Summer is fast approaching and along with the warm sunshine, the cold drinks, and barbeque also come vacation plans for many of us. While road trips are fun or so I have heard, I like flying to my destination. In my opinion, there is something special about driving up to an airport that doesn’t match the excitement of a road trip.
Come summer time, airports get busier than usual. The check-in line extends out as long as the one when the first In-N-Out Burger opened up here in Dallas. The security line is loaded with a fair bit of tension…take off my shoes? Not if you’re 12 and under. Take your jacket off? Not if you’re 65 and older. “Laptops need to be taken out please!” Somehow even the “please” doesn’t hide the fact that you have just been given an order!
I find it best to travel really light and with just a personal carry on. Life is so much easier for the 20 minutes that you have to spend going through check-in and security (DFW International airport has spoilt me! I realize that it is much longer at other airports.) The excitement, nervousness, and anxiety of getting past these gates is enough for me to head to the nearest bar to relax before getting on a flight.
Once past check-in and security, I enjoy walking around the airport to look at the stores and checking out the eateries. More than the obvious though, my favorite thing is to people-watch. I like to sit down in a spot from where I can watch the pedestrian traffic and look at all the different travelers. Have you ever caught yourself observing fellow passengers and wonder what their story is? Like why is a certain passenger walking the length of an airport in such high heels when clearly they were meant for a night out?! Or why is someone dressed to the nines, hat and all? Where are they planning to go straight from a flight? My favorite though are the moms traveling with their precious cargo. I am a mom of 2 amazing kiddos myself and have been lucky that they have been great travelers. I try to analyze those ‘calm’ moms who seem to have it together with kids less than 5 years of age (that’s my cut-off after which I believe kids travel better). I watch intently as to what they are doing right (read brilliantly) to have their children stay calm and composed and sometimes even enjoy being at the airport. Some airports are definitely kid friendly (like the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam) but a lot of them aren’t yet.
Another interesting observation is the variety of books I see people reading. Next to a library or a book store, watching people with their different reading material is a great place to add to your reading list!
Traveling can be a source of stress, especially the packing and unpacking but the airport experience definitely makes it worth the effort.
What are some of your fun airport experiences/observations? Do you have a favorite airport that makes your airport experience enjoyable?