4 Tips for Surviving Airports

6:44 PM

Glancing at my phone, I marked the time nervously. Sydney airport was always a chaotic mess, but today it was remarkably busy. Dragging my luggage behind me as if I had just gotten my tires changed by the pit crew, I took advantage of a momentary lapse in traffic and raced to the line to enter customs. The airport agent glanced at my passport and asked if I'd filled out the required form. "Form?" I stared back at her mouth agape. Maybe if I looked dumb enough she'd let me through, I thought to myself. I'd never heard of needing a form to get on a plane. She directed my attention behind me. Turning around, I saw table upon table of scattered papers with mounds of people scribbling on them like insects swarming a picnic. Resigning myself to my fate, I walked back through the masses of Asian tourists coming toward me like a flood and began the process all over again. 





#1. "When you're going through hell, keep on moving!"

 Every traveler's biggest pet peeve is the human roadblocks. I get it. You've probably got a two year layover and are thinking of raising a family in the style of "The Terminal." Or maybe you've lost someone in your herd, because like all wildlife, you tend to travel in packs. However, there are many, many of us who do not wish to take up that Tom Hanks lifestyle, aren't interested in duty free, and are desperately trying to get to the other end of the airport. Airport terminals are under international law,  but as far as most of us are concerned, it's survival of the fittest. So, move those legs! 




#2. Check the Screens

I'm a constant victim of gate changes for one simple reason, I forget to check the screens. Even if you've just gotten your boarding pass and flown through customs, always check the screens to see if your gate number has changed. Nearly every boarding card I've ever received has been seated on a throne of lies. Personally, if I've still got the time, I check every screen I come across before my gate to make sure they haven't changed it while I was walking. 





#3. Bring Your Own Food

Most airports operate under the assumption that every traveler is a Saudi Arabian sheikh who's got $200 to drop at McDonald's for lunch. If you are like me however, you might actually want funds left when you arrive at your destination. You may look like a soccer mom as you pull out your endless packets of fruit chews and goldfish crackers, but at least you won't have to sell an organ to pay for a meal. As you are probably aware, don't bother with the drinks unless you like undergoing the torture of watching someone throw away an unopened water bottle. 





#4. "Be the person Mr. Rogers Knew You Could Be"

The overriding emotion at any given airport is hangry. Take a few hundred jet-lagged, rushed, hungry, and frustrated people and throw them into a winding maze of madness and you'll end up with a lot of rage. Even in the midst of the craziness and cultural melting pot you've been thrown into, if you attempt not to yell, gripe, or purposefully run over somebody's toes with your Samsonite luggage, you just might be granted a Nobel Peace Prize; at least you ought to be. Airport employees get to see the worst of humanity every day. If you take the time to stop and smile at them, or even thank them for their services (without expecting to get upgraded,) you just might take the noose out of their hands. It's a rough living. 


Those are four more travel tips for you! Message me if you'd like to see any more tips on my blog, or click on the lists on the right hand side of the home page. 






Images via: vebidoo.com, listal.com, friendlyplanet.com, and cagle.com 

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1 comments

  1. I actually love being at the airport, it's great for people watching!

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