(credit: Thinkstock)

The holidays are trying time for most. Stress over getting the perfect gift and battling traffic and pushy crowds have become a normal for many. Take travel stress off of that list. The Cleveland Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the state of Ohio. Combine that with the fact that the holidays are the most traveled time of the year, there are sure to be back-ups and slow moving lines. Planning an out-of-town family gathering should be exciting. To help ensure safe travels, follow these guidelines and suggestions to help ensure happy holidays.

Cleveland Airport
5300 Riverside Drive
Cleveland, OH 44135
(216) 265-6000

1. Be prepared for anything.

Cleveland weather is unpredictable during the winter months. Days prior to leaving, watch the weather forecast to plan your route to the airport. If the weather prediction is for rain or snow, consider leaving earlier than planned. The standard suggestion is to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled flight. That’s arrive, not leave home. An early arrival will ensure smooth sailing through the ticket center, security and the designated concourse.

Related: Alma’s Simple Homemade Holiday Gifts

Massage Bar 
5300 Riverside Drive
Cleveland, Ohio 44135

2. Be patient, courteous and relax.

Airports are crowded with people rushing to make their next flight or trying to reroute. Security may hold someone back or take extra time for examination, or bad weather may delay or cancel flights. These are things that are out of your control. Remember, everyone has the same goal; to get somewhere safely. When things are not going as planned, because of some sort of delay, be patient, stay calm and anticipate the enjoyment of the expected destination. Oh, and if you need help relaxing, visit the Massage Bar at gates A2, B4, C3 and D6.

Airport Police Department
5300 Riverside Drive
Cleveland, OH 44135
(216) 265-6055

3.  Know the airport layout and security restrictions and requirements. Click here for a terminal map.

In addition to planning your path throughout the airport, make sure to prepare for security scrutiny. When packing your luggage and deciding carry-ons, check the restriction list and security procedures to make sure there are no problems. The list includes restricted items such as, liquid products, sharp items and bottles of shampoo. The security procedures include tasks such as removing shoes, belts, jackets and hats prior to going through the metal detector. Yes, it is burdensome, but necessary. Being prepared gives you the opportunity to take advantage of everything from airport shopping to the airport’s traveler services.

Airport Fast Park
18899 Snow Road
Brook Park, OH 44142
(216) 265-0500

4.  Decide parking preference. Click here for pricing.

Parking at an airport is always tricky. If you’re parking at the airport, there are three lots: economy, long-term and short-term parking. For questions regarding airport parking, contact (216) 267-5030. For alternative parking, shuttle services and off-site parking facilities are available. Airport Fast Park is a parking shuttle service with a low daily parking rate that also offers shuttle service to and from the airport. Reservations are recommended for the holiday season.

Related: The Best Scenic Drive Within 60 Miles of Cleveland

I-tech Xperience
5300 Riverside Drive
Cleveland, OH 44135

5. Download helpful phone applications.

Cell phones have made a huge stride in making apps that are perfect for traveling. Not only does the airport offer the latest cell phones and accessories at its I-tech Xperience, it also solves problems with computers or other electronics. Visit at gate C2. Here is a list of some apps that are a must for any destination:

  • Trip Advisor (hotel, restaurants, things to do in the area, flights)
  • Bagcheckr (helps organize your packing)
  • AAA (road maps, car rentals, gps, roadside assistance, discounts)
  • My Travel Log (log your vacation/travel memories)
  • The Weather Channel (current weather updates and alerts)
  • Vintage Cam (take great creative photos to share instantly with Facebook friends)
  • Kindle (relax with a great book)
Danielle Coots has been writing since 1996. She has published short stories and articles in many publications. Danielle loves being active in the community and providing quality information regarding current and upcoming events in the Cleveland area. She will be covering topics of travel & outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.