There are those of us who prefer to stay in one place, and there are those of us who can’t sit still. Itchy feet, wanderlust, curiosity- no matter what you call the need to adventure further out into the world, there are experiences that we all face at one time or another when it comes to heading overseas. The privilege of air travel allows us to go from one side of the world to the other in only a few days, compared to the ships that used to take months, even years to reach their destinations!
Travelling by plane means that you’ll be going through airports, and all that comes with the full airport experience. From charging your phone in the hidden wall outlets to navigating airport food prices, here are 15 facts that you will understand if you constantly find yourself waiting at gates for your next flight, wandering airports for hours on layovers or feel like you are always barefoot from taking your shoes off at security. Even if you aren’t as well versed in the art of air travel, these points might help you prepare for the adversity that you may encounter at the airport.
1) That moment where your heart skips a beat because you forgot about changing your watch/computer/phone time zone and you might miss your next flight- or have you already missed it?
Once you land, the pilot or flight attendant will usually tell you what the local time is, adjust your clocks as soon as you hear this. If they fail to inform you or you missed the notice, immediately make a note of the local time when you arrive at the terminal.
2) You are a professional at sleeping with one eye open. This way you can make sure you don't miss your flight, your belongings aren't stolen or tampered with and you still manage to get a little shut eye.
3) The high price of airport food is normal. The mediocre taste of airport food... Also normal. But after that small helping of rice and chicken on the plane, that over priced fast food double decker burger is looking pretty appealing right about now.
4) You know better than to stop at the first food establishment you find, because there are usually more options the further you travel through the airport. (Depending on the airport)
5) When it comes to talking to people, many would say that you are the unabashed champion of making friends, finding out valuable information about flights and directions to gates and just filling the time with good conversation.
6) No matter what time it is, you turn on your best smile when checking in for your flight. You never know if today might finally be the day you get that upgrade to first class or you maybe you really need the check in attendant to let you off the hook for being severely overweight on your check in luggage. You also understand that the check in attendants have been dealing with all sorts of difficult people who are new to travel, it’s the least you can do as an experienced nomad to help them have a better day.
7) Your carry on bag is an extension of self. You know where everything is, in each pocket and compartment and you have it all perfectly calibrated for efficiency and easy access.
8) Security scanners are your jam. You know what you need to do to make sure you never beep when passing through the metal detector, and your shoes are as easy to remove as fuzzy bunny slippers. No rummaging around and struggling for you, since your laptop and liquids come in and out of your bag as if they were the only items in your bag. Were they? No you’re just an expert at this airport thing.
9) Your airport outfits are functional, comfortable and quite possibly fashionable since you know what you need out of your clothes during your journeys. Cotton jogger jeans replace the sweat pants, while your favorite combat boots are exchanged for loosely-laced sneakers that not only make security checkpoint removal easy but will be great for adventuring around in when you reach your destination.
10) Though you may not be fluent, you know how to navigate airports in a variety of languages. You know the vocabulary for where is my gate, where is the bathroom and final call for boarding very well, and might even find yourself struggling to sift through all the languages in your head before you find the appropriate one for the airport you’re in.
11) The charging station is full? You know all the tricks for finding power outlets to charge your electronics, whether it’s in the bathroom (the janitor needs to power her vacuum somehow) or behind one of the gate check in counters- your electronics will not go without battery!
Just make sure you packed your universal adaptor.
12) When they call boarding for your flight and you realize you need to go to the bathroom. You know that you have at least five minutes before anyone actually starts looking at boarding passes.
13) You know when you need to have your ID or passport ready to show with your boarding pass and when you don’t.
14) When it comes to checking in for your flight at a kiosk, some might refer to you as a kiosk guru. The speed at which kids text message these days is slow compared to the way you masterfully navigate the electronic prompts for confirmation code, how many bags you’ll be checking and printing your boarding passes.
15) While waiting, you message all your friends in their respective time zones (and on your respective apps for those out of country) and enjoy the process of figuring out what time it is there more than actually talking to them.