Most people hate airports. I practically grew up in them and as such over the years I've cultivated quite the number of tips. Here I'll be sharing them with you so when you're running late to catch that flight for your long-awaited trip to Paris, you'll be stress-free and navigating the airport like a pro.

1. What to wear

If you're wearing the wrong thing it can hold you up for five minutes to an hour or more (depending on how busy the airport is).

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Avoid strappy, hard to put on shoes. Instead, go for an easy slip-on that's comfortable. If your shoe covers your ankle, chances are you'll have to take them off. Avoid lots of metal, in fact, if possible avoid it in general. You'll have to take it off if you can, or you'll have to be patted down when it makes the metal detector go off. That goes for belts, too.

2. Documents ready and waiting

Make sure your boarding pass is printed off or screenshotted on your phone.

Keep your printed boarding pass in your passport, in the page where your photo is. Keep your visas or any other paperwork neatly in a folder where it is secure. This will make it easy for you to hand it over during security checks because they'll be asking to see the pass and photo page anyway. Make sure you keep your documents in an easy to reach but secure place. Don't put it in your back pocket.

3. Easy to reach electronics

Going through security means all electronics and liquids will be going in the plastic bin on the conveyer belt.

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Put all your electronics together if possible, this includes chargers, and place it in an easy to access place in your carry-on or personal item. This will save you from having to hold up the line and take up a huge amount of space to open up your suitcase and rummage through to find your stuff just to have to repack it once you walk through. Also, make sure your phone is charged, the same for your laptop and/or tablet. You should be able to power it on. Take advantage of the plugs throughout the airport to keep your devices from dying. Especially your phone if it's got your boarding pass.

4. If running very late

A quick (and polite) word with airport personnel usually does the trick if you're running very late. Nobody wants you to miss your flight. Well, if you're nice to them, they probably won't. Often times they'll help you skip the security line and try to get you through as quickly and safely as possible. Of course, following the rest of these tips will help you out tremendously on top of that.

5. Carry-on and personal items

Carry-ons and personal items can vary in their allowed size depending on the airline.

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Be sure to check with your airline what the allowed sizes are for each (this can usually be found on their websites). A personal item can be a briefcase or small backpack, so keep that in mind if you're travelling without checked luggage and need to maximize space. Additionally, keep these items securely closed (but not locked) any time that you aren't using it. Be sure to put your liquids in easy access, like your electronics as mentioned above. Additionally, pack an extra change of clothes in your carry-on. Make sure this includes the essentials from underwear to a toothbrush.

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6. Medications

Different countries have different rules for medications. Check with the country you are travelling to that your medication is okay to have; get a note from your doctor if not or just in case. Keep medication in their original packaging and on your person at all time. If you need special medical treatment (such as taking a pill at a certain time and needing water to take it) do not be afraid to tell a flight attendant. They will be more than happy to accommodate you if it is for your health. If it is a child you are travelling with and you know your seats are not next to each other for whatever reason but you know they will need your assistance, alert the flight attendant as soon as possible, or preferably when you are checking in. They can often work with you to help fix the situation.

7. Prep then double check

Always be prepared when before going to the airport. Make sure your documents are in order, your cases weigh what they should, and your ready to go. Before going through airport security, take a moment to stop and pull out your electronics, liquids, take off your belt or anything metal (such as jewelry), and remove your coat. This saves you time so that you don't have to rush when it is your turn, or hold up the line. Once you've gone through security and all that is left is to board the plane, double check that you have everything. It is easy to forget or misplace something, especially when you're focused on getting from point A to point B.

8. Duty-free savvy

If it's your guilty pleasure to buy duty-free, you're not alone. Far from it. However, you may not know that it's less expensive (from five to ten percent) to pre-order online and pick up your duty-free upon arrival at the airport. It's also much faster. Be careful how much you buy because there are limits for duty-free that varies from government to government. Be sure to check before Travel or purchase.

9. Bathroom visits

This tip is for any germaphobe out there. If you need to make a bathroom visit, do so when you immediately get on the plane. Once a plan is deboarded, it is cleaned so the toilets on board will be cleanest at this point and probably cleaner than those in the airport. But make it quick because nobody wants to have take-off delayed.! Additionally, once landed if you need a bathroom visit find the nearest available bathroom and go. Do not wait until you pass through passport control. Airports can be backed up and the last thing you need is to be dancing in line and cursing that last cup of water you had on the flight.

10. Jetlag

If going to a different time-zone, say from New York to Paris, the easiest thing to do to avoid jetlag is sleeping or staying awake on the flight depending on travel time. For example, if you're flying from New York at nine pm, and arrive in Paris at eleven am (Parisian time), then sleeping within a couple of hours of getting on the plane will have your body in rhythm for Parisian time. Or, if you're leaving Budapest, Hungary at ten am to travel to New York, and you're arriving at four pm, you might want to stay awake so your body will get back to New York time. It's all about the time-zones. This means you'll spend less time being tired in your hotel room and more time exploring!

11. Pens

There will be paperwork you'll have to fill out while traveling. It's sort of inevitable. The one you can count on is your customs declaration form. Having a pen in your carry-on or personal item will save you loads of time. This means you can just fill in the paperwork when you get it instead of hoping you can track one down or waiting for someone to finish using theirs. Once the paperwork is done, you'll be ready to go.

12. Navigating airports you don't know

If you're in an airport that you've never been in before, it's understandable that you might not know where to go, especially if it's in a country where you don't speak that language. Following the crowds usually does the trick. At least to find passport control and baggage claim. If in doubt, however, always stop and ask airport personnel. They will be more than happy to help and probably speak some English or can help find you someone that does.

13. Passport control

As with all airport security checks, have your documents ready to simply handover. Be sure to keep your eyes open for signs of where you should go as they often have pictures as well as words. An airport security guard may be there to help guide you. Do not hesitate to ask them for help. Be sure to follow all rules, this includes keeping off your phone. An important thing to keep in mind is that a lot of airports have switched to automated passport control. If you don't know how to work them, again, ask an airport personnel. They usually have the real-person passport control checks as well, so if you do not feel comfortable using the automated ones, go through those if possible. Also, it may be faster to go through the non-automated control as many people chose to go through those and that often leaves the others with a short or vacant line.

14. Baggage claim

Let's face it, unless you've got an incredibly unique suitcase, twenty other people on your flight are going to have similar ones to yours. To differentiate your suitcase by tightly tying a string or ribbon around the handle. Stickers are great as well but be careful as they can wear or peel off. This will make it quick and easy to spot your luggage when you collect it. Additionally, be sure to check what your suitcase looks like before check-in and after. If your luggage has been opened officially, it will have a piece of paper inside to notify you of that. If anything is missing be sure to report it. Also, it is a good idea to keep a business card or folded up piece of paper in your suitcase with your name and phone number on it. This way if it is lost it will be easier to identify who it belongs to and get it to you faster.

15. Connecting flights

If going on a connected flight be sure to double and triple check the time between flights. If you've got a tight layover, then alert your flight attendant before take-off and remind them near landing. They can usually help you get to your destination (or arrange to have someone else help you) faster than if you were on your own. If you do not know the airport, ask them if they can help give you directions and explain the tight layover. They can at least tell you in which direction to start running.

Overall, when in doubt ask airport personnel.

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