Top 15 Airport Tips for Easier Travel

From before you even leave for the airport to the time you’re seated on the plane, there are many tips and tricks you can heed to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Booking your DTW parking valet service well ahead of time…checking your flight status before you leave…and being prepared before you hit the TSA line…these are just a few of the tips you should know about to ensure easier travel.

1. Research the Best Seat

You already know the middle seat is nowhere you want to be when traveling, especially over long distances. Your best bet is the aisle, for trouble-free exit to the restroom, followed closely by the window for a birds-eye view.

Research your seat carefully before booking. You may even want to see where theUSB ports and power outlets are for easy charging.

2. Book a Red-Eye

If you don’t like crowds, have a flexible schedule, and are on a tight budget, consider taking a red-eye flight, which takes off between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. There aren’t as many people on these flights so you can pretty much choose your seat and stretch out with no problems. If you don’t want a red-eye, take the earliest flight available in the morning, such as 5 a.m. You don’t have to get there too far in advance and the flights are usually cheaper.

3. Check Flight Status

Before you even think about leaving for the airport, check the flight status online. It’s updated in real time so it will tell you if your flight is on time, delayed, or early – by the minute.  

4.  Download Offline Maps

Download and access registered maps offline with Google Maps, which can come in handy if you do not have free WiFi upon landing.

5. Pack Snacks

As you likely already know, airport food is extremely expensive. Even a bag of chips and a candy bar can cost way more than they do in a grocery store. To avoid paying overpriced airport food (which isn’t all that great anyway), pack your own snack, sandwich, granola bar, nuts and dried fruits.

6. Buy a Portable Charger

Instead of sitting with a bunch of other people tethered to charging stations against the wall, invest in a portable charger. You can use this to charge your phone in the airport as well as on the plane. This will ensure you don’t miss an important call or risk a meltdown from your toddler when their tablet dies out during a long flight.

7. Check in Online

This is an easy one, and one that saves you a lot of time. Who wants to stand in long lines at the check-in queue? Look for “luggage only” lines, which tend to be faster than regular check-in counters.

8. Snap a Pic of Your Parking Spot

No matter how sure you are that you’ll remember where you parked, it seems you always forget upon returning from your trip. It’s easy to forget, especially if you are stressed coming back from vacation. An easy way to jog your memory is to snap a photo of your space as well as any signs that tell you the level.

This will make it easy to pick up your car after taking the shuttle. Better yet, hire a valet to bring your car to you!

9. Check For Free WiFi

Most airports give guests free WiFi access. Make sure you find out the password beforehand so you’re not scrambling when your screen prompts you for it.

10. Tie a Ribbon to Your Luggage Handle

This is a tried and true strategy that can prove extremely helpful while saving you a ton of time and confusion. Most luggage is black, which means most luggage going around that carousel will look alike. Even if you have a colored piece of luggage, such as red, there’s always someone else with the same color as you.

Wrap a colorful ribbon around the handle or some kind of sticker. Make it stand out in some way, and you can easily grab it and go when it comes around.

11. Wear Extra Items

Verify the luggage requirements before leaving. If you’ve gone over, don’t just fork over the extra cash. Consider putting on a few more clothing items from your bag and put heavy items in your pockets.  

12. Go to the Left

Research shows that because the majority of people are right handed, they will choose the line to the right. To avoid those longer lines, head to the left and choose a line there.

13. Have Your Laptop Out and Ready

When going through security, you will be asked to take out your laptops and other electronics, and place them in the bin. Many people wait till the last second and are caught off guard, which causes panic and scrambling, not to mention delays.

In the same vein, be ready before you hit the head of the line and take off your shoes, belts, watches and other metallic items before you’re asked. Do this before reaching the conveyor. While you’re at it, sort out your travel documents, ID and passports, and put them in an easily accessible place.

14. Bring an Empty Bottle

All liquids above 100 ml are not accepted at the security check point. But if you have an empty bottle, even one that’s over the authorized limit, this will conceivably pass through without issue. Fill it with tap water afterward getting through and voila, you have yourself a free water bottle (and as you know, even bottled water isn’t cheap in airports!).  

15. Bring a Sweater

Airplanes and airports can be chilly, even in summer. Always dress in layers, or bring a sweatshirt with you. This way you can ward off the chills wherever you are, and if you’re feeling toasty, you can just use the sweater as a pillow on board.

Contact Valet Connections DTW Parking

We hope you found these airport travel tips helpful. One way Valet Connections can make your trip easier is to provide affordable parking and valet service, with convenient free shuttles. To book your parking early, contact us at (734) 992-4946.