The summer travel season is upon us, that means when you head to the airport, it's likely going to be more crowded than usual. In the 2017 summer travel season, airports saw 237 million passengers in the United states alone, with more hitting the friendly skies around the country. The 2018 predictions are even higher, with an anticipated 246 million travelers. This is 2.7 million people a day on average. Those are impressive numbers, and what they mean is that the airports are going to be just a bit crowded.
So if you are headed to the airport this summer, you need to be prepared for bigger crowds. How can you navigate the crowds and still enjoy your trip to the fullest? Here are some tips for navigating the airport during the busy summer travel season.
Pack That Carry on Wisely
If you're a veteran traveler, you already know what you can and can't pack in a carry on, but a busy summer season isn't the time to try to get something through that normally wouldn't be allowed. If you're not sure about an item, check with the local pre-board screening authority. If you're traveling internationally, make sure you check with both your current location and your destination location, as they may have different rules.
Use Your Mobile Device
You can confirm travel details, check in for your flight and even check the amenities on your plane and the airport on your phone or tablet. This will allow you to avoid waiting in long lines to talk to a staff member. Make sure you pack a charger, and consider an external battery pack in case all of the outlets are in use.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Not only does more people in the airport mean longer potential lines, but it can also mean more traffic in the parking areas and the routes leading to the airport. Navigating this is simple. Just leave a little earlier!
Sign up for Expedited Security Screenings
Airport security groups often have expedited screening options you can sign up for ahead of time to save yourself a wait in line. For example, the TSA offers Pre Check and Customs and Boarder Protection offers Global Entry. Research these types of expedited security screening options at the airport you are traveling from to see if you have options.
Make Your Luggage Easy to Spot
More travelers means more luggage. Save yourself some time at the carousel by adding something to yours that makes it easy to spot. Whether you tie a colored ribbon from your suitcase or add a strip of colorful duct tape, make it easy to see your suitcase when it comes by so you can grab it and go. This will also prevent you from accidentally grabbing someone else's bag.
Yes, the summer travel season can be busy, but summer is also an excellent time to get out there and see the world. With these tips, you can navigate the airport with ease, even when it's full of families getting ready for their own vacations. Just make sure to give yourself a little time, put that smile on your face and get out there and explore.