Do you feel that rush of airport anxiety when you are traveling? For many travelers, an airport is a place of excitement and adventure. But for others? It’s a source of immense dread and anxiety. If you’re one of those who get hit with a case of jitters every time you have to make a trip to the airport, this blog post is for you. Let’s talk about how to survive that stressful rush—and come out feeling refreshed and ready for your trip ahead.
What is Airport Anxiety?
We love to travel. Travel preparation is one of the most adrenaline rush thrills that we have. The airport, however, presents a level of stress that is just hard to explain. No matter how often we tell ourselves that we are not in a hurry, rushing, hurrying just to wait, lingers overhead. What are we in a hurry for anyway?
Airport anxiety can be the hurrying feeling, the dread of going through airport security or checking in, checking baggage, or even the fear of flying. Let’s talk about ways to avoid airport stress and the panic attacks that can come with it.
Nothing adds to stress like being rushed or unprepared in a busy place like an airport. Give yourself plenty of time to check in, grab your boarding pass, go through security, and make it to your gate—at least two hours before flight time is recommended. This will give you plenty of time to find your way around the terminal and account for any potential delays or lines at the security gate.
And if you do happen to get there early? Take advantage of it by getting something to eat and drink or relaxing before your flight in the lounge area.
Having all your documents in order can help reduce stress levels at the airport significantly. Make sure all your relevant paperwork (like passport, visa documentation, etc.) is printed off or stored screenshots on your phone ahead of time so things go smoothly when you reach check-in desks or customs agents. You should also keep important items close at hand while traveling—like phones and wallets—as they can be easy targets in busy airports with lots of people milling around.
We use the BEIS Seat Back Organizer for our quick-to-grab items through the airport and keep everything else tucked away so they don’t get in the way.
The most important thing when dealing with airport rush anxiety? Stay calm. Remember that everyone else around you is in the same boat as you—they too probably feel stressed out from running around trying to make their flights on time. So take some deep breaths and remember that everything will work out okay eventually; just focus on where you need to go next and don’t let small issues distract or upset you during this process.
Try this easy meditation before even walking into the airport. It only takes five minutes and it truly helps.
Packing smartly can also help reduce stress at the airport. Start by only bringing what you need and leave unnecessary items at home. Avoiding having to check luggage is the top advice we can give. This removes time-sucking activity from your airport experience, and you avoid fees.
At security checkpoints, take out any liquids, laptops, tablets, etc., out of your bag and place them in appropriate bins before going through screening machines. This will make it easier for TSA agents to inspect your items quickly and allow you to move through the line faster.
If you want the best travel prep list ever, grab it here. We’ve got you!
TSA Sucks, Just Accept It
For some reason, TSA agents are just always in a bad mood. Find one smiling, and you’ll feel really odd because it is a rare sight. If you are in the right headspace, TSA won’t get to you. TSA has its own airport anxiety going on.
Just know that they will probably say something really crappy to you, or rush you through, but know that they were probably bullied in school, or had something terrible happen to them in their careers. This has to be the reason why they went on to be TSA agents. This experience is much like the DMV. Just know, they suck but are necessary to keep us safe.
Sidenote- we often thank the TSA agents for all they do. We don’t get a smile, but we like to think that it gives them a bit of guilt for treating everyone like shit.
Get TSA Precheck
One of the best travel tips we can give you is to get the TSA precheck status. If you travel more than once/a year, it is totally worth it. You will still have to deal with the TSA agents, but things run a lot smoother. You don’t have to remove your shoes or your laptop, and you won’t feel as rushed in that line because things are already smooth, for the most part.
Go Travel Without the Airport Anxiety
Nobody likes dealing with airport rush anxiety—it’s one of the worst parts about traveling. However, by planning ahead, staying organized, and remaining calm throughout the process, it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience.
With these tips in mind, we hope that your next journey through an airport goes smoothly and stress-free. So gear up for success with these tips on how best to deal with Airport Rush Anxiety. Go travel. Travel makes us better humans. Don’t let airport anxiety stop you! Bon voyage!
Frequently Asked Questions | FAQs
No. Just as anxiety isn’t about a negative mindset, neither is airport anxiety. It is real for a lot of people. There are coping mechanisms to help navigate it.
If you have a prescription and have consulted with your doctor about it, there are no laws preventing you from taking medication in an airport. We do recommend you stay alert enough to make flights, connections, etc.
The same rules apply for size and security in TSA pre-check. You usually do not have to take your airplane-size liquids out, though. Airports and TSA often change their rules about what happens regarding taking items out and placing them on the belt to x-ray.