11 Things Ladies Shouldn't Do At The Airport (And 4 That You Should!)

By Alice Teacake

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As I’ve got older, the amount of times I’ve read women’s magazines and tutted with an unpleasant concoction of frustration, disappointment and disdain has steadily increased. You just don’t need that crap in your life.  They make you feel fat, they name and shame your fellow female comrades and they encourage you to spend a hell of a lot of money on stuff to make yourself beautiful in this society, when already, you are totally rocking it girl.

11 Things Ladies Shouldn't Do At The Airport
Womens magazine travel advice

If you do most of these things I'll slap you round the face with a fish out of my handbag

Yesterday, I was pottering around my housemate’s bathroom because hey, she was out and it’s the nicest throne in the house. I came across this article called ‘15 things we only do at airports’. 11 out of the 15 are the worst travel behaviour ever and Glamour rightfully pointed them out! Maybe women’s magazines do know what they’re talking about sometimes! Read on to find out the 11 Things Ladies Shouldn’t Do At The Airport.

11 Things Ladies Shouldn’t Do At The Airport

1) Nope: ‘Spend £120 on Duty Free’

No. Don’t do that. You do not need those cigarettes. You do not need that alcohol. Don’t even think about buying that perfume. Are you crazy? You’re gonna be smelling of street food, sea salt, the forest and fresh air. That’s the only odour you need. Britney and her newest perfume can go take a hike…literally.

2) Nope: ‘Pick up so many beach reads that you have to buy a new bag to carry them in’

If you’re a backpacker, extra unnecessary weight will be a nightmare for you. Too many lovely ladies can overestimate what they actually need and if their backpack is too full, how much they can physically carry. Pack as light as you can. If you’re a chick with a suitcase on wheels, lucky you, but there still might not be a dude there to drag it along cobble stones for you. Use an e-reader or carry one book at a time, buying them second hand in local stores or swapping with fellow travellers to make things easier!

3) Yeah! ‘Have a pint at 8am with a full English breakfast’

You need to do this! I’m British. A pint and a full English breakfast is solid gold to me. If you’re off on your travels and not coming back for some time, you might just want to go out with a bang and eat some seriously good traditional grub because Asians have no idea what an English breakfast is. However, I have found some amazing beer in the Philippines that any English folk will happily get pissed on.

4) Yeah! ‘Study the two-page language section of a guidebook’

Fantastic.  The thought is there but you need to make much more of an effort than just knowing how to ask for beer.  ‘Hello / Please / Thank you / Yes / No / Do you have ………? / Where is the ……..? / How much is it? / Do you speak English?’ are some lovely things to know and the locals will appreciate you for trying.  Say these words with a smile and a kind personality and you’re winning.  If you want to study these languages for free check out: a) Busuu where you can study lots or just do their tailored travel course b) Duolingo for European languages or c) Memrise which is fantastic for visual learners and has more than 200 languages!

5) Nope: ‘Develop an irrational hatred of all parents, small children, large groups and stag dos’

If you’re going to go and travel, you’re going to have to get used to people from all walks of life. You are going to be tested everyday with situations, people and places that make you feel uncomfortable, totally excited, out of your depth or beyond euphoria. You need a calm, flexible and open-minded personality for this so if small children are getting on your nerves before you’ve even left the airport, let’s hope you’ll get better with it during your travels!

6) Nope: ‘Buy miniature versions of every toiletry you’ve ever used’

Come on missy, don’t do that. Buy everything you need when you get to your first destination, when you need it, not all at once. It’s gonna be cheaper and who wants to be carrying round a pharmacy with them?  Boots advantage card points are not the be all and end all. Fact.

7) Yeah! ‘Smile at everyone who is attractive’

Nice! I agree! It’s fantastic advice because if you’re travelling solo, you’re gonna have to have the confidence to put yourself out there and make friends. Make friends with locals and you’ll have a unique travel experience ‘tourists’ will never get. Make friends with other travellers and you’ll be there to support each other, share amazing experiences and learn other cool savvy travelling ideas and tips.

8) Nope: ‘Decide it’s not too late to get a pre-holiday self-tan’

Screw the tan.  It costs money that you could spend on an amazing day out in the Philippines or Thailand instead and you can tell who’s faking it anyway. Just tan the natural way (but even some people can be against that. Teacake found out about Racism in Asia where white = more beautiful in their eyes!

9) Nope: ‘Desperately look for packets of biscuits and muesli bars for the journey’

Nope. That costs money. Bring your own food if you’re taking a long journey and your own water bottle that you can take through security empty. Fill  it up for free on the other side. In fact, food shopping in supermarkets and cooking this stuff yourself in hostels or eating on the street is going to save you heaps of money once you’re travelling. You’re going to get a way more local, authentic experience this way. Teacake has met some amazing people whilst eating on the street.

10) Nope: ‘Feel outraged that you didn’t get an upgrade at check-in’

As long as I get from A to B in one piece alive I couldn’t care less about whether I’m sipping on champagne. Being upgraded is a lovely treat but to be honest, it isn’t the be all and end all. High class certainly doesn’t mean ‘better’ class. Hostels and homestays are going to give you a far more fulfilling experience than a white-walled, 5 star, lonely, sanitised hotel room for example.

11) Nope: ‘Load yourself up with three bikinis, two pairs of sparkly flip flops and a special beach tote’

Save yourself the stress and follow Teacake’s Ultimate Backpacking Packing List and you’ll be travelling light as a feather and free as a bird.

12) Nope: ‘Suddenly realise that you have not bought mosquito repellent, sun cream, medication etc…’

It’s OK, no sweat! Like I said before, you don’t need to get it at the airport, you can easily get hold of stuff at your destination, unless you’re heading for a deserted island (I understand and kind of hope some of you may be!).

13) Nope: ‘Buy a massive tartan tin of shortbread from the tourist shop because you like the tin’ and 15) ‘Get waylaid in Dixons because you’re looking at fancy iPad cases’

I see so many shiny things that I want to buy but you have to keep a clear head.  Do I really need this? How often am I going to use this? Is this worth my travel money? Can I fit this in my backpack? Does Asia do a way cheaper fake version which is just as good? If I desperately want this but can’t fit it in my backpack, do I have the time and money to send it home? Stop and think before you part with your cash.

14) YEAH! ‘Start to think that you will quit your job’

Hurrah! You go girl! Do it! Glamour magazine got another thing right (about time) and I’m living proof that leaving your job to Teach English Abroad is one of the best things you can do to travel and see the world!

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11 Things Ladies Shouldn't Do At The Airport


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About Alice Teacake

I'm a feminist British kickass solo female traveller who believes in women facing their fears, pushing their boundaries and reaching their full potential through solo adventure travel! I have been featured in Nat Geo Traveller UK, Lonely Planet, the Daily Mail and Buzzfeed and spoken about solo female travel safety on BBC One, whilst working with a bunch of awesome brands. Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

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11 Things Ladies Shouldn’t Do At The Airport (And 4 That You Should!)

  • Hi Alice! If you don’t mind, I have one to add:

    Yeah! Be kind to your airline employees. In fact, make some conversation, with no gain in mind! :)

    As a former 20-something year old gate agent for a major airline, I can attest that many of the people behind the counter at airports (of all ages!) have similar mindsets to you . We’re in that biz for FREE AIR TRAVEL (perhaps the holy grail of jobs for traveling). And our job becomes rather pooey when we have to stomp on your travel plans by telling you, “your flight’s been delayed”, ” sorry, ma’am, but you have to pay for that bag”, “all we have are middle seats”, or the worst…..”I’m afraid it’s been canceled”. Sighhhhhh. It’s not always possible to pull strings, make exceptions, or bend rules. Airlines have an intense chain of command. The bosses are like strict, overbearing, penny pinching parents. Someone pays for every dollar daddy doesn’t get. So when your gate agent is talking to you like a robot, chances are, they probably really ARE sorry, even if they don’t look it. Remember, they’ve probably just kissed 600 other peoples butts during their shift.
    Finally, the passengers who ask for hand-outs are the ones that irk employees and as common as the cold. I always remembered the passengers who struck up genuine small-talk or conversation with me. The people who were interested in digging out the strange, somewhat-crazy traveler girl underneath the suit. (Or at least had a smile on their face.) And then, I’d do whatever I could to pamper and treat them right where it was possible! <3 ^+^

    Ps: Alice, I'm a teacher in Busan currently. I just heard about your blog last night from Tim Sinnett. You're killin' it girl! Thanks for the entertainment and advice!

    1. Awesome to get a gate agent’s point of view! I hear you girl! It’s a tough job you had there. So happy you’re in Busan and teaching though! That’s totally rad. I miss Korea EVERY DAY and it’s so lovely to hear you’re a friend of Tim. Enjoy your time there and you never know, I might see you there soon :)

  • BAHAHAHAHAHAHA this is the funniest woman’s magazine article! Nice find! I would agree with the beer part though. Hey, when you want a beer, you want a beer! #7 made me chuckle. People are more likely to smile at attractive people in airports? Maybe after that 8am beer… Thanks Alice for such an awesome post! xx <3

  • Gosh..i haven’t read ladies magazines for ages! Maybe ten years already and for similar reasons that you have
    Anyway, most of the things that mentioned are certainly not my activities in the airport and I think I traveled quite frequently