Top tips for a smooth and pleasant airport experience

Whether travelling for business or pleasure, many people wouldn't hesitate to say that their time spent at the airport is the worst part of the trip.

With these top tips you can get your journey off to a fantastic start.

1. Leave plenty of time and do your research

The worst case scenario for not leaving to get to the airport early enough is that you miss your flight, whereas if you leave ‘too much' time you might just get a little bored - it's easy to see which option is preferable. Besides, if you follow the rest of these tips, you shouldn't get bored anyway.

Spend a few minutes doing some research before your trip, make sure you know which terminal you need to get to and how long your journey should take.

Airport departure lounge

2. Online check-in

You can easily save yourself time by checking in online up to 24 hours before your flight takes off. Simple, yet effective.

3 Use meet and greet parking

Having to find a parking space that seems like it's miles from a terminal and then wait for shuttle buses while hauling your luggage will leave you frustrated and sweaty before you've even taken a step inside the airport. Use a meet and greet service and you can drop off your car much closer to the departures entrance.

4 Stay the night

If you have an early flight why wake up at a ridiculously early time when you can stay right next to the airport at a hotel? You'll be able to shower, have breakfast, and generally take it easy, rather than trying to make sure you've got all your documents when you're still half asleep at 3am.

5 Prepare for security

By now everyone should be well aware of the new security rules surrounding things like gels and liquids. Prepare for the security checks by making sure such items are not in quantities of more than 100ml and are in appropriately sized (1 litre) re-sealable transparent bags. Make these the last things you pack, so that you can access them easily, you will need to take them out of your hand luggage when you go through security. The same goes for laptops, which need to be screened separately, and anything else that might look suspicious when going through a scanner.

6 Dress for security

When you go through security you may be asked to take of shoes, belts, and jewellery. Wearing slip on shoes and as little jewellery as possible is one way to make sure you don't have to feel flustered before getting on your flight.

7 Keep yourself entertained

Whether you prefer to listen to music, play video games or read a book, bring something to keep yourself entertained. Charge any electronic items the night before to make sure you don't run out of power.

8 Relax in an airport lounge

How many times have you had trouble finding enough seats in an airport departure area to fit you and your fellow travellers? You can take the stress out of busy airports by taking advantage of the exclusive lounges found at most airport terminals that offer things like free wifi, plug points and complementary drinks. If you book in advance you can get great deals on access to these lounges, which make waiting for your flight a real pleasure.

9 Take advantage of duty free shopping

If you're travelling outside the EU you can take advantage of some really great prices on things like alcohol, cigarettes, perfume and cosmetics. If you can leave your bags with someone (don't leave them unattended) you'll find the experience much more enjoyable!

10 Relax and keep a positive state of mind

If you try to enjoy yourself you're much more likely to actually enjoy yourself. Why not treat yourself to a meal or a drink before take-off?