If you’ve ever traveled through a busy international airport you know how stressful it can be. From intimidating airport security staff members to delayed or canceled flights, there are a number of things that contribute to the madness that is traveling by air. With that in mind we’ve put together this genius airport hacks to ensure that your next journey will be smooth and stress-free.

Wear your heavier items

While there are restrictions on how much your luggage can weigh, there aren’t weight restrictions on passengers. To avoid overweight baggage, always wear your heaviest items like thick winter jackets and heavy boots. If your bags are still overweight, layer up! Wear as many items as you can when going through security and fill up your pockets with additional heavy items if needed. Once you’re in the terminal, simply pack everything back in your hand luggage.

Bring an empty water bottle

Don’t forget that you can’t bring liquids exceeding 100ml onto the plane. To avoid being thirsty on in the terminal (and on the flight itself) bring your own water bottle and fill it up at a water fountain or airport bathroom.

Get compensated for canceled flights

There’s nothing more stressful than a canceled flight, but perhaps knowing you may be entitled to £510 cash compensation will make the situation a little less stressful! Under EU law, airlines must provide compensation when a flight is canceled under certain circumstances. Contact a company like AirHelp to find out whether you qualify for compensation.

Pack an international adaptor

While most airports have charging stations, they may not be located at your gate. Always pack an international multi-plug adapter so that you can charge your devices anywhere in the airport.

When in doubt, choose the queue on the left

Studies show that people are naturally biased towards their dominant hand. As most people are right-handed, the right-hand line at airport security is often the busiest. If you’re in a rush or simply don’t feel like waiting in line, always choose the line on the left.

Check-in at the desk directly next to the business and first-class counters

Because there are fewer business and first-class passengers on board, their designated check-in counter is often free. When this happens, airport staff will serve customers from the queue directly next to it, so stand in this line if you want to check-in quickly.

Keep your in-flight essentials in a smaller laptop bag or handbag

Your hand luggage bag must be stowed in the overhead locker, which makes it difficult to access during the flight. However, you are allowed to keep smaller backpacks and bags under the seat in front of you. For this reason, it’s advised to store your in-flight essentials such as your water bottle, books, charging cables and jumper in a smaller bag so that you can easily access your belongings during the flight.

Be prepared for lost luggage

As if super short layovers aren’t stressful enough, they sometimes result in check-in baggage being left behind! For this reason, always pack your essential items and several changes of clothing in your hand luggage. Don’t worry, airlines are usually able to send your lost baggage on the next available flight, but depending on where you’re flying to this could only be in a couple of days!