If you have planned an exciting vacation and you’re looking forward to getting away, you will want to make sure that the trip goes as smoothly as possible. However, going through an airport can be a stressful experience, both at your point of departure and when you reach your destination. Follow this advice if you want to make sure that have a relaxing and straightforward start to your vacation.

Think carefully about your cabin baggage

When you are deciding what to put in your suitcase and what should go in a carry on bag, make sure you keep the relevant security rules in mind. In particular, ensure that any liquids in your hand baggage are no more than 100ml, and don’t forget that sharp or dangerous items are not permitted. Looking into the rules before you get to the airport will save you from enduring any hassle when you pass through security checks.

Check your flight before you leave

When you’re ready to leave for the airport, it is worth looking online to make sure that your flight is still on time and to find out any relevant information about delays. In rare cases, flights might even be cancelled as a result of weather considerations, so it pays to keep yourself updated about predicted departure times so that you don’t end up sitting in the airport for hours.

Conduct a final check for essential items

There is nothing worse than realizing that your passport slipped out of your baggage just as you were leaving the house, or getting to the airport and remembering that you have left some vital item of luggage at home. Make a list of the things that are absolutely necessary for your vacation, and check for each and every one of them before you drive to the airport.

Arrive in plenty of time

While it might seem obvious that you should get to the airport in plenty of time for your scheduled flight, everyone has seen passengers desperately running for the departure gate. In general, you should try to arrive at least an hour and a half before an international flight, and at least an hour before a domestic flight. After all, boarding stops some time before the flight actually departs, so you might have less time to reach the plane than you think. In addition, some gates can be surprisingly far from the main areas of the airport, especially in huge international airports.

Know what to expect when you go through security

Some people automatically start feeling nervous when they got through airport security, perhaps because it can be unnerving to feel like you are under scrutiny. However, the whole experience can be a lot less stressful if you are prepared. In addition to ensuring that you don’t have any forbidden items in your carry on baggage, be aware that you will be asked to remove all metal objects (such as belts, keys and certain items of jewellery), and that you may need to take off your shoes (especially if they have a wedge heel). In some cases, you will be patted down by a member of the security staff, and you may need to pass through a body scanner. However, any image of you will not be explicit, and will only look like an outline of your form.

Be prepared to explain yourself coherently when arriving at your destination

When you’re going on vacation, it will be fairly easy to explain what you are doing when you are asked about your visit. However, it can be quite unnerving to be questioned by immigration or border security when you land in a new country, especially if you have been flying for hours and are feeling tired. Make sure you can easily state your date of departure, the length of your stay, and your reasons for visiting. In most cases, you will encounter no difficulties, but it pays to have supporting documentation on your person (such as proof of a hotel reservation that lasts for a particular span of days).