Travel Influencer Ciara Johnson’s Guide to Aruba
Its nickname, One Happy Island, says it all.
We all know that the airport struggle can be all too real. With long lines, flight changes, and heavy crowds, everything can feel all too overwhelming. As a full time traveler and blogger of 7 years, I can certainly say I’ve been there and done that. However, these inevitable mishaps have taught me how tomaximize my airport experience. Contrary to popular belief, your airport experience has the potential to *actually* be enjoyable. Don’t believe me? Here are my tips to help you breeze through the airport in a faster, simpler, and better manner.
Online check-in opens up 24 hours before your flight and it’s a must-do. Since check-in ends 30 minutes to an hour before flight departure, you can rest knowing that your seat and ticket are accounted for. Plus, there are some airlines like Southwest that assign your seat based on the time that you check-in. You’ll want to secure a better seat by checking in sooner than later! Once you check in online, you can have your boarding pass sent directly to your email. You’ll be able to bypass long lines at the check-in counter when you download the digital boarding pass straight to your phone! If you’re team carry-on’ then you won’t even need to stop at the check-in counter. You’ll be able to head straight to the security line, but I’ll cover that in my next point!
It may be easier said than done but joining team carry-on will save you plenty of time and money at the airport. Firstly, you could save over $100 round-trip when you choose not to check a bag. If you plan to board with a carry-on only AND you have a digital boarding pass, then you’ll actually be able to bypass the check-in counter completely. This combo will allow you to head straight to the security line, which will inevitably save you more time and stress pre-departure. As a bonus, you’ll save time when you land as well. How? Instead of waiting at baggage claim upon arrival, you can hit the ground running in your dream destination or head straight home after a long trip!
So you’ve got your digital boarding pass and you’ve joined team carry-on. What now? Download the airline app.You’ll be able to access your boarding pass, but that hardly scratches the surface. You’ll receive real-time updates about flight delays or changes. You’ll also receive updates about any gate changes to ensure you don’t miss your flight. Most airlines will provide in-app options to conveniently change your flight if it is full or delayed. Within the app, the airline can also offer you a voucher to change flights given that your flight is full. You’d be the first in line to receive an airline credit(up to thousands of dollars) if you volunteer to take another flight within the app. Needless to say, your airline app will be one of the greatest resources to help you breeze through the airport.
Global Entry is the ultimate way to bypass long airport lines both pre-departure and upon arrival when you return to the US. You can enroll in Global Entry, which will include TSA Precheck to use domestically. Global Entry will ensure expedited screening at customs when you return to the US from abroad, while TSA Precheck will give you expedited security screening before your US flight departure. Whether you pack a carry-on or check a bag, this will be your main method to limit your time in long airport lines overall. I’ve had Global Entry & TSA Precheck for 5 years and trust me when I say, they’re SO worth it.
A Travel credit card is the ultimate way to have an easy & breezy airport experience. With the appropriate research, you could have a card that provides free checked luggage, free Global Entry, free Clear(expedited security pre-departure) access, lounge access(free food & drinks), travel insurance, and so much more. Most travel credit cards offer a concierge service to help you with flight changes or delays! The built-in insurance will also cover delays, cancellation, and lost baggage – giving you a greater peace of mind.
Your trip will go exponentially smoother with these tips! Happy travels!