Is it just us, or does it always seem as soon as the airline staff announces that boarding has begun for a flight, there’s instantly a mad dash to the gate and a line of passengers that grows by the second?

Some passengers are always certain that their section has been called to board (when it has not), while others are not even sure that they are at the right gate, let alone the right airport, as they analyze their boarding passes like an IRS tax return.

With all the chaos going on around you, it’s easy to feel like you, too, need to hurry to get on the plane or triple check your boarding pass. But remember, you most likely have a reserved seat, so what’s the rush? And, yes, you are most likely at the right gate and airport today for your flight – hold on, let us check your boarding pass again …

Going to an airport can already be a stressful process, but there are a few little things you can do to ease your mind and make your time at the airport more enjoyable, and, dare we say, even relaxing.

  • Check in online

    Secure your spot ahead of time to make sure you don’t get stuck in the dreaded middle seat, or right by the bathroom (unless that’s your preference).

    Online check-in usually begins 24 hours before your flight and is a great chance for you to map out your seat to avoid unpleasant seating surprises. Be wary of any additional fees that could come along with selecting your own seat, though (unless you are feeling splurgy and are ready to fork over the extra cash for the coveted exit row seat)!

  • Get to your gate early

    Even if nothing is going on yet, it’s a good idea to stop by your gate after you make it through security. This gives you the chance to get familiar with what shops and food places are nearby and confirm your gate has not been changed at the last minute. You can still wander off to get some food or drinks after, but checking in at your gate can give you an idea of what to expect like if your flight is delayed or you can ask the staff questions (free upgrade, please) before the gate gets overwhelmed with people.

  • Board your plane last

    As we said, you have an assigned seat on the flight that no one can take. There are always fellow passengers trying to sneak in before they’re allowed to board, so let them scramble on and get settled before you get on the plane. Boarding last saves you the frustration of having to get up and down for your seatmates, waiting in the aisle while overhead bins are being filled, and sitting in an area with pretty tight leg space. Give yourself some time to relax in your terminal rather than subjecting yourself to more time stuck in your seat.

  • Ship your luggage before you go

    Imagine not having to worry about toting your carry-on around the airport? Or not having to pay hefty airline baggage fees for your checked luggage ($30 + for first bag, one way)? LugLess can definitely help you out with your carry on and checked luggage. If you ship your luggage before you head to the airport, you can save money and avoid the hassle of having to watch and lift your bags everywhere you go (it’s kind of like having extra kids traveling with you that demand to be carried through the airport). Not to mention, you won’t have to battle fellow travelers for that sacred overhead luggage space when you get on the plane.

Remember sitting in your own chair at the gate and taking your time is far more comfortable. And you have plenty of time to triple check that you’re in the right spot.