14 Airport Hacks to make Travelling Easier

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

This post is sponsored by Brisbane Airport

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. This is the biggest holiday we have been on as a family, the longest holiday we have been on was 4 nights, so this one is all new to us.  With this holiday, we have to make friends with the airport as I feel we are going to be spending quite a bit of time in them over the next few weeks. Especially as we need to check in 3 hours before for international flights, stopping over in Hawaii for 6 hours and then flying into Las Vegas. First cab off the rank was Brisbane Airport – and we learnt lots from the experience.

Are you travelling in the near future too?  I’ve put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

I truly needed this holiday.  I feel this year has been action packed with running my kids around to sport and now the twins are working that gives mum’s taxi a whole new dynamic. The blog has been keeping me very busy and I’ve also been there supporting my hubby Scotty and friends.  I’m ready for this break, but I needed to make sure I had everything done before we headed off so I could just switch off and enjoy every moment without worrying about things back home. Taking into consideration we left 2 days after the kids finished school and we arrive home the night before Christmas Eve I had to truly think ahead, I am absolutely living up to my title of The Organised Housewife, before the 1st of December I:

  • Finished all my Christmas Gift Shopping (I did it all online this year, saved so much time)
  • Finished all my Christmas Food Shopping (I put my hand up for non-perishables and a Turduken I could put in the freezer).
  • Ordered and received the kids 2018 book supplies (all I’ll need to do is label)
  • Mostly packed for the holiday
  • Emptied the fridge of all perishable food and ate anything from the pantry in an open packet
  • Done my online grocery order to arrive Christmas Eve so I don’t have to go to the shops
  • Prepared all the blog posts for December (truly helped me get into the Christmas spirit early)
  • Wrote a detailed house/pet sitter list for my friend that is looking after our furbabies.
  • Hopefully, I haven’t forgotten anything!?

And whilst also thinking ahead, we arrive home at 9.30pm Christmas Eve, I thought by the time we get through customs and being on such a long flight, I already know our backs are going to be very sore and from past experience I am in no shape to drive after such long flights. In the interest of our safety I booked a transfer service to take us to the airport and home again. So, from the moment we leave home we will all officially be in holiday mode!!

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

We travelled from the Brisbane International Terminal, which looked a little different from the last time we were there. The terminal’s had a $45million facelift in 2015, showcasing some gorgeous artisan furniture made from local tuff stone and spotted gum timber. 

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

Now I certainly don’t call myself a pro at travelling, but I am a very Organised Mum and want to ensure I don’t forget a thing and make the most of the time waiting around in the airport. These Airport Hacks that I picked up when flying out of Brisbane Airport will help make your next travelling adventure that little bit easier, especially if you’re flying out of Brisbane too.

#1 Don’t hurt your back

I am still a spring chicken but there are days I feel like my back maybe 60.  If you’re carrying multiple bags use the free-of-charge luggage trolleys at the International Terminal, don’t try and be a super human!

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#2 Make your laptop easily accessible

I’m a blogger, my laptop goes everywhere with me!  Yep, you’ve got it, at the time of writing this it was 11pm on our flight out of Brisbane and I was typing up this post!!  Airport security like you to remove your laptop from your bag to scan it separately.  Make it easily accessible so that you can quickly take it out of your bag and not holding up any queue. If you don’t have one, you can buy one at the Gadget Shop, before security which will save you the headache of unpacking your entire hand luggage to get it out.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#3 Fill up your water after security

You can’t take bottles filled with water through security. I often wondered why and found out, it’s because it’s hard to tell the difference between water and liquids that can be used for explosives. Brisbane Airport has heaps of filtered water stations, including smaller ones for accessible passengers and little kids. You’ll find them near the loos and scattered near the gates once you’ve passed security. Alternatively, at Newslink stores past security you can pick up big bottles to keep yourself hydrated all flight.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#4 Do your gift shopping

I don’t know about you but I tend to overpack when travelling. I think I have done it again this time. So if you’re visiting friends and relatives for Christmas, grab some pressies from the stores at the Airport to save the extra luggage. There are books, perfume, clothes, lollies and abundance of alcohol. Don’t forget to buy a little gift for yourself too.  JR Duty Free’s “Fly.Buy.Collect is a great way to get organised with your duty free shopping. Not only does it guarantee your purchases, but you don’t have to carry them on your trip and you can find some great savings online.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#5 Order your currency to pick up at the airport

Get organised and save yourself a trip to the bank by ordering your currency direct at the airport. For our trip we needed US dollars – and with a simple phone ahead to Travelex we could pick them up at the Airport in the time for our flight! 

#6 Eating before flight

You have to be super early for international flights, with all the waiting around it’s easy to get hungry quickly.  Dine at a bistro for a nutritious lunch or dinner, opposed to something quick from a vending machine, which might not fill you up. When you are making your meal choice think about your body and the foods that it can tolerate so you don’t have an upset stomach while flying.  For this reason, I like to keep my meals light on the plane. We dined at Windmill & Co at Brisbane International Airport, they have a selection of beverages, breakfast, salads, share plates and pizzas, a meal to suit any time of day. We went with a light bruschetta, caesar salad and the boys had burgers. The fit-out resembles a modern café, not something you’d usually expect in an airport, inspired by one of Queensland’s oldest buildings, Spring Hill’s Old Windmill, built in 1828.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#7 Take advantage of the Free Wifi

Brisbane Airport offer free wifi in all areas of the International Terminal and in the central area of the Domestic Terminal. Take the time to check in on your social media, the latest news or check your emails. Brisbane Airport has high-speed Wi-Fi for your device so you can watch a movie or download music (there is a download limit of 500MB). It’s super easy to connect to, my kids were connected moments after we stepped into the airport.  The best signal is in the food court, each user has 8 hours free wifi (crazy awesome if you have to be at the airport that long).

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#8 Wrap your luggage with some ribbon or fabric

This tip helps you when you are picking up your bags when you reach your destination.  To make your suitcase easily identifiable it’s ideal to buy a suitcase with a uniquely bright print, but if yours is one of the common colours, black, white or red, wrap some fabric around a handle to make it super easy to find your suitcase amongst a sea of other similar coloured cases if you’ve forgotten, Carry-on before security has a range of luggage tags for this hack.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#9 Wander around to stretch your back

You’re going to be sitting for so many hours to come, take a wander to get some movement in your back.  While we were walking around we found this super fun selfie booth, the girls emailed me a few pictures! It’s there all Christmas – so give it a go and send someone a laugh with an ‘elfie’.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

And as girls like to do we wandered into some shops.  Good thing as I needed some new mascara and hadn’t made it to shops to pick some up before we left. Shops like JR/Duty Free have all the major cosmetic brands for any last minute essentials if you’ve forgotten – and there’s also Benefit and MAC in the middle of the terminal.  It was good to see what makeup my girls were looking at, as they’re at the ages now to start wearing makeup.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#10 Bring a power board

While we have power I want to give the devices a top up of charge before getting on the plane so we have full battery to watch the Netflix shows we downloaded, some airlines don’t have USB ports to charge during the flight!  Brisbane Airport have many charging stations around the terminals, I take my power board as we have quite a few devices.  I also pack portable battery chargers for a top up of battery life during our travels and to ensure I have enough power on my phone when we land.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#11 Charge your device with the Chargebikes

How awesome is this, combining the tips I mentioned about stretching your back and charging devices together in one?  Brisbane International Terminal have free bike riding stations that help you generate enough power to charge your phone before a flight. If you want to use pedal power to charge up before the flight, you’ll find the bikes located on Level 4 before security.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#12 Visit the Premium Lounge and Spa

I haven’t earnt enough frequent flyer points for our family to access airport lounges yet, but I have learnt that at Brisbane Airport you can pay-per-use for passengers wishing to access lounge and spa facilities. Spa facilities at the airport? Hello! Visit the Plaza Premium Wellness Spa for a pamper session, anything from express 15-minute hand and foot therapies through to 1-hour body massage.  Now I thought to organise transport to the airport was luxurious, this is taking the start of a holiday to a whole new level and I think this would be a wonderful way to pass the time and ease the tension all the holiday preparations may have caused – and start your holiday in the means you wish to carry on! We hung out at the Premium Lounge while waiting for our flight. You’ll find the Lounges on Level 4, after security if travelling through Brisbane Airport.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#13 Hand sanitise frequently

The last thing you want to do is pick up a bug and not be able to enjoy your holiday. To help prevent you from getting sick while travelling make sure you have some hand sanitiser in your hand luggage. If you’ve forgotten, you can pick up pharmacy essentials at the airport too.

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

#14 Start a new holiday tradition

My hubby has a little tradition, he purchases a new book at the airport every time we go away. Something new for a forced time out, to relax and read during his travels to take him off devices!  Airports always have great books, including newest releases. At Brisbane Airport, the best selection is at Newslink which is located both before and after security. Is it time for a new tradition too?

Last weekend, we set off on our big American Holiday adventure. We are going to be spending quite a bit of time in airports over the next few weeks. I have put together a list of Airport hacks to help you in your travels and make the most of the time you have sitting around waiting for your next plane, I hope these airport tips make travelling easier for you and your family.

What is your top Airport Hack?

This post is run in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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24 comments

Sharyn December 12, 2017 - 5:56 AM

this is great i like the tradition at the end i think this is a great idea to start a new book. i always want to but forget to buy books before the flight.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 14, 2017 - 9:43 AM

It’s a great way to fill in abit of time too if you have to wait around. They have such a great selection

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Rose December 12, 2017 - 7:21 AM

I hope youre enjoying your amazing family vacay. Loved your tips, thank you for sharing. Was wondering how you download shows from your Netflix to watch offline? My husband is a TV tragic so this could entertain him on our 20 hours of flying next month. TIA.
.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 14, 2017 - 9:45 AM

Hhmm wasn’t exactly sure but just googled this question and this is what I found: Downloading TV shows and movies on Netflix. You can download select TV shows and movies to watch without an internet connection from the Netflix app on Apple iOS or Android mobile devices and computers or tablets running Windows 10. … An internet connection* An active Netflix streaming account.

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Michelle B December 16, 2017 - 2:55 PM

When you look up a show or a movie on Netflix (or Stan) on your iPad it MAY have an arrow pointing downward … indicating you can download it.

We use it heaps for travel.

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Mandy December 12, 2017 - 11:52 AM

For the US I packed light and knowing I would bring half of Disneyland back with me I double pack my luggage (one inside the other). Also I brought 2 US adaptor for Australia knowing they were different plus my power board from home.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 14, 2017 - 9:46 AM

That’s a great tip Mandy. There are so many gorgeous things to buy at Disneyland, I’m sure it would be easy to fill another suitcase

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Sammie December 12, 2017 - 4:34 PM

I pack healthy snacks to eat at the airport and in flight, and take a super light, fold away backpack to put them in. I also chuck in all my on board flight essentials like my book, USB lead and sanitiser etc, that way I can have everything I need for my long haul flight to hand without having to keep going in the overhead locker!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 14, 2017 - 9:47 AM

Great tip Sammie. There are so many options at the Airport for snacks as well so it’s great to know if you want something light and healthy, you will still have plenty of choice

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Charlotte December 12, 2017 - 5:03 PM

What car service to Brisbane Airport did you use? We just moved to the Gold Coast and with our bags a few weeks ago when we went to USA we couldn’t all fit in the car with luggage so two cars in valet for 2 weeks $$$ and annoying, the pram bag takes my whole boot and it’s a Q7!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 14, 2017 - 9:48 AM

We actually booked a transfer as we will be getting home late and I already know that I will be too exhausted to drive home

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 15, 2018 - 7:54 AM

Charlotte I”m so sorry I just read your comment again and realised you were asking which service we used. We used Black Bow Chaufeur from Gold Coast to Brisbane Airport, we had 5 of us and 6 bags there and 7 back. I’m not great with car names, but I’m sure the first one was a Mercedes 7 seater people mover van and we had plenty of room, the van home was slightly smaller, but was an 8 seater and again fit all the bags in well. We told them how many bags and people we had so that they could send suitale transport, I highly recommend them they were very lovely drivers and made the beginning and end of our holiday a treat.

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Julia K December 12, 2017 - 8:30 PM

We went on a family vacation to Thailand a couple of years ago and I got into the habit of taking a photo of my 3 children each morning. God forbid, if anyone got lost, at least I had a current photo of them with what they were wearing that day – an absolute Godsend in a panicked situation with a language barrier to boot. Thankfully, we never needed to use those photos, but it’s a great hack that could be invaluable if you ever had the misfortune to need it…

Another hack when travelling with children is to make one parent the “communicator” and one parent the “supervisor”. What that means is that in any situation where you need to communicate (with cab drivers, hotel staff, asking directions – whatever) have one parent whose focus is to ask the questions and listen to the answers while the other parent is concentrating on the children and their needs. Such a simple idea but so effective, and removes the “but I thought You were watching them” scenarios.

These are not my original ideas, but ones I picked up when researching traveling overseas with children a few years ago. Hoping it helps other parents…

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 14, 2017 - 9:50 AM

Thank you Julia. These are fantastic suggestions and I am sure parents with your children will also find this very useful.

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Nicole December 13, 2017 - 9:55 AM

Great tips! We are travelling too and one thing I did before we checked in at the airport was to take photos of each piece of luggage (similar to Julia K’s suggestion of photos of the kids), that way if any luggage went missing we could show a photo of what it looked like rather than just a description like “a big black bag”.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 14, 2017 - 9:51 AM

Yeah I had never thought of that. Love the idea also

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Maria December 14, 2017 - 1:16 PM

We went to the US for 3 weeks last year and i packed healthy snacks for my 4 year old and a spare change of clothes just in case we have any kind of accident, you just never know! all the prep work i did prior to the trip paid off as we had the smoothest trip and like Kat, had a woollies delivery scheduled for the afternoon when we returned.
Also, just a tip, be very careful with the free public wi-fi, its an open invitation to those that want to get into your devise and get up to mischief, honestly, free wi-fi is not worth it from a security point of view.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 18, 2017 - 8:55 AM

Great Maria. Glad your organisation paid off and helped you enjoy your holiday also.

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MIchael Frigger December 18, 2017 - 2:16 PM

The fabric wrap is a great tip! I have an unbelievably common suitcase and am always getting in mixed up at least once or twice while waiting for it on the conveyor belt at the airport 😛

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 20, 2017 - 9:55 AM

Glad to help Michael. It’s such an easy thing to do and will save so much time when trying to find your luggage.

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Julie Gr March 12, 2018 - 5:32 PM

Download the airline apps before you go to the airport as you may need then to access the in flight entertainment system.

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Amy March 12, 2018 - 6:50 PM

Pack some antibacterial wipes in your carry on
When you get into your seat the first thing you should do is wipe down the tray table area. It is not cleaned often and can be the most germ filled part of your trip.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 13, 2018 - 9:01 AM

Great idea. I felt that the airport was lovely and clean but I also understand that there is a lot of people going through each day. Great way to prevent the spread of germs

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Jenelle March 20, 2019 - 5:59 PM

I tried to download the Inflight entertainment app at the airport, but didn’t have enough time or speed (both) to complete. I have since downloaded Inflight Entertainment apps from home, before leaving.

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