Top Tips for a better Easter trip experience revisited

This time last year, we provided you with ideas how you can make your Easter break more pleasurable. This year we want to see what has changed in the 12 months and review our then given expert advice. The key two sentences definitely still hold true: Airports across the globe will be filled with eager travellers. Many of the airports will reach or even exceed their capacity resulting in long queues and departure delays. This year there’s one more element beside under-capacity: strikes. As reported in our weekly news round-up on Sunday, Stansted airport’s baggage handlers are threatening with strikes over Easter. This is a guarantee for additional stress at the airport. But don’t panic, we’re here to help!

This is what we wrote last year and you find this years comments in brackets:

First of all, stay calm at all times (still true!). Yes, this is easier written than done, but it’s the key to getting through the airport in the best possible way. There are, however, a few tricks you can apply to keep yourself calm: Play a little game. When you are with someone else at the airport and are queuing for check-in, try 2 different queues and have a bet among each other who’s quickest. Or try this: one queues and the other has got, say, 3 minutes to find a specific object mentioned by the other and take a photo of it on their phone. And so on, you got the idea! (We still like this game, maybe you can put a 2012 spin on it and use your fancy new iPad to play the game) If you are alone in the queue, however, fear not, there are always people around you in similar circumstances. Get over your shyness and speak to the person in front of you. You never know where it can lead to! At the very minimum a few minutes go past quickly (otherwise, refer back to the iPad and play that new Angry Birds Space game.

So now you are checked in and are waiting in the departure lounge for your delayed flight. Again, there are tons of things for you to do! First of all, check our site and see if we’ve written about the specific airport you are travelling through. If so, then follow our recommendations and you’ll have a lot of fun! Otherwise, there are always a few general things you can do. Again, it’s play time!

  1. Play the Flacon game
    Go to the duty free shop and find the best and the most hideous looking perfume bottle (flacon; yes, that’s still what it’s called) and see if the look corresponds with the smell – we’ve played this game a while back at London’s Stansted airport, read it here. (We still like this, the only thing that’s changed are the flacons. So you could even compare it with last years results if you played it then!)
  2. Play the Magazine game
    Every airport has a newsagent. Go there and browse through the available magazines. Depending on the country, magazines have a lot of physical extras added to “help” you choose them. Find the one with the most ridiculous extra and buy it! Then judge on the content. If magazines don’t have any extras, find the one with the most appealing content on a particular page – e.g. page 23 -, then buy that one and see if the rest is as good. (Okay, what is a paper magazine you may ask. Yeah, yeah. Maybe this one is getting a bit outdated, but trust us, these things still exist and it’s actually a lot of fun browsing through them. Just be careful of any paper cuts ;-))
  3. Play the Exercise game
    This one is for active people: If there are two or more of you, challenge your “opponents” to a race. You start in the middle of the terminal and each of you chooses an opposite corner. You then see who can reach the corner and get back the quickest. You might have to add a ‘no running rule’ as otherwise it might be too dangerous. (Yep, still good, especially when you want to get rid of those Lindt chocolate bunny calories…)
  4. Play the Airline game
    Since you’re at an airport, there’s a chance airplanes are quite close by. Find a good viewing position and try to guess which one is leaving the gates next. Or play the “I spy” game with someone else. This surely brings hours of fun, especially with kids! (You’re in luck if you’re at Zurich airport where you can play with the augmented reality gear as reported here).
  5. Play the Disguise game
    Imagination is a wonderful thing. This little game will test you and your imagination. Think of a specific persona – let’s say you imagine you are famous TV presenter from a different country. Walk through the airport like you are that person. Enter shops and inquire about products with giving away little hints about who you are; e.g. in an accessories shop you look for a special tie for your next TV appearance or in the duty free you ask the shop assistant which of the sunglasses are best to wear in front of cameras, etc. You can be as flamboyant or as harmless as you want, one thing is guaranteed, you will see the airport in a very different view! (We dare anyone to play this properly and report any fun stories to us!)
  6. Play the invention game
    You probably guessed it, here you invent your very own airport game. Possibilities are endless. Why don’t you think of one, try it out and write us what you came up with and how it worked out? (Yep, any suggestions are – as always – most welcome!)

Have a great, fun Easter and travel safely! (…and strike free, hopefully!)

[Picture from Flickr – Some rights reserved by .imelda]

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