parking so your parking concerns can melt away. Simply drop off your car, grab a shuttle, and be on your way. While we can’t help you much once you’re inside the chaos of the DTW airport, we can certainly help you outside!

Contact Valet Connections DTW Parking

To avoid another confusing airport experience that results in you getting lost, just book Valet Connections DTW Parking for an easier time. Call us at (734) 992-4946, and then sign up for our app so you can control everything with the touch of a button.