5 Easy Airport Hacks To Try Today - Encircled.ca

5 Easy Airport Hacks To Try Today

October 18, 2015 0 Comments

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

When I used to be a management consultant, back in the corporate life, I used to spend most weeks out of the year traveling.

That meant, virtually living in the airport.

Everyone from the security agents, to lounge gatekeepers to flight attendants started to look familiar.

From all of this time hanging in the airport, I picked up a few favourite things I'd do to make travel just that much easier.

Here are my 5 favourite airport hacks to try on your next trip.

1. Bring your own Snacks

Bringing your own snacks for travel is not only a money-savvy move, but also a great way to keep up healthy eating on the go.

This means, you can bring veggies, fruit, granola bars, sandwiches, salads, cheese, nuts, crackers and more.

It is wise to check with the destination you're traveling to for any restrictions. For example, in Toronto, you pre-clear US customs in Canada, therefore you cannot bring ANY food (as it's not allowed into the US). However, traveling within countries is generally fine. Traveling to an international destination is ok, just make sure to dispose of any leftover food before going through customs.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

A few travel-friendly snacks:

25 Make-Ahead Travel Snacks

Plant-based travel snacks

Healthy food for Air Travel

Things to remember:


2. Pack an Empty Water Bottle  

I know we've mentioned this one before in previous articles, talking about carry-on essentials but I think it's worth reiterating.

Flying is one of the most dehydrating experiences for your body (other than hanging in a sauna or desert). The air is dry and full of germies from other passengers. Yuck.

Also, buying water (or anything really) at the airport is SO expensive. Four dollars for a small bottle of Dasani?  No thanks. Buying bottled water is also bad for the environment.

Solution: Bring an empty water bottle on the plane. Ideally something reusable!

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

My pick is the BKR Bottle {$40, as shown below available here}. Other awesome resuable water bottles include the S'Well bottle, and the Vapur Water bottle (which rolls flat, space saver!).My BKR has a hook on the top, which I attach to my travel bag or backpack using an inexpensive carabiner. 

Things to remember:

  • Empty the water bottle BEFORE going through security
  • Google "Hydration" or "Water" stations prior to traveling at your departure and arrival airports
  • Don't be afraid to ask the flightattendant to fill it up on the plane. I am hoping they are not incentivized on saving water!
3. Get into the VIP Lounge

So, gone are the days when if you looked like a business traveler, you could sweet talk your way into the business lounges of various airlines.

Nowadays, every ticket and passenger is checked. If you're flying business class with most airlines you can get in for free by showing your ticket.

A couple of ways to 'hack' the system:

Get a travel credit card. My first year of extensive travel as a consultant meant I had no status so couldn't get into lounges. I got the AMEX platinum card (which was pricey) but gave me a free companion air ticket, lounge access and front of the line security benefits which if you're spending every week in the airport is well worth it.

Travel with a friend with Status (or a stranger!). Depending on your tier of status, some people may have the ability to bring guests with them traveling on the same airline for free into the lounge.

Alternatively, some tiers of status instead get free guest passes. If you're traveling with a friend, check ahead. Or, if you spot someone you 'kind of' know at the airport near the lounge, ask them. Bolder move, ask a stranger nicely to let you in. 

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Buy your way in. I'm not talking about bribing your way in but you can sometimes buy day passes using frequent flyer miles or real money.It may be worth it depending on the facilities at the airport.  In Canada, the majority of our airports have free decent wifi. This is not always the case. And if you're dealing with a major layover, you might want clean shower facilities and a bed (yes, some lounges have beds!).

Things to remember: 

  • Every lounge is different. Pre-research lounges on Google in your departure and arrival airpots to check amenities.  LoungeGuide is an excellent place to start.
  • If you haven't joined your airline of choice's frequent flyer program, do it TODAY.
4. Pack Wipes

This may sound basic but wipes, in my opinion are the most versatile carry on essential.

Some people prefer baby wipes, but my favourite are actually the facial wipes (biodegradable).

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

A few uses for wipes in the airport / on the plane:

  • Cleaning your hands when there isn't a sink available
  • Washing your face
  • Cleaning down bathroom fixtures (toilet seats, sink areas etc)
  • Wiping down tables, or chairs in the food court area
  • Wiping down your seat on the plane and tray table
  • Cleaning up spills or messes
  • Removing eye makeup

 

5. Ask for a better seat at the Gate

Another commonly talked about tip, but worth reiterating, asking for a better seat.

Many people will ask the check-in agents for help with this, which may get you a seat closer to the front, however it is the GATE agents that have most of the power.

Airlines typically hold a certain number of seats for high-tier frequent flyers (in their premium/economy plus seating) up until check-in closes (which is usually about 30-45 minutes pre-departure).

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

 

At that time, I go up to the gate desk, and politely mention my airline status (do this if you have it, if not mention your long legs, or your excitement about traveling to X destination for the first time) and ask for a 'better seat'. 

They know what you're asking for -- a bulkhead, emergency exit or premium seat.

If they have one, it's likely yours. Just ask nicely, and smile. It's really awful how much crap these agents have to deal with, so a little smile goes a long way.

Even if you don't get a better seat, you've likely brightened their day. 

Now, tell me, did we miss any of your favourite airport hacks?

If so, please leave it in the comments below. To share this tutorial with the universe, click here to tweet it out.

With wanderlust,

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Chief Fashionpreneur, encircled

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.Love travel? Join our League of Travelistas -- a community for women who love to travel. Click her to request access to our private facebook group.

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