When you’re asked “did you pack your luggage yourself?” you feel the vein in your temple throb. You’ve traipsed through queues for the check-in desk, grumbled as a security official groped you, and been asked a thousand questions – it’s the airport, and it could make a Franciscan monk hopping mad.
There are fewer places more irritating than the airport. In your attempts to fly from point-A to point-B you’ll have to go through more security checks than a shifty-eyed crook visiting Fort Knox. Slipping through the net isn’t an option at the airport, and it’s bound to lead to a few headaches.
Indeed, various surveys have revealed that using an airport is deemed more stressful than moving house or an eight-hour working day.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Some people manage to fly without feeling frazzled by the end of their journey. These people are the centres of calm in an otherwise manic environment.
So what’s their secret?
Primed for parking
No one enjoys trying to find a spot at the airport. It’s like trying to scrunch your body into a fully-packed tuna can. You’ll drive around and around the multi-storey car park near your terminal until you feel dizzy, and still be nowhere nearer to finding a spot.
Airports are well aware of these issues, which is why they allow third-party providers of parking to give them a helping hand. Airport parking Edinburgh, for instance, is a cinch at the city’s airport, thanks mainly to private companies.
These companies allow you to park your car in a reserved spot, before being shuttled directly to your terminal. There are fewer more relaxing ways to travel.
Some people don’t seem to know how to distract themselves. They need a television to gawk at, or a friend to drag them from their slumberous pit. So how are they going to cope with time in a departure lounge?
Before you leave your home, pack plenty of pastimes to occupy yourself while you wait for your flight. Bring an MP3 player with you and you’ll even be able to block out the blather of other passengers.
And if you really want to enjoy your departure lounge experience, consider an upgrade. Many larger airports have executive VIP lounges that offer various home comforts, including free newspapers, complementary drinks, a bar and even room for your kids to play. So you’ll be able to lounge your way to your destination.
The world outside
There’s an entire world outside the airport, and it’s not all arid countryside. Before you head for the check-in desk, research the area surrounding your airport. You might find some relaxing tourist hotspots where you can kill time.