Traveling at the holidays is what you do to see your family and friends. Unfortunately, the winter season also brings snowstorms and other adverse weather conditions that can make travel challenging. Winter storms often cause flight delays or cancellations that can throw your planned trip off and have you stuck at the airport for hours. That is the last thing you want.
Here are some strategies for making your escape a little more sane.
- Check the status of your flight:
If your flight has been delayed, it’s important to say aware of what’s happening because it could be delayed longer, rerouted or cancelled. Most airline companies have an app that send flight updates directly to your phone, so you can check frequently. Before your trip, check the airline’s website to see if this is something they offer and you can download.
- Consider an alternative flight:
Sometimes an indirect route can get you to your destination quicker. If you delay is severe, consider purchasing a ticket for a different flight. For an example, if your flight from Chicago to Orlando is delayed, a trip from Chicago to Minneapolis and then to Orlando may be a better use of your time. If you find that all possible alternative flights are sold out, keep checking. When the weather conditions are poor for flying, there are often many cancellations and delays that many miss their connecting flights and leave open seats.
- Consider a different airport:
If you are lucky enough to discover a small airport nearby, consider forging a new path. Check for open flights that will take you to your destination more quickly and make the journey with a taxi, a ride share service or another form of public transportation (if you don’t have your vehicle with you at the airport). Utilizing alternative flights and airports does require a larger travel budget. If timeliness is a necessity for your trip, set aside a “rerouting budget” for unexpected changes in your flight plan.
Unfortunately, some delays are inevitable and there’s nothing you can do to speed up the process. Instead twiddling your thumbs and playing the waiting game, reduce stress and conquer boredom with these fun ideas.
- Explore the airport.
If you know you have time to spare, go for a walk or take a shuttle to see what you can discover. Some airports feature attractions like bookstores, museums, spas and live music.
- Go to the gym.
Working is a great way to reduce stress and clear your head. Many airports have gyms available for customers to invest in personal health and wellness while waiting for your flight.
- Find (delicious) food.
Even the best of us get hangry. Food may not completely remove your stress and frustration but hunger certainly won’t help. Airports tend to offer a variety of dining options so you have a chance to trying something new.
- Write emails or make phone calls.
In the busyness of traveling, you often don’t have time to stay up-to-date with your inbox, this could be the perfect time to catch up. You could even take time to call a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken with in a while. We are sure mom would love to hear from you.
- Spend time with books.
It’s true what they say; “Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.” The wait for your flight may be the perfect time to dive into a book you’ve been meaning to read or an audiobook you’ve been planning to listen to. Puzzle and coloring books are a fun option too.
- Take a nap.
We all wish we had more time for sleep. If you can find a comfortable spot, take a nap. It will help you get rested and revitalized so you can take on the rest of your trip.
Traveling during the winter months is unpredictable and you may find yourself in situations that are less than ideal. That’s easier said than done, but try to have patience, this too will pass. You never know, this unexpected free time will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. You may find yourself being productive or may even enjoying yourself. If you are traveling this winter, we wish you safe travels.