Stranded At The Airport


Whether it’s caused by mother nature or an equipment glitch, being delayed or stranded at the airport is never pleasurable.  Unfortunately, with the amount of travelers on flights every day and planes flying at capacity, it’s likely you will experience an unforeseen events at some point and with the current COVID-19 situation affecting us all.

Traveling is my favorite activity. 

But I totally understand why some people hate it — especially air travel. The cancellations, the delays, the crowds, the headaches; when it doesn’t go smoothly, it can be pretty miserable. 

You never know when travel misfortune will strike, and if the issue leaves several flights grounded, chances are hotels in the area book up fast. So if you find yourself stuck in an airport for an extended period of time, maybe what I learned from my three-day experience can help.

The ability to get some restful sleep on the go in places like airports and bus stations might make or break a trip when the unexpected happens. Before your next extended layover, here are a few tips to keep in mind to survive a night in the airport.


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Lower your expectations.

Make your goal to just be as relaxed as you
can be, and sleep will likely follow. If not, even the restful, quiet time will
help you recharge.


Remember to stretch first – and last.

Fellow travelers might raise an eyebrow,
but you’ll feel more comfortable after stretching.


Pamper yourself with a few comfort items.

Have your toothbrush and toothpaste handy,
as well as a travel size bottle of your daily moisturizer or lotion. Keeping
some of your routine intact will give you a sense of control over the
situation, which is important for your peace of mind as well as your ability to
achieve meaningful rest.


Carry a spare t-shirt, socks and underwear
with you.

Carry extra under garments and a soft
exercise shirt in case you get stuck sleeping somewhere. It’s as close to
pajamas as you may get and an easy way to tell your brain that it’s bedtime.


Prepare to keep warm.

Carry a small pair of gloves and a light
stocking cap. They come in handy during cold nighttime flights and are worth
their weight in gold when the air conditioning has you shivering.

Bring your ear plugs.

Standard foam ear plugs will suffice,
although silicone ones can be cleaned easier. You don’t need much protection –
just enough to lower the volume of that overhead speaker.


The jacket of all trades

Keep a lightweight, insulated jacket in
your luggage year-round. You can drape it over yourself like a blanket and a
hood can help block out harsh airport light. Large pockets are perfect for
securing valuables on your person while you snooze and you can stuff the jacket
into its own sleeve for a crude pillow.


Make your bed and lie in it.

Consider a small air mattress, travel
pillow, or a sleeping bag. These are especially relevant internationally.


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