I have been traveling a lot this year and I think I have been to different airports more than 10 times already. With that experience, I have already gotten used to a routine that works for me. I’d like to share it here because I know this can be a helpful airport routine not just for me but especially for first time travelers.

Read: How to go to The Victoria Peak in Hong Kong for the best view of the city

1. When putting your documents in your bag, make sure they’re easy to reach. You will always be asked for your passport so place it where it is convenient for you to get it. Same goes with a copy of your itinerary, hotel reservations, COE, etc (just in case immigration asks you). Aside from your travel documents, bring a book so you have something to read while waiting. I love bringing my Lonely Planet because it tells me a lot about my destination.

2. Be in the airport an hour before the check-in counter opens. Some check-in counters open an hour before the flight, others 2-4 hours. Getting there early allows you to properly weigh your luggage (if you think it is more than the allowable weight, you still have time to put it on your carry on, leave the things you don’t really need, etc), make sure everything is locked, find your assigned check-in counter, and be ahead in the queue (TIP: if you are the first ones to check-in they can be lenient with the weight of your luggage).

3. So you’ve checked-in already and you have plenty of time to spare. What I do is I find where my boarding gate is first, once I know where it is, I check out the food options and buy food. I prefer eating in the airport because there’s more options than in the plane. Take note that some budget airlines don’t have the boarding gate on your boarding pass, you will have to check it for yourself in the screens around the airport. And even if it has, always listen to the announcements because sometimes it changes.

Do you find yourself always buying expensive bottled water in the airport or plane? If yes, bring an empty bottle so once it goes through the machine, they won’t ask you to throw it away. Just fill your bottle from the drinking water fountains that you can find in the airport before you board the plane.

4. Once I’m done eating, I walk towards my boarding gate and find a nice seat to read my book, check emails, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

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I get hungry easily, so I make sure I bring a snack with me or a bar of chocolate. My current favourite is this organic chocolate, CACAO Reishi Raw Chocolate from Anything But Salads. Visit their website to know why this is healthier than your regular commercial chocolate.

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5. Use the toilets before boarding the plane especially if you have been drinking lots of water or soda. Then after a few minutes, boarding will commence. Once they announce it, people will stand up and queue. I wait for a couple of minutes before I do, when they start moving and walking to the plane that’s when I stand up. People in the queue usually stand for a while so its better waiting comfortably. Besides, you wont have to worry about losing a seat in the plane.

This routine allows me to have a stress-free travel. I’ve seen a lot of people always rushing and running around the airport and even causing delay to their respective flights. Don’t be that person. Whether you are traveling for leisure or work purposes, it is always nice to have everything in your own pace.

How about you, what’s your airport routine?