Melbourne Airport (also known as the Tullamarine Airport) is now the second-busiest airport in Australia, with over 30 million travelers every year. The crowds of tourists and business travelers mean that you may be waiting in line for much longer than desired. If you are ready to put the airport hassle behind you, then here’s your guide to 10 easy ways to be more efficient at the Melbourne Airport.
1. Weigh your luggage at home
Every airline has different parameters, so be sure to check your weight allowance before packing. Then, invest in a small travel scale to weigh your luggage at home. This prevents the awkward and stressful experience of unpacking and repacking in front of other travelers at the airport. Bring the travel scale with you so you can weigh your luggage before you come home. You will most likely purchase souvenirs on vacation, so your bag will be heavier on the return flight.
2. Pre-book airport parking
Every year more travelers are traveling through Melbourne Airport, which means that airport parking is increasing in demand. You may find yourself in an endless search for an available spot and wasting precious time before your flight. When you plan a vacation, you reserve your flights, hotels, tours, and car rentals a few months in advance. Why not reserve your airport parking, too? This can save so much time at the airport. Check Melbourne Airport parking for great online deals and to reserve your spot in advance.
3. Download the Melbourne Airport app
Melbourne Airport has its own official app that is a great tool to have when you are traveling. Receive updates and information on your flight, special shopping, and dining deals, and helpful maps to navigate the airport. There is a parking calculator and taxi calculator so you can quickly know how much you can expect to pay for transportation. If you choose to drive to the airport in your car, then you can use the “find my car” feature to always remember where you park. Download the Melbourne Airport App here.
4. Mark your luggage
Most people at the airport are lugging around a black suitcase with nothing to identify it. When you get to baggage claim, you will regret not putting a colorful ribbon or noticeable badge on your suitcase. It’s a pain to chase down a bag on the carousel only to find out it’s not your luggage. Mark your suitcase with something that will catch your eye at the baggage claim, and you will never have to worry about it getting mixed up with someone else’s bag.
5. Bring snacks
It is no secret that food at the airport is always disappointing. Whether it’s a restaurant or grab-and-go, decent food at the airport is hard to find. Many airlines have started charging for snacks on the flight, so unless you want to overpay for bad airplane food, then bring your own snacks, so you have something to eat. And if your flight is delayed, then you won’t start feeling hangry.
6. Know how to pack your carry-on
The security line is where a lot of time can be eaten up before your flight. Streamline the security line process by packing your carry-on luggage the correct way. Get familiar with the 3-1-1 rule for packing liquids. No container may exceed 3.4 oz (100ml), all containers should fit in one quart-sized resealable bag, and the limit is one bag per person. Pack these liquids in an outside pocket for easy access. You will want your chargers in an easy to reach the spot, as well. When you are on the flight, you don’t want to pull everything out of your backpack just to find a charger. Keep them together in an outside pocket so that you never lose them into the backpack abyss.
7. Dress appropriately
Dressing appropriately at the airport means wearing comfortable clothes, bringing layers, and avoiding anything that will set off the metal detector. It’s important to wear layers because you never know the temperature of the plane. You could be freezing or sweltering; it all depends. Layers will help you adjust and keep you comfortable. Avoid wearing jewelry or a belt because these items must be taken off for security. The fewer items you need to worry about, the faster you will get through security. Never forget to wear socks because walking through the security line barefoot is just gross.
8. Check the passport expiration date
Most countries will not allow you to fly with a passport that expires in less than three months. It does not matter if you have a return ticket that shows you exit the country before your passport expires. The best rule of thumb is to always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months before travel. If not, you will run the risk of being denied entry at your destination.
9. Find cheap airport lounges
Many people hear “airport lounge” and automatically think that it must be either expensive or exclusive. While it’s true that some airport lounges operate this way, there are actually many lounges that are very accessible for us lay-people. Some airport lounges have free day-passes or $10 day-passes. Airport lounges usually have showers, reclining chairs with chargers, decent snacks, and free drinks. It’s a great way to refresh and recharge during a long layover. You can check the entrance fees and the location of these lounges on the Melbourne Airport website.
10. Don’t arrive late
This one should be a given, and yet many people are still arriving at the airport with only an hour to spare. You need to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours in advance for domestic flights or 3 hours for international flights. Keep in mind you should be walking into the airport at this time, not just showing up. You need to factor in airport traffic, finding a parking spot, catching a shuttle, and figuring out the correct terminal. Boarding ends 30 minutes before your flight is set to take off, so you do not have as much time as you think you do. If it’s a holiday or peak travel season, give yourself even more time to check bags and go through security.
Do you have any tips for being more efficient at the airport? Let us know in the comments!