Imagine this - it’s finally the end of your vacation, and you’re ready (or not ready) to leave. You arrive at the airport earlier than anticipated and the gate agent even gives you a little wiggle room for your slightly overweight check-in! Going through customs was a breeze - everything smooth sailing. It’s going to be a long flight so you just want to catch a few Z’s, and the last thing you’re thinking of is your next connecting flight home. Waking up to the familiar “ding” of the seatbelt light and announcement for the flight descending, you know the longest leg of your travels is almost done!
You endure a bumpy landing and finally get off the plane… Only to find out that your next flight is delayed due to bad weather, and eventually cancelled altogether and you’re booked for a flight on the next day. Now what?
Trust us when we say this happens far too often than not, and it’s definitely not a pleasant experience. Here’s a mini survival guide to prepare you for these situations and make the experience a bit more bearable!
1. Stay informed
Having a vague idea of the hotels and restaurants around all the airports you’ll be travelling to will keep you at ease if you ever end up having to wait until the next day for a flight. Also briefly research how to get to these places, as many hotels offer free shuttle buses from the airport.
Yelp!, Google Maps, and Trip advisor are great resources to find reviews of places so that you can make an informed decision on where to go. Also check out Instagram locations and YouTube for photos and videos of places you’re planning to visit!
2. Stay adventurous
Having to stay overnight in a foreign city isn’t always so bad - you can think of it as some bonus time to explore a new city! If you have more than enough time, it’s always worth stepping out to do a mini excursion. We find Trip Advisor has some pretty good tips on things to do locally, and signing up for an AirBnB experience to tour the city is always fun. If you don’t have time to leave the airport, it’s always fun to check out what the airport has to offer. It’s worth it to pay a little extra for the lounge so that you can have access to their amenities to get yourself freshened up (yay, showers! Food!). If your layover happens to be in Singapore, we’d say you hit the jackpot for things to do at the Changi Airport ;)
3. Stay juiced
There’s nothing worse than your phone running out of power while you’re in an unfamiliar place. Most airports have outlets available for travellers (wall and USB), so always keep a wall charger and (charged) battery pack* in your carry-on when you travel so you won’t have to worry about your phone dying! Also, if you can, keep your phone charging on the flight to extend its usage time!
*Pick one that has at least 10000mAh capacity and output of 2.1A so that you have more than enough juice in case you can’t find an outlet
4. Stay Warm
It doesn’t matter where we travel to, we always bring a sweater with us on each flight since the plane can get unbearably cold. In the case that you get stuck at the airport and decide to camp out there overnight, you’ll also have something to keep you warm.
You might also want to take this time to do some stretches and light exercise to keep that blood pumpin’! Challenge yourself and track how many steps you can take during this time!
5. Stay Entertained
Not every airport provides free wifi, so load your phone or tablet up with some movies, TV shows (full seasons so you’re not left hanging!), books and games so that you can keep yourself entertained once you run out of things to do.at the airport.
Pro tip: Some airports in North America also have tablets for you to check flight statuses, order food and play games. Create and account to play the scratch card games and earn tickets that you can redeem food with! You can save the tickets until you accumulate enough the next time you fly through these airports
6. Stay Fresh
After a long flight, no doubt you’ll feel kind of grimy, and it sucks to stay feeling that way when you’re stuck. We usually pack some gum, a toothbrush and some face wipes to freshen up after the flight. If you really want to pamper yourself, then pack some face masks as well!
You’ll also want to being an empty water bottle with you to fill up at the airport to stay hydrated. As mentioned before, you can also visit the lounge to pay a little for a nice refreshing hot shower as well (after all you’ve been through? You totally deserve that!!)
7. Stay Rested
You never know how long you’ll be waiting for your next flight, so definitely try to catch some sleep before the next day! Your carry on can serve as a pretty good pillow if you do end up sleeping on the ground at the airport.
Which ones of these tips would you follow? What other things did we miss? Tell us in the comments below!