Arriving early to the airport is always a good idea, but just how early is early enough, and how should you prepare? There are few things more stressful than being late for an important flight, and that rings true whether you’re embarking on a thrilling vacation or meeting clients in a faraway city. Early arrival and ample preparation helps you to alleviate this stress, and gives you a better trip from start to finish.
When Should I Arrive?
Before thinking about when you should arrive, you should first think about when you should leave. When you leave to get to the airport directly impacts when you’ll arrive there, and you want to arrive with at least 2 hours to spare. If you’re flying out of a major city airport, take into account not only regular city traffic, but any accidents or weather that might come into play as well. Getting on the highway and hitting a rainstorm will slow traffic down, a road closure will put a real block in your travel plans, and a flat tire or an engine malfunction will stop you in your tracks. Give yourself some leeway time to make sure a problem on the road won’t affect getting on your flight.
Ideally, you want to arrive at the airport with around 2 hours to spare if you’re flying domestically, and at least 3 hours if you’re flying international. Getting through security checkpoints and lines shouldn’t have to be stressful, and giving yourself plenty of time ensures it’s as easy as possible.
Arriving early isn’t going to help you much if you arrive unprepared at the airport, and a few tips to make security checkpoints go more smoothly can really help. First and foremost, consider what you’re packing. If you have an item and you’re not quite sure if you’ll really need it for your trip, leave it at home, and pack only the essentials. For vacations, this will give you more room for souvenirs, and give you peace of mind that you’ll get there on time. For business trips, you’ll feel at ease knowing you won’t miss your meeting or check-in time. Fitting everything in your carry-on bag, is best, and our Falcon Wheeled Duffel bag in carry-on size is perfect for ensuring you have what you need for your trip.
Next, pay attention to how you’re dressed for the airport. All metal jewelry and accessories will have to be removed to go through security checkpoints, so they’re best left at home. Your shoes will be checked before getting on the plane, so plan to wear footwear that is easy to slip on or off, while still being comfortable enough for standing in line. If you’re flying in winter time, check your coat and all its pockets to make sure you don’t accidentally have on you items not allowed on a plane like pocket knives or other banned objects. If you find that you do have these items, be prepared to throw them away before going through security.
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