If you have ever flown out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) before, then you will know that it can be a stressful experience. This is mostly due to the airport’s sheer size and the number of passengers it accommodates every single day.

LAX is the 5th busiest airport on the planet and boasts a total of nine terminals in order to cope with the sheer volume of people – well over 70 million passengers fly into or out of LAX each year.

If you will soon be joining their ranks, here are some top tips for what to do before flying out of LAX to ensure you have as pleasant and hassle-free journey as possible.

Pack With Care

Careful packing of your luggage is essential for a straightforward trip through the corridors of LAX. This is not only to ensure that you are not lugging around bags filled with too many possessions for your own good, but is a guideline to help you get through security without any problems.

An overfilled bag can make it harder for the airport’s scanners to assess its contents, which could make it more likely that your bag will be searched. If this happens, it’s undeniably going to be a hassle to have to unpack and re-pack your bag – particularly if you have a long line of people waiting behind you, checking their watches and tutting at your inept packing methods.

You also need to pack carefully when it comes to the kinds of items you choose to bring with you. For safety reasons, any liquids or gels have to be stored in containers of no more than 3.4 quarts in size, and these containers must be individually kept in clear zip-lock bags.

Arrange Your Parking

Parking at LAX can best be described as a challenge, as the airport’s carpark is situated a long way from the terminals.

As a result, it’s much easier if you pre-arrange an airport parking service with the help of Parkway Parking; not only will you be sure that your car is kept in a safe and secure location, but you will also benefit from a convenient airport shuttle service.

Absorb Some Aviation History

If you are interested in the fascinating history and development of aviation – including not just the evolution of the airplane, but of space travel too – then before you depart from LAX you should be sure to head to the Imperial Terminal.

There you will find the Flight Path Museum and Learning Center, packed with intriguing exhibits that include a plethora of artifacts and scale models that shed light on the history of commercial aviation. There is also a Space Exploration Exhibit where you can learn about mankind’s obsession with plumbing the depths of the universe and the fascinating worlds that lie beyond our stratosphere.

If you have plenty of time to kill before your flight, you may also like to pull up a chair in the museum’s Aviation Library and peruse its extensive selection of tomes about both aerospace and aviation.

Fuel Up Before You Fly

If you have a long flight ahead, then you may want to enjoy a hearty meal before take-off, especially if you’re not partial to airline food.

Fortunately for fast-food lovers, there is an In-N-Out Burger joint located conveniently close to the airport, where you can feast on burgers and fries while watching airplanes glide overhead. It may not be the healthiest of pre-flight meals but it’s sure to fill you up and provide you with the fuel you need to make your trip.

Arrive Earlier Than You Think

One of the best pieces of advice any LAX passenger can receive is to arrive with plenty of time to spare – ideally three hours in advance of your departure time.

Arriving this early will give you plenty of time to check-in your luggage, make your way through security, and find your gate. It will also leave you plenty of leeway should anything go wrong; if you get held up in traffic on the way to the airport, for example.

Stay Calm

Flying can be a daunting experience at the best of times, but when you’re flying out of a massive and very busy airport it can be even more unnerving. If you’re an anxious flyer and you find yourself getting overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle that characterizes LAX, try out some different tried-and-tested coping mechanisms to help you calm down.

These could include listening to a guided meditation or a soothing podcast on your phone; trying some deep breathing exercises to steady your heart rate; immersing yourself in a favorite novel; or using some grounding techniques, such as carrying out a body scan, or squeezing a special stone, item of jewellery, or a stress ball.

See What The Airport Has To Offer

Once you’ve made it through security, you probably have some time to kill before your flight. Why not put it to good use and take advantage of some of the amenities LAX has to offer?

For instance, if you’re feeling peckish, you can choose from a wide range of eateries catering to every possible preference. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can enjoy a donut or two from Dunkin’ Donuts, or head to Pinkberry for a frozen yogurt garnished with your favorite toppings.

For something a little more savory, sample some Asian Street Eats or pick up a filling sandwich at the aptly named Earl Of Sandwich. Meanwhile, caffeine junkies will be able to satisfy their craving for more coffee with a latte or an espresso from Starbucks.

LAX is also home to a range of shops, lounges, and duty-free stores where you can pick up souvenirs for your loved ones, or simply enjoy some soothing pre-flight retail therapy.

While you’re in the airport, you should also explore its various art exhibits and installations which have been created as a result of the LA Art Program. Not only can you admire the airport’s permanent exhibits but you may also get to experience vibrant performing arts sessions. These rich performances reflect the city’s diverse array of cultures and provide a wonderful way to say goodbye to LA before you jet off to your next destination.