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Great Tips to Get Through the O'Hare Airport

Traveling can be rough for anyone, even for a seasoned travel veteran. Having to go through all the miniscule things in order to get to your desired destination is a hassle. Waiting for your bags in baggage claim, navigating through a long and winding gargantuan airport, or going through the trouble of finding an available plug to charge your cell phone, or, god forbid, a flight delay are all a headache. However, there are easy ways to make traveling easier so you can get where you need to go in your van rental faster. O’Hare International Airport  in Chicago is one of busiest, but with a good plan, you can get to where you need to be and have time for some well deserved leisure time before the real work starts.

The fastest and easiest way through an airport like O’Hare is to have a game plan. So it’s always good to think of a plan ahead of time.

Here are some things to consider:

  • How long will you be staying in the area? This will be the biggest determining factor in your travel budget
  • How many people are going on this trip? You’ll need to factor in travel costs as well as accommodations for multiple people.

  • Where will you be staying? Prioritize whether you’d like scenic accommodations downtown or a convenient, accessible mid-price hotel a bit further out.

A reservation for a van rental from O’Hare makes things easier. Plus, renting a vehicle is helpful if you have a lot of luggage or you’re traveling through O’Hare with a big group or family. It also helps to have a checklist of travel essentials ready to make sure you’re packing smartly and efficiently. Not only will you have room for all your things, you won’t forget anything at home. If you’re traveling as a group, a comfortable van will make your ride to wherever your destination may be a lot more comfortable. Best of all, when you land to the airport with a reservation, you’ll be able to breeze through and go to your destination quickly! And when you’re traveling home after your journey, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the area, so you remember how to get back to the O’Hare Airport.

Relax and Recharge

So, what if you’ve just landed at O’Hare after a long flight on an empty stomach? Luckily, there are plenty of spots to eat some great, delicious food before you pick up your van rental and head towards your next destination. Not only can you fill up, but you can do so with many healthy, organic options with food  from the airports non-soil organic garden -- yes, O’hare airport has a an airport garden, which is the first of its kind!

Not only can you get delicious meal, but going to an airport restaurant is perfect for hooking up your phone and computer to the much-needed outlets to charge up your batteries that way you don’t have to battle it out in the Terminal seating area. Or, if you need to send a couple of urgent emails before you hit the road, a restaurant is a great place to connect to the airport WIFI. The WIFI is only free for 30 minutes, so it’s best to send those emails real quick, unless you need more time, you’ll have to pay up $6.95 for every hour.

Before you drive your  van rental away from O’Hare. There are a number of eateries to choose from. Tortas Frontera is the number one pick and a must go to restaurant in the airport. Thankfully the O'Hare airport offers a plethora of food options. You can go to Wolfgang Puck’s for some great traditional American cuisine. If you need a drink, Goose Island’s airport bar is a great place to kick back by yourself or with a group of colleagues and have some tasty micro brews. They have some refreshingly bold IPA’s on tap to ease you from your long trip (located in Terminals 2 and 3). If you’d prefer a nice glass of wine instead, stroll by the Beaudevin Wine Bar to sip some fine reds, whites, and sparkling options. If you want an authentic Chicago-style  hot dog, look no further and head over to America’s Dog.

Not only can you get delicious meal, but going to an airport restaurant is perfect for hooking up your phone and computer to the much-needed outlets to charge up your batteries that way you don’t have to battle it out in the Terminal seating area. Or, if you need to send a couple of urgent emails before you hit the road, a restaurant is a great place to connect to the airport WIFI. The WIFI is only free for 30 minutes, so it’s best to send those emails real quick, unless you need more time, you’ll have to pay up $6.95 for every hour.

Check Out The Airport Lounge

If you need to stay at the airport terminal because of a delayed flight or connecting, or if you’re waiting for your van rental to arrive at O’Hare, you can purchase passes for the private lounges that are located throughout airport. The lounges feature  amenities and extras that make the purchase worthwhile, with unlimited WIFI access, relaxed seating areas, complimentary snacks and bar drinks, and access to a customer service rep to rebook without having to wait in the long lines in the concourses. The Admiral’s Club lounge is located in Terminal 3 and can provide you with beer, wine, spirits, coffee, light snacks, WIFI, and access to customer service. The Flagship Lounge, which is located in Terminal 3, ups the ante a bit and offers complimentary champagne and a buffet. The Delta Sky Club which is also located in Terminal 3,offers the same amenities as the Flagship Lounge. However, this is only reserved for Delta passengers.

Medical Assistance

If you’re feeling a little under the weather but don’t require emergency services accessible with your rental van from O’Hare, you can go to the airport’s various medical kiosks that are located throughout the each terminal. Additionally, there is an Urgent Care Clinic in Terminal 2 and kiosks run by The University of Illinois at Terminals 1-3.

Find A Hotel

If you’re looking for a place to stay, there are plenty of great quality hotels nearby and around the airport. If you have luxurious tastes, you can drive your rental van from O’Hare to the luxurious Waldorf Astoria. If you’re more focused on work or day-to-day activities while you travel, you can choose from a number of high-quality, mid-tier hotels that offer a wide range of amenities at affordable prices. In the immediate area, there are hotels such as the A-loft Hotel, the Marriott, the Hyatt Regency, the Crowne Plaza, and the Westin.

Go Shopping

Did you forget to pack your ties or favorite pair of shoes? Not to worry! O’Hare has a variety of retail stores that are sure to have just what you’re looking for. You can shop at the ritzy Armani boutique, the sophisticated Michael Kors, or you can purchase a new bag at Coach. And if you need a watch, why not check out Swatch. If you forgot your makeup bag at home, not to worry! There is also a MAC cosmetics outlet located in Terminal 2. You can also find a handful of duty-free shops located throughout the O’Hare Airport for any other tax-free gifts. With so many places to shop, the airport does a great job at conveniently layout out each outlet, so you won’t waste time between browsing shops and driving away in your van rental from O’Hare.

Check Out O’Hare Airport’s Hydroponic Garden

If you want to get some travel pictures to show your colleagues and friends, you can find plenty of picture-worthy material before you even leave the airport! Be sure to stop by the O’Hare Airport garden. This majestic hydroponic garden is soil-free, and is suspended in columns. With over 1000 types of plants in 26 columns, you can snap some great pictures of an unprecedented work of art and architecture. And like we mentioned earlier, this is the same organic garden used by the airport restaurants, so you know it’s fresh!

You can also catch a glimpse of O’Hares beautiful public art. The most famous piece at O’Hare is "The Sky's the Limit," by Michael Hayden, which is a mile-long neon light sculpture which sprawls all the way from concourses B to C in Terminal 1. You can also find plenty of dinosaurs, painted glass sculptures and giant beacons that make the artsy lineup at O'Hare International Airport, all which are great for pictures or just contemplating art for art's sake. Don’t forget to post those pictures Snapchat or instagram!

Check Out The Sites Around Town

If you’re all set-up to go and have no need to stay at the airport, there are plenty of places to go near and around the O’Hare. Drive your van rental to the Montrose Room, a snazzy jazz bar located right next to the airport. The Montrose Room is a great place to a unwind, catch some smooth jazz and maybe grab a cocktail. If the airport stores didn’t have what you need, there is an outlet mall located just outside the airport featuring more than 100 stores, so you can find what you need at reasonable price.

If you’re headed downtown, be sure to check out the 24.5 acre Millennium Park located in the heart of Chicago. This sprawling green space was once a public eyesore: a dilapidated industrial zone. But with funding and a vision to transform the space into a public square with a concert venue, the design by Frank Gehry helped turn this park into a world class space where visitors and locals alike can relax and enjoy the pleasant lush scenery and even catch a concert! Millennium Park has a huge assortment of venues and spaces for wedding, parties, and even corporate events. The central location of Millennium park makes it an easy drive from O’Hare in your rental van or coming into town in a taxi, so you can impress your clients with an easy to get to party on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, or at the Rooftop Terrace where you can enjoy its breathtaking skyline views.

If you have time to go see the sights and sounds of downtown Chicago, you definitely should! Why not check out the downtown area and go see the iconic Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower Skydeck) and see the gargantuan, sprawling metropolis from up a high, or go to Wrigley Field and catch a baseball game or take a tour of the facility, you can also head to the many art museums and get cultured, or finally check out that German U-Boat at the Museum of Science and Industry. Yes! They have a old WWII submarine on display in Chicago. If you are feeling adventurous, you can travel to town in your van rental from O’Hare and get lost in the local scene and see what Chicago is really all about.

Most travelers expect airports to be stressful and boring. But when you plan out your trip ahead of time and take the time to see what a bustling airport like O’Hare has to offer, you can spend more time exploring and less time stressing.

If you’d like to learn more about our van rentals or if you’d like to make a reservation, contact us today by calling 877-826-4680, or visit our reservations page.

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