Modern air travel has been tweaked to such an extent that, when things are running as they should, it's a streamlined, well-oiled process.
You can check in days before you arrive, breeze through security then spend your time mooching around Duty Free, aimlessly checking the board for your flight.
However, everybody loves a challenge, and if you'd like to boost your adrenaline levels, here are 15 ways of upping the ante and making your flight much, much more difficult.
Pack ten minutes before you have to leave
Do you remember that bit in Mermaids where Cher is in the bath (stay with us) and she decides on her next move by sticking a pin in a map? That'll be you and your luggage, except it won't end as well, there'll be no Bob Hoskins, and you'll leave all the important, holiday-friendly things at home.
Avoid finding out which airport you need
Let's say you arrive at Heathrow, but you need to get to Gatwick. What could possibly get your journey off to a more exciting start than having to race across London with sweat in your eyes and a pounding heart?
Hit heavy traffic en route to the airport
Nothing says 'I like to party on the beach' like a mournful face pressed up against a car window on the M25. You heard it from us; to make your journey that little bit more interesting, set off just as rush hour is hitting, and make sure your petrol tank is in dire need of a refill. Definitely don't book train tickets; trains are notorious for avoiding traffic jams and running pretty much as they should do.
Don't bother checking your passport date
Before booking your trip, check the expiry date on your passport. In general, if it runs out at least six months after the date you're returning to the UK, you can carry on and book your trip without worrying. If the validity is under six months, you might want to consider renewing it.
You can renew or replace your passport at any time. It costs £72.50, or £82.25 through the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send service. You can find out more here. Or, you could not. Why ruin your fun?
Ignore the need for a visa
Visa? Where you're going, you don't need a visa. Except you might do, especially if you're travelling to one of these countries.
Make sure you have a criminal record if you're heading to the States
Guess what Americans love, more than Twinkies and patriotic flags? They just love criminals - especially foreign criminals trying to get into their country. Except they don't.
The US imprisons way more people than any other country on Earth: there are around 760 inmates for every 100,000 citizens. This means that if you have a record, put simply, you're not getting in.
Don't check in online
Because standing in a queue to check your bags in and grab your boarding pass is much, much more fun than doing it in the comfort of your own home. Isn't that your boarding gate closing in five minutes?
Bring an extra suitcase for Duty Free shopping
Oh, this old chestnut. It'll work well, except when it doesn't.
Make yourself ill with a hangover
Because being sick as you're going through security is definitely not embarrassing at all. And those flimsy plastic bags for your toiletries aren't capable of holding much. And now you have to remove your belt and shoes. What a time to be alive!
Don't print your boarding pass
Paper doesn't grow on trees, you know. Plus, who needs a boarding pass? Can't they just look at your passport, or your credit card, or something? What do you mean, no?
Focus on huge bottles of liquids
When you're going through security, cleverly forget to pop your liquids into those transparent plastic bags, and make sure you've packed whopping great economy bottles of water, toner and moisturiser. They will almost definitely not end up in those sad-looking bins, along with other water bottles and a selection of expensive toiletries.
Drink two litres of water in the name of economy
Fine - so you can't take that monster bottle of water on board. But the last laugh is on you, security staff! You see, drinking the whole thing will make you look cool, thrifty, will stick two fingers up to the system and definitely not cause you to have an accident when take off is delayed and you're strapped in.
Treat your passport with causal nonchalance
Because it's just dotting the i's and crossing the t's, surely? Doesn't an EHIC card do the same thing?
Enjoy a swift pint in the airport bar
Our advice? Why stop at one? Keep going until you're on the edge of tears, or ready to engage in a quarrel with a fellow passenger or member of cabin crew. You'll make it to the plane doors and the airline staff will be overjoyed to see you. 'Thank goodness!' they'll think. 'Someone fun to engage with during the 50-minute flight to Paris!'
Bring a novelty lighter or ornament
The staff at security get really bored, so a lighter shaped like a gun or an alarm clock jokingly disguised as a bomb will go down a treat; after all, this is what they've been trained for! You'll make their day and they'll chivvy you through extra quickly as a thank you for livening up their shift.
Image credit: Shutterstock
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