We can all agree that travel in general is amazing, but some of the practicalities involved in getting somewhere and home again are a little less glamorous, and sometimes even downright awful. One of the biggest is definitely time spent in airports.
The endless queuing and crowds. The waiting and running between terminals. The possible delays and probable bad food. If you're not lucky, a bad airport experience can put a dampener on your entire trip, be it for work or pleasure, and turn what should have been a terrific journey into something of a nightmare.
Unfortunately, we can't eliminate airports from your travel experience (unless you're willing to take it slo-o-o-o-w on the high seas and book a cruise, or travel across the country in a train or bus). But the team at Cloud Nine Global are doing our best to make your journey as pleasant as possible with our luxurious airline amenity packs (the Departures Collection) and plush accommodation kits (the Arrivals Collection) to smooth the edges of the whole process, and help you feel totally refreshed and looked after along the way.
Even with a Cloud Nine Pack in hand, airports can be punishing, so we've worked with our braintrust of frequent flyers to put together this handy little collection of airport hacks that will help you next time you're flying away...
1. Check your travel info in advance (then check it again) - It might seem obvious but it's amazing how many people don't do this! Read your travel details really carefully, take note of all dates and times and terminal numbers, especially if there's a transfer involved. Know what you're doing in advance and it will hugely reduce the chances of stress when you get to the airport.
2. Pack a spare set of travel clothes - If you have a long journey or an extended layover or get caught with a delayed flight, you'll be SO grateful to have a fresh outfit tucked away in your hand luggage, and changing will make you feel a million times better. If space is at a premium, even just a fresh pair of underpants can make the world of difference.
3. Gather your liquids in advance - And pop them into a clear plastic bag so they're ready to go. The Cloud Nine Global departures packs all come in clear TSA-approved bags and all of our items are under 100mL, so going through security is a breeze.
4. Keep your small items together when going through security - Rather than putting little things like jewellery through the X-ray machine in a separate bin, put them in the pocket of a jacket or bag. That will clear more space on the conveyor belt, move the security line along faster and reduce the chances of them getting lost.
5. Order a yummy treat from Uber Eats - Yes, really! The car share company is currently testing out a program at Toronto Pearson airport to deliver food to travellers in Terminal 3. It takes convenience to a whole new level and could be a life saver for anyone getting to the airport in a rush but not keen to eat either sad airport sandwiches or airplane food.
6. Pack your own picnic - Until Uber Eats hit the global airport market (we have our fingers crossed) the next best option if you're not lucky enough to be at an airport with good dining options is to make your own food. As long as it's not a liquid or a paste, it will go straight through security. So leave the soups and hummus at home, but lovely fresh sandwiches and salads get the thumbs up. Sliced fruit, a selection of nuts and homemade biscuits make perfect snacks. Just try to make it healthy and, for the sake of your fellow travellers, not too stinky (no tinned fish of any kind!).
7. Pack a multi-plug adaptor - If you're travelling with your family. This way, everyone can charge up their phones and devices at the same time and you only need to find one available power outlet.
8. Turn left when given the option - This is a bit of a strange one, but psychologists say people have a tendency to lead to the right, so queues on the right hand side are usually longer. Go left and (in theory) you'll have a shorter wait.
9. Get a plastic shopping bag from Duty Free - If you have a little too much stuff to carry on to the plane and are worried you might have an issue boarding the plane. Shopping bags are not usually counted as part of the one handbag + one carry on bag, so you can sneakily fill it with your excess items. If you need to buy something from Duty Free to secure the bag, then so be it. Chocolate for everyone!
10. Pack an empty (preferably reusable) water bottle - And fill it up when you get through security. This means less plastic waster and you can avoid paying the exorbitant fees charged for water in airport kiosks.
11. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, go online or call - This is a much better approach than queuing up for hours, hoping to change your ticket. Contacting the airline directly through your phone is often much faster and will get you a much better result.
12. Sign up for an airport lounge - Even if you're not flying Business Class or First Class, you can often still get access to VIP lounges for a one-off fee, especially if they're not busy. Check in advance because these passes are sometime cheaper when bought before the day, or consider signing up with a company like Priority Pass, who give you access to 1300+ lounges around the world for an annual fee.