Airport relationship status: It's complicated

  Photo by  Augusto Navarro

I feel like I'm forgetting something. I'm at the airport on my way back to NYC, and something's missing. It's not my ID or headphones. You know what? It's airport-induced anxiety. 

Airports haven't improved over the last few years, but my relationship with them has. This subtle perspective shift, from trying to change the stressor to changing your relationship with the stressor, will be a recurring theme in the RYC playbook.

The next time you're traveling by plane, try these three tips to change your airport relationship status from "It's complicated" to "It's all good."

1. Arrive early  

This is the easiest, most effective fix. It leaves you in control of your travel itinerary even if the traffic or trains to the airport conspire against you. 

2. Make your mantra "after you"

Because you arrived early, you don't have to rush. Even better, you can step aside and let the ones who are in a hurry run right past you. 

3. Plan how you want to spend your time

Note to parents: I admit, if you're traveling with children, this might not apply until the little ones fall asleep (fingers crossed). 

I used to get stressed just thinking about how bored I'd be. Waiting to check in, waiting to take off, waiting to land. But then I realized boredom is a choice. Travel time is free time. When else do you have a few hours to do what you want? These days I like to travel with a good audiobook. Inevitably I find myself wishing my flight was a little longer so I could finish it. 

Here are a few more ways to beat the airport blues:

  • Whisk through security with TSA Pre
  • Organize your itineraries and get travel alerts with TripIt
  • Skip the US Customs line when re-entering the country with Mobile Pass
  • Take charge with your own portable battery charger (I use this one)
  • Consider booking your travel with a credit card that gives you priority boarding and free checked baggage