Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

7 min read

After the effects of COVID-19 and recent airport disruptions, planning a holiday can seem a little daunting and the thought of flying might seem like something you want to avoid, but after a lack of travel in the last three years, we think you deserve to get away and enjoy some time with your loved ones. In this guide, we take a look at some of the ways you can make your checking-in process as smooth and simple as possible, so you can avoid the dreaded airport stress.

With recommendations from frequent travellers, keep reading for some great tips that you can implement on your next trip to the airport.

Top tips for a stress-free airport check-in:

  • Complete all paperwork before arriving
  • Weigh your luggage before arriving
  • Plan your airport arrival
  • Get ready for security checks prior
  • Try and pack light where possible
  • Book your travel insurance in advance

Complete all paperwork before arriving

One of the main things to think about when planning your upcoming trip is what paperwork you need to complete before heading to the country you are planning on visiting. Whether they are proof of vaccines, Visa forms, passenger locator forms, or something else, make sure you check the entry requirements of your country before travelling to the airport. Rachel, a keen traveller who blogs about her adventures on her blog Rachel Nicole gave this as a recommendation, commenting below:

“My top tip for a stress-free check-in at the airport is to be prepared. Make you've done the research and know exactly what paperwork is needed, whether you need tests, proof of vaccines, passenger locator forms etc. On a recent trip to the US, I made sure I had everything kept in an easy-to-access folder. Be prepared and check-in online and that way you hopefully bypass a few queues too! I'd also fully recommend purchasing a fast pass for security. Whilst most airports have removed the sale of the fast passes, we got lucky and managed to get it as an add-on with our car parking.”

Paperwork to consider before travelling:

  • Make sure your passport is in date
  • Check if you need proof of vaccines
  • Complete a Visa form if the country you are visiting requires one
  • Complete passenger locator forms if necessary
  • Appropriate medical notes from doctors
  • Details of your onward travel
  • Check-in and print off your boarding pass prior

Weigh your luggage before arriving

As frequent travellers will know, buying extra luggage weight can be expensive, especially if you have to buy it at the airport check-in desk. One of the best tips to avoid this stress is to weigh your luggage before you leave home so you can take away or add clothing appropriately. You can buy luggage weighing scales from Amazon or you can use your bathroom scales carefully to get a rough idea of your baggage weight.

“Weighing your hand and hold luggage before arriving at the airport using a handy set of portable luggage scales could save you an immense amount of hassle at the check-in desk.” Says Michelle from the blog The Scrapbook of Life. She continues:

“Airlines can be sticklers for accuracy when it comes to luggage weight and will often hold you to account for every decimal point you go over. Exceeding your luggage weight allowance can incur extra charges or leave you with your belongings sprawled over the floor at the check-in desk trying to distribute the weight between your hand and hold luggage, and the luggage of your travel companions to avoid fees. Simply weighing your luggage before you arrive can save a lot of stress and packing your luggage scales can help you to avoid this on any return journey.”

If you find your bag is over the limit, it is always cheaper to add more allowance with your airline before heading to the airport rather than at the desk.

Person Pushing Suitcase

Plan your airport arrival

No matter how you’re travelling to the airport, whether that is by car, coach, train, or you’re being dropped off by a friend or family member, it is always worth planning ahead.

If you’re travelling by car, it is worth checking for traffic updates before you start your journey and planning your departure time accordingly. If you’re planning to travel by train or coach, then make sure there are no delays at any stops before yours and always leave with time to spare in case of unexpected delays.

Get ready for security checks prior

Once you have checked into your flight, the next step is to head through security. There are often delays and queues when going through security, due to the nature of the process, but to make your journey through security as simple and stress-free as possible, it is always best to be prepared.

When you’re waiting to be checked, make sure you take off any metal, your belt, and boots if you are wearing them. Remove any jackets or outer layers, take any technology or liquids out of your bag and make sure your liquids are all in a clear bag and under 100ml. Making sure all of these things are done prior will make the process much smoother and quicker for you and for those checking your items.

Person Going Through Security At Airport

Try and pack light where possible

As previously mentioned, luggage can be one of the biggest burdens when travelling, and making sure you pack under your weight limit is one of the main things to think about. Try and pack as light as possible, not only will this make your trip slightly cheaper it will be a lot less stressful. If you’re planning to take hand luggage, try and keep this to a small bag or rucksack so you don’t have to worry about taking a large, heavy bag through security, it also means that if your bag gets searched, it is going to be quicker and less stressful.

If you’re going on a small trip, you may even be able to fit all you need into a small hand luggage bag that can be stored in the cabin. Some airlines now allow you to take 10kg in the cabin, which is plenty of space for a 2 or 3-day trip.

Book your travel insurance in advance

There are always risks that come with travelling abroad, so it is always wise to get travel insurance to cover your trip, this is especially important if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Travel medical insurance is a great way to cover yourself and your holiday should there be any emergencies that may be linked to your medical condition or an event that has been caused by a medical condition you can have peace of mind that you’ll be covered.

Here at Medical Travel Compared, we offer cover for all types of medical conditions, so get in touch or get a quote today and be as prepared for your holiday as you can.

Hopefully, this guide has offered you some tips and tricks to try and avoid airport check-in stresses. For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog.

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