For both experienced and inexperienced travelers, navigating the airport is often the most stressful part of a trip. From flight cancellations to security delays, problems in the airport can not only put a damper on your mood, but can also derail your budget travel plans completely. Fortunately, there are a few step-by-step instructions you can follow before you leave for the airport to reduce stress and avoid these problems.

First, be sure that you know where the airport is located. This may seem overly simplistic, but many cities of varying sizes have more than one airport. Nothing is more disheartening than arriving at an airport only to learn you’ve made a mistake. If you’re not sure whether the airport is correct, a simple internet search can resolve your doubts quickly and prevent potential headaches.

Second, calculate the time it will take you to get to the airport carefully and stick to it. It is important to research exactly how far away the airport is by various transit methods, such as by taxi, bus, train, etc. Once you have decided how you will get to the airport, be sure to consider “when” as well. For example, traffic at 3:00 a.m. will flow much faster in comparison to 5:00 p.m. rush hour traffic. Based on the time of your flight, you may need to add anywhere from an extra 30 minutes to 2 hours to your total transit time.

Third, prepare all the documents you need ahead of time and keep them together in one place. This can be your phone or a wallet of some sort. Some travelers prefer to keep their documentation in a specifically designed boarding pass wallet, which can be purchased easily online. It is a mistake to assume that the airport will have free WIFI available for you to pull up your documents there. Prepare for the worst case scenario and either print off hardcopies of the documents you need, or take screenshots of them on your phone. Be aware, however, that you are often not permitted to use your phone while passing through airport security.

It is true that airports can be difficult to navigate. However, by following these three simple steps before leaving the house, you can significantly reduce your risk of running into airport complications or even missing your flight entirely. In this way, you will be one step closer to enjoying your traveling adventures.

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