Air travel can be stressful. There’s a lot that you’ll have to deal with before you even step foot on your flight. Between TSA checkpoints, confusing airport layouts, airport car rental, and delayed flights, it’s a small miracle anyone makes it to the plane at all.
Arriving early for your flight is a great first step to stress free air travel. Along with that, here are a few airport travel essentials that will make your next flight a breeze.
Airport Terminal Map
Getting lost in an airport terminal minutes before your flight is a travelers worst nightmare. Don’t blame yourself if you find airports confusing. They’re massive, full of people in a hurry, and loaded with distractions. Even the smallest airport terminal is the size of a football field. This is why a map of the airport is essential for stress-free travel. Bathrooms, terminals, and airport car rental kiosks are just a click away.
There are several ways to get a map. Most airports have interactive maps on their website that you can access on your phone any time. If you don’t have the luxury of mobile data or a smartphone, print out a map at home and take it with you. If you forgot to bring a map, ask for one at check in.
Tired of standing in line at airport security? You can register for the TSA PreCheck program. This membership provides several benefits. You won’t have to remove your shoes, jacket, or laptop for separate scanning. It also allows access to an expedited security line. More than 200 domestic airports now participate in the TSA PreCheck program.
After paying a fee and completing your registration, your TSA PreCheck membership will be valid for 5 years. You’ll have to show up for an in-person interview, submit to a background check, and provide your fingerprints, but the benefits are immediately available. This is the best way to skip the lines and get to your flight with time to spare.
Air travel can be loud and disorienting. From the moment you step foot in the airport, until you finally reach your destination, you’ll be bombarded with sound from every angle. Investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones will save your eardrums, and maybe a little bit of your sanity. Regular earbuds are useful, but even an inexpensive pair of noise-cancelling headphones can make a world of difference.
There are two main types of noise-cancelling headphones. Passive noise-cancellation relies on material in the headphones to block sounds from coming in. These are a good option if you’re on a budget. Active noise-cancelling headphones are a little pricier, but some models can provide up to 15 or 20 decibels of noise cancellation. Nothing can stop the infant in the next row from screaming for all 16 hours of your transatlantic flight, but that doesn’t mean you have to hear them.
Snacks and Drinks
Does an $8 bottle of water sound appealing? Snacks and drinks are essential for long flights and layovers, especially if you’re on a budget. To get around TSA liquid regulations, bring an empty water bottle or two. Many airports have complimentary bottle-filling stations after the TSA checkpoint.
Make sure to bring nutrient-rich snacks that are easy on the stomach. You’ll save money and have a much better experience. Pack at least one meal along with your snacks. For everyone’s sake, don’t brink anything that has a strong odor.
Portable Power Bank
Smartphones, tablets, and laptops make air travel much more manageable. Most airports provide mobile charging stations. Some planes even have USB ports in each seat. However, that’s not always the case. It’s always a good idea to bring your own portable power bank. A power bank can fully charge your smartphone or tablet several times before needing to be recharged itself.
Don’t get stranded at an unfamiliar airport with a dead cellphone. Even a cheap portable power bank can provide peace of mind. Check out these TSA-approved power banks.
Looking For Airport Car Rental Deals?
At Value Rental Car we understand that traveling can be stressful. We offer rental cars for people with bad credit, no credit, or no credit card. We accept cash and debit card customers. If you’re flying into LAX, we offer complimentary pickup and drop off services right at the airport. We also rent to drivers under the age of 21. Let us make your next airport car rental a breeze.