Solosetter: A guide to airports

“I’m Solosetting around the world sharing my tips and insights I’ve picked up along the way”

There’s two things I hate about travelling airports and airports! No not the physical structure or indeed the Duty Free, which I’m partial to on occasion. I mean the whole rig moral before you get to the Departure lounge. Whether you’re a high end traveller, somewhere in between like me or always on a budget; one thing that unites us, we all have to do the airport dance. There’s something humbling knowing we all tread the same path. It’s almost as if humanity is laughing in the face of financial inequality as we all trudge through security, shoes in hand.

Get ahead of the curb and travel in style

Added airport extras can buy you a one way ticket in the fast track lane or entry to the classiest lounges. I try to do everything I can to limit the stress a trip to the airport usually causes me.

 Online check in

Most airlines allow you to check in online usually 24 hours before your flight departs. A great way to reserve your seats in advance, using the flight seating plan and also saves you the hassle of queuing up at check in. It always amazing me seeing the lengthy queues moving at a snails pace. Wouldn’t they rather be sitting, eating, shopping; basically doing anything rather then shuffling along to the check in desk.

 Getting there

“there’s no way I’m starting my vacation off on a train, or even worse a coach yikes“

I’m sorry but I like to start my vacation off in style. I’ve probably spent the best part of a year planning and saving for this and I loathe public transport at the best of times. So there’s no way I’m starting my vacation off on a train, or even worse a  coach yikes! But if you must and live in London, it may be more prudent jumping on the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow. And the Gatwick and Heathrow Express will probably get you there much quicker than the car. But like I said this is all about experiences and more importantly relieving my pre vacation stress. Worrying about train delays or worse cancellations, is not how I want to start off. I always use an airport car service. I’ve been using Airport Express for coming up to 10 years now. Well priced, fast and efficient.

Top tip: Always use a reputable car service. There’s loads on the internet but make sure they have an active telephone number and business address listed. I always like to call after I’ve completed an online booking. Firstly to ensure there’s a human being somewhere in the chain if something goes wrong and secondly to confirm they have received my booking and to relay any special requirements I may have.

 At the airport

If you’re a frequent flyer you’ll be ofay with all the perks and time reducing tricks most airports employ. You can buy yourself some time, literally with the Fast Track Security lane pass.  Most UK and international airports have one and this lifesaving lane speeds up your journey between the Departures area and Security. A small price worth paying especially if you’re flying during busy periods.

 Baggage drop

Now here’s a tricky one for me. If you read my last blog post Carry on only! You’ll know one of my greatest fears is putting my baggage in the cargo hold. I have anxiety of them losing my baggage. For me there’s nothing more stressful than watching that thing go round and round willing yours to be the next one out. Now that’s just added stress I don’t need. But on my last vacation after completely overpacking, I was forced to do the unthinkable.

After I had booked in online I should be good right? Wrong! I had 2 options putting my baggage in a faceless shute like contraption and cross my fingers and hope or face the dreaded queue that I do everything to avoid. Ahhhhh I hate myself! I don’t even need to tell you what I ended up doing. Let’s just say my usual take my time, get some breakfast and browse a few shops, turned into a 45 mins mad dash. Its official I still hate airports.

But for those of you reading thinking what’s all the fuss about? I used the baggage drop on the return journey and yes I fussed like a 2 year old child, but there it was if like magic one of the first ones off the belt. Phew.

 Departure Lounges

Dubai International Airport Lounge

The best invention at the airport known to man. And if you’re flying Premium or higher you’ll probably have unlimited access and all the perks on top. Depending where you fly from the lounge experience can be a perfect way to start your journey off. From continental style breakfasts to gourmet dining, to head massages and foot rubs. Or take a hot shower and get some sleep. The possibilities have become endless.

This is just the beginning of our Solosetter Travel Series. They’ll be lots more tips and advice coming on the blog. So sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. I hope that this article has helped you on your journey to becoming your own Solosetter. We’re not paid for any product recommendation, just here to help you on your journey to #livinglifetothefullest.

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