Whether you’re kickstarting your vacation or braving the plane home, flying can be one of the most stressful experiences a holidaymaker can face. Add in luggage, kids and connections, and you can find yourself overwhelmed with frustrations that take the fun out of flying.

And with Los Angeles ranking as the most stressful city in the US, LA International Airport might be one of the worst places for a stress-prone traveler to lose their cool. If that sounds like you, check out these four tips to keep your blood pressure down and your patience in check!

  1. Leave yourself plenty of time

Ok, this is an easy one. After all, challenges like getting to the airport, making your way through security, and herding all members of your family/work conference/bachelor party can take more time than expected.

And if you’ve never flown via LAX before, it’s easy to underestimate just how long it can take to get around – in fact, it takes the best part of an hour to reach some terminals from the airport entrance, even via shuttle-bus.

Managing your time is a pretty useful tip for any long journey, but if you’re looking to plan ahead for your LAX flight, here’s a helpful guide to help you plan your way around.

  1. Get to know the airport

Again, this might not seem specific to LAX, but it’s one place where you should really check out the options before you fly. Never underestimate the value of some retail therapy and a bite to eat if you’re looking to calm your pre-flight jitters.

LAX is home to a number of fabulous restaurants, including the Petrossian, where travelers can stop by for caviar and champagne. But if you prefer something less fancy but downright delicious, burger joint Cassell’s offers a great selection of classic American hamburgers.

And for shopping opportunities, Tom Bradley International Terminal hosts an impressive selection of duty-free stores and designer brands like Burberry, Hugo Boss and Gucci.

  1. Take the car

When you’re flying out from LAX, you might be tempted to take public transport.

But in fact, there’s plenty of options if you decide you’d rather take the car. With your own vehicle, you’re in complete control, and can make sure you leave yourself enough time to check out any of the restaurants mentioned above.

  1. Take advantage of the PUP program.

When you hear the acronym P.U.P., you’re probably thinking about dogs.

And in this case, you’d be exactly right. LAX is home to the Pets Unstressing Passengers program, which allows nervous passengers to go and spend time with a therapy dog before flying out.

If you’re a dog lover, or you’re travelling with someone who is, this is an experience not to be missed. What could be better than a canine cuddle to calm your pre-flight nerves?

Follow these four stress-free tips and your next LAX flight will be completely chilled out – you can thank us later!