As I am writing this, I have been in Vietnam for almost 2 hours, I am sitting at a café, I just ate something delicious (but way too spicy for someone who is used to eating boiled potatoes aka your typical Estonian). Within the past almost 48 hours I have either waited for a plane at an airport or been on a plane. And here are some thoughts and a mini survival guide to airport life.
- Something that I realized while waiting for a plane at London’s airport: Cheap fares do not necessarily mean saving money. I got my tickets to Ho Chi Minh City relevantly cheap compared to other offers online (saved around 200 euros compared to the average ticket price). But the alternative cost included long layovers, buying airport food, and not having a good sleep. So by the time I made it to Vietnam, my saved euros from the ticket fare were almost cut to half. I guess cheap fares are beneficial only without multiple long layovers.
- If your checked-in luggage is underweight, re-arrange your things from your hand luggage to make it lighter because you’ll be carrying that one around. The lighter the better
- Pack an empty water bottle in your carry-on. Something I did not do this time and EVERYtime I needed to go through security again I thought of it (but did not act on it). To avoid paying huge mark-ups for bottled water at the airport, bring your own empty bottle (which will go through security just fine) and fill up at a water fountain after the checkpoint.
- Bring a portable phone charger: For example at Doha airport I could not find a place where to charge my phone. It’s not always guaranteed you’ll be able to charge your phone (or laptop) at airport.
- If you have a longer layover think about the opportunity to visit the city. I’ve done that couple of times when the distance between the city and the airport has not been too time consuming and when it’s not crazy expensive to actually get to the city.
- This one is very important when it comes to flights with long layovers: check every now and then your flight info from the screens. Often times the departure time or gate is changed.
- If possible move your most valuable things into your hand-luggage. For example I had my laptop the whole time with me, my perfume, and sometimes even some clothing items just in case the something were to happen to the check-in luggage