Gatwick Airport Travel Tips

It’s less than three weeks until the school holidays when many of us will be flying out of Gatwick for a welcome break.

If you’re heading to Gatwick soon check out our top tips to help you get through the airport quickly and stress free.

Before you leave home

  • Make sure you have all your travel documentation – passports, visas and tickets – packed in your hand luggage
  • Double check you have not packed any banned items in your hand luggage, such as liquids of more than 100ml or sharp objects like scissors and tweezers
  • Make sure you are comfortably dressed, wearing layers if you can in case you are hot one moment and cold the next
  • If you live close to the airport you might want to consider pre-check in – this service allows you to check-in for your flight the day before. Only one member of the travelling group needs to check-in on behalf of all travellers and you can drop off your luggage too. This means that when you arrive at the airport for your flight you go straight through to security as you have already been issued with your boarding passes
  • If you’re travelling with children then make sure you have packed plenty of snacks and entertainment for them - it’s a long time from when they get up until when you arrive at your destination and they are likely to get hungry. They're certain to get bored so pack iPods loaded with their favourite TV shows and films, pack books, colouring pads and some travel-sized games.

Getting to Gatwick

  • Always plan your journey so you arrive in plenty of time – 2 hours before a short-haul flight and 3 hours before a long-haul flight
  • If you are driving to the airport, check the travel reports for any accidents or delays
  • If you are travelling by public transport, check there have been no problems on the train or bus routes
  • If you are parking at the airport, consider booking Gatwick meet and greet parking which means you don’t have to park away from the airport, and then getting a bus back - instead your car is taken to be parked by a driver you meet right outside the airport.

At Gatwick

  • Never leave your baggage unattended, and never agree to look after a stranger’s baggage either
  • Don’t forget to keep looking at the departure board for details of when your flight is ready for boarding and which gate number you will be departing from as Gatwick doesn't make flight announcements. Don't forget, at some airports the gates can take as long as 30 minutes to reach.


  • Be sure to stay well hydrated during the flight by drinking plenty of water – try to avoid too much caffeine and alcohol
  • If you’re travelling long haul, try to get up and stretch your legs to avoid DVT – also try stretching your legs and wriggling your ankles under the seat in front of you. DVT exercises include raising your heels off the floor stretching your calves. Then reversing this by lifting up just your toes.