10 Tips To Help You Navigate An Airport By Yourself

10 Tips To Help You Navigate An Airport By Yourself

Some tips that may help make your travels a little easier!

I've had the opportunity to travel a lot since last July. I’ve done more traveling this year than I have within the last six years combined, and it has been a hell of a lot of fun learning how to travel on my own. My parents always emphasized the importance of travel so my siblings and I could see how people live in other parts of the world. Further, they always said hard work warrants time to relax and recharge in the form of vacation and travel. As my siblings and I grew older, and expenses and schedules grew tighter and fuller, our traveling as a family hasn’t been as often as we all may like it to be. Nonetheless, as I’ve grown older, I’ve begun traveling a lot on my own, and financing a lot of my own trips.

Most of the time, I am traveling to visit my boyfriend who is serving in the army. But recently, I’ve also been traveling a lot for school and dance. Since the New Year, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit my boyfriend three times! Two of these three trips has basically forced me to learn how to navigate airports by myself since I always travel to see him alone. I live in New Jersey, and it is more convenient to fly out of Newark International Airport (EWR), and if you know NJ airports, EWR is HUGE. One of these trips I even had to drive myself there, park, take the air train to the terminal, and then proceed to find the correct security level for the airline, and find my gate. It was really nerve wracking at first, but since I’ve done this journey to see him a few times now, I think I’ve finally nailed navigating the airport by myself.

If you are someone who longs to travel, chances are you will have to learn how to navigate an airport by yourself at some point. Here are 10 tips on how to navigate an airport by yourself!

1. Print your boarding pass out at home the night before.

Almost all airlines have online check-in so you don’t have to spend time at the check-in kiosks at the airport printing your boarding pass. It saves a lot of time depending on what time of the day and time of the month/year you are traveling!

2. If you are driving yourself to the airport, read the highway signs.

They are all clearly marked and labeled, but the roadways may be confusing, especially if you aren’t familiar with them yet. This is probably not a good time to be jamming to Meghan Trainor – lower the volume and focus on the signs!

3. At least in the case of Newark airport, and Atlanta airport, the air train/air shuttle only has a time gap of about 1-3 minutes.

If you miss one shuttle, there is probably another one coming shortly after. Don’t panic (unless you’re flight is late and you’re left sprinting through Atlanta airport trying to find your connecting flight’s gate, not understanding the terminals aren’t connected, and you HAVE to take a train/shuttle).

4. All major airports do not have connecting terminals.

Sometimes connecting flights are late, and that 4 hour layover you thought you had just turned into a mad dash to your next gate (see #3). Also take note that not all airports will call their “air train” an “air train” – read the signs inside the terminals carefully!

5. It will help if you read the TSA guidelines for the specific airline you are traveling on before you travel.

If you’re like me and only travel with carry-ons, different airlines have different regulations for carry-on size. If you’re bringing a carry-on, also be wary of the amount of liquids in your bag, and electronics.

6. Once you make it to security, make sure you have your boarding pass and state-issued I.D. out.

This will be marked, but do it as quickly as you can so you don’t hold up the line. Security lines can be very time consuming if you’re not prepared.

7. After you’re through security, grab your belongings and make sure you have everything. Then follow the signs (again, reading them carefully) to your appropriate gate.

8. The last four flight’s I’ve been on have been delayed in some way. Check the big monitors posted throughout the airport terminals.

You can locate your flight, check to see if the flight is on time, and see if your gate changed. Definitely do this because just recently, the flight I was on changed gates at the last minute because the plane was having major maintenance issues!

9. Be cautious with who you interact with, but also be open to friendly conversations!

I’ve had some great conversations with some people I’ve met at my airport gate. On the other hand, I’ve also met some creepy people, so be aware of your surroundings. On my last flight, I met a woman who was in her mid-thirties and from Trinidad, and we chatted the entire hour and a half long ride to our destination. She had traveled all over the world, and it was so fun exchanging travel stories with someone who was as cultured as she was.

10. Arrive early, breathe, and get excited!

Part of the adventure of traveling by yourself is the stress that comes along with it. Don’t look at flight delays or travel obstacles as joy-killers. It is part of the experience!

Cover Image Credit: Julia O'Brien

Popular Right Now

I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Everyone Should Visit NYC Once In Their Lifetime

Alicia Keys said it best, the streets will make you feel brand new and you will leave feeling more inspired than ever before.


For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to live in New York City. I've been to a lot of places and this one is by far my favorite of them all.

Not only does this city have the ability to make me feel so incredibly alive, but every single time I have visited, I have left ready to conquer anything and everything that comes my way.

There is just something about the bright lights, busy streets, and hustle of this city that is unbelievably inspiring and admirable to me. It really is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.

A trip to New York City is always a good idea, and you will never run out of things to do and see. So if you aren't quite convinced you want to see The Big Apple for yourself yet, here are a couple of reasons why you should.

#1 The Buildings.

It wouldn't be NYC without the buildings after all. The architecture is, to put it lightly, f***ing amazing. The linear streets, mix between old and new designs, and all of the unique colors and lights are beautiful beyond belief and pictures don't do them enough justice.

#2 The Culture.

Known as the melting pot of the world, the city is so beautifully diverse compared to the rest of the country and it's incredible to be able to see all of the cultural differences all throughout one city.

#3 The Food.

Two words: Pizza and Bagels. I can not stress this enough, EAT ALL OF THE PIZZA AND BAGELS! I literally think I could live off of those two things. Another good thing about New York is that you can eat for super cheap if you are on a budget, because theres guaranteed to be a pizza place on every block with $1 slices and food vendors lined up on the sidewalks with hot dogs and pretzels.

#4 The Entertainment. 

Broadway shows, Off Broadway, Concerts, Comedy, Art, you name it and it's there. Anything you could ever want to do, you can do in this city. One of my favorite shows I've been to was the Blue Man Group. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants, and I liked it so much I even went back for a second time!

No matter who you are or what you like to do, this city has something to offer you! I truly believe that everyone needs to experience this city at least once in their lifetime. So start planning, save up, and go explore! And if you end up hating it....at least you can get pizza for a dollar a slice.

Related Content

Facebook Comments