If you lined up 100 travelers and asked them what was the worst part of their travel experience we guarantee the majority will say,” the airport,” accompanied by a gloomy sigh. We’ve all been there, long lines, screaming children, short connections, an absolute nightmare for most travelers and especially for family vacations. However, there are ways to not only make the airport experience better, but also a fun part of your adventure. Here are our 4 crucial tips for improving your Airport experience for good!
You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen the signs, but do you really know what the Duty Free can do for you? A quick beginners introduction regards the Duty Free as an outlet for domestic and international products without duty (taxes). Sounds simple enough, but when actually diving deeper the savings are quite substantial. Instead of thinking chocolates and alcohol think electronics, jewelry, and brand name clothes. Duty Free stores should be your first source of travel shopping in regards to gifts and just overall cheap items. That expensive digital camera you’ve been saving up for, most chances its 25% percent cheaper at the Duty Free. When you discover the amount of money you can save, all of a sudden your dreadful four-hour layover will turn into a four hour shopping spree! Duty Free can be found in almost every international airport and seaports. If you want to pre-order Duty Free items ahead of time according to your travel itinerary check out shopnfly!
2. VIP Lounges
We’ve all walked by the airport VIP lounge. Bitterly walking by the entrance as you see fancy looking business men gingerly chuckling as they drag their expensive carry on into airport heaven. Why shouldn’t you be bitter? The individuals that enter these lounges will spend their layover comfortably sipping champagne while watching television on a big screen TV, surfing the web with free Wi-Fi, and did I mention the free food? Well did you know that entering the “VIP Lounge” is a lot easier than you might think? If you’ve ever flown business or first class, then you have access to these VIP lounges. Now for those of us with a little less cash in our pockets airlines offer a variety of membership plans for VIP lounges in airports all over the world. For instance US Airways offers lounge day passes for only 30 US dollars, and a year long member ship from anywhere between 100 to 300 dollars. This might seem like a hefty fee, but if you travel more than once a year then the benefits strongly trump the negatives. On my last traveling experience I spent 10 hours sleeping on the floor due to a delayed flight in Istanbul. If I had known about the 30-dollar fee for the VIP lounge, lets just say I would have been a much happier man. Every airline has their own deals, some even offering access just by gathering points with specific credit card use. A little research goes a long way, and maybe the next time your flight is delayed you can pass the time in luxury rather than misery.
3. Research the Airport Layout
Most international airports are big, really really big. If you haven’t been to Heathrow, LAX, or Schiphol Airport than you’re in for a treat. Airports are getting bigger and bigger because of the constant expanding variety of airlines but also because of the growing number of commodities that are offered to wandering travelers. It’s a drag to have to lug you baggage around a four terminal airport in order to find good food, or the right electronics store to find the camera you’ve always wanted. Fortunately most if not all airports offer a comprehensive map on their website as well as different vantage points around the airport. If you know that you’ll be spending the next couple of hours waiting for your connecting flight it would serve you well to know where everything is located. In fact it might even make your lay over an enjoyable experience. Instead of back and forth trekking through terminals, you can optimize your time and get the most out of the airport amenities as you can. Fifteen minutes of research can make the difference between a dreadful and a pleasant experience.
4. Prepare Your Entertainment
So you’ve maxed out your credit card, and already had a big meal at the airport bistro, but there’s still a good three hours until your flight departure. What do you do? The most obvious but often overlooked is your own library of personal entertainment. Whether it’s your laptop, iPad, MP3 player, or important work for you business trip, make sure it’s all ready to go! I can recall numerous occasions of being stranded in an airport wishing I could just curl up with the newest episodes of Game of Thrones. Instead I realize that I left my electronics in my checked luggage. Plan for this, and make sure that you prepare a sufficient amount of shows, DVD’s (you still use DVD’s?), or whatever it may be. Nothing kills time better than your favorite show, or if you are the productive type it would be wise to catch up on your work.
There are countless other life-hacks to better your airport experience, but from personal experience these are the critical elements. If you stay true to our advice we guarantee a smoother travel experience, and who knows, maybe you’ll even enjoy yourself the next time you find yourself in an airport.
This article was bought to you by Shopnfly. Shopnfly is the first shopping marketplace for travelers across duty frees around the world. A revolutionary online platform that allows you to search through a wide range of duty free products and find the best deals across all the destinations in your travel itinerary. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, Shopnfly can help optimize your travel experience by comparing prices and giving you promotions across duty free markets all over the world.
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