Planning ahead, packing your bags, organising documents, and scuttling through the airport to make it to your designated terminal in time for your flight. It’s chaotic at best. Then you arrive at the airport where you’re met with security, shops, restaurants, duty-free, and passport control.
In 2019, we conducted a survey into what makes UK travellers feel the most stressed out before they arrive at the airport. Over 60% of travellers were worried about getting stuck somewhere on their way to the airport, while “losing baggage” was the second biggest concern. As for when people were actually going through the airport, 49% were most stressed at baggage collection and 47% were stressed about waiting for transfers and passing security checks.
So, what could you possibly do to keep stress levels at an all-time low? These are our five ways to prepare you for Switch-Off.
1. Head over to a loungeFor many of us, the crowds that often gather at the airports can be overwhelming; everybody’s in a rush, stressing out and it’s nowhere near what you would call a “calm” environment. So, why not make use of our lounges? As a member you’d be able to enjoy a range of seating areas and work spaces to help you stay on top.
Accessible, relaxing and convenient. Priority Pass lounges are a good way to get away from the rush and calm your nerves before you have to board your flight. Use the space to your advantage, meditate and get those breaths in, read a book, or simply take the time to double-check that you’ve got everything you need with you. Our lounges also have specially allocated work spaces and meeting rooms where you can get down to business.
Our lounges also have several charging points available, use those to keep your devices charged and ready for anything. Don’t forget to grab a complimentary snack or drink while you wait, your phone’s not the only one who needs to stay at 100%.
On top of it all, as a member of Priority Pass you can download the Priority Pass app to view your favourite lounges and manage your membership entitlements. The app also comes with detailed indoor maps to help navigate you through major airports around the globe. Curious to know more? Head over to Priority Pass and find out how our benefits give members the most of their airport experience, and don’t forget to download the app to manage your account and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for regular lounge updates and some travel inspiration.
2. Personalise your baggageAs we already know, people are concerned for the safety of their baggage, and rightfully so. According to an article by Roaming With Chris, London Heathrow was involved in 25% (93 of 361) of cases involving lost baggage. If you’re worried that your baggage could become a statistic, here’s what you can do to prevent it.
Here’s the scenario, you’re at the conveyor belt and there are hundreds upon hundreds of bags and cases coming through, they’re all alike, and confusion has set in. What did yours look like again? Was it this one, or maybe that one? Panic.
To help you better identify your baggage and avoid such a fiasco altogether, make your suitcase stand out with a personal touch. Whether you pull a colourful sleeve over it, tie a red ribbon onto the handle, or plaster it with stickers, use any form of customisation that’ll make it easier to spot it on the belt.
Secondly, if you’re into tech you could also invest in a luggage tracker (smart tag, Airtag, etc.). These devices typically utilise technologies like GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi to communicate with your phone to relay its approximate location.
3. Dress ComfortablyIt might seem obvious at first, but the way you are dressed can truly influence your airport experience. You’re going to be doing a lot of standing, walking, queueing, sitting and so on before you can eventually board your flight where you’ll remain seated for at least three hours.
Not to mention, security checks often involve removing clothing items like jackets, hats, scarves and shoes, anyway, so you can help smoothen this process by wearing an outfit that’s ‘easy’. Wear an outfit that doesn’t involve too many layers, the more layers you’ve got to take off the longer it’ll take to get through the security check.
We shouldn’t have to mention this, but just in case there’s any confusion – dress for the weather. You don’t want to arrive at the airport during summer wearing a sweater and sweatpants, right?
4. Are you entertained?Here’s something we don’t often think of – boredom. When there’s hustle and bustle, what is there to do besides keeping yourself occupied with something stimulating? What you might not have known is that boredom and anxiety can often work in tandem.
Being bored is an open invitation for anxiety to swoop in and scramble your plans. Thoughts can easily crawl into your mind as you’re just sitting there, waiting. There are a few countermeasures that can be very helpful in combating boredom.
Keep yourself distracted or entertained by having things like earphones in your pocket to listen to some music, watch a few videos or finally listen to that 3-hour long podcast you've saved to your ‘watch later’ playlist. You could also whip out a book you’ve either brought with you or just bought at the shop.
Pro tip: If you’re going to bring earphones with you make sure it’s the ones that are still attached to an audio jack. It’s one less device you need to worry about keeping charged.
5. Relax and take it easyFinally, and most importantly, stay calm. There’s a lot happening at an airport, which often leads to people being bombarded with stimuli and then overwhelming them. The best thing to do is maintain a level of calmness when going through all the airport checks.
How does one stay calm, you ask? Fortunately, we live in a day and age where there are loads of well-being apps available to download on our phones. You can often find apps that do guided breathing routines or even yoga. One of these apps, WithU, is a must have.
WithU is an audio-guided fitness app that has a wide range of exercising styles for you to choose from. A complimentary WithU membership is redeemable for individuals who’ve purchased their Priority Pass membership at www.prioritypass.com
Music is another ally, especially with a genre that’s generally considered to be relaxing, like classical music. However, listening to a playlist of your favourite songs is ideal. The breathing techniques are also quite helpful since we tend to hyperventilate when we’re panicking which is what you want to avoid. Deep, slow breaths or square breathing is incredibly useful for taking your focus away from the crowds and placing it on yourself.
With all these tools at your disposal, you’re ready to conquer the rush of the airport and look forward to that much-needed holiday destination. If not for the holiday, then at least you’ll be in the best state of mind possible to properly switch off. Join Priority Pass today.