Traveler's Test

How to be prepared for Unexpected Delays at the Airport

How to be prepared for Unexpected Delays at the Airport

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It is a well-known fact that the more you travel, the easier it becomes for you to navigate through the challenges and pitfalls associated with travel. Every time I have taken a trip, I have felt that I have learnt something new, from how to book accommodation and flights, how to best spend your time in a foreign country, how to make friends with the locals, packing tips etc. Point is, the more you travel, the more comfortable with it you become. But regardless of whether you are an experienced or novice traveller, unexpected delays or waits at the airport can be quite nerve wracking. After travelling around the world, here are some tips from my experience that may help you make the best of your layover.

1. Invest in good Carry-on Luggage 

When it comes to travel, having the perfect carryon luggage is essential. With cramped seating in the plane and flight delays happening when you least expect them, it is imperative that you have your essentials on hand in your carryon luggage. Choose a trolley bag that will fit easily in the overhead compartment, yet is spacious enough to hold the basic necessities and a change of clothes. 

If you are stuck at the airport for an extended duration, you don’t want to have to lug a heavy backpack everywhere so it is wise to invest in a trolley bag with good wheels. It is also a smart idea to pack a couple of empty drawstring bags in your carry on, so if you need to purchase some food or water at the airport, you have a good place to carry them, or to keep you dirty clothes separate from the clean ones, in case you need to change while you wait. If you have children travelling with you, make sure their carry on is something they can manage themselves. 

2. Select Carry On Essentials Wisely 

While packing, many people will pack their larger, checked in baggage pieces first, and when those are full, throw in all remnants into the carry on case. A better and smarter way to go about it is to have a list of things you deem essential for your carry on case, and avoid stuffing it with unnecessary weight. Some things you must consider keeping with you in your carry on include: 

  • Your essential gadgets like your laptop, kindle, chargers, and accessories.
  •  A change of clothes and a Light Sweater
  • Your journal or notebook and writing supplies
  • Essential Medication like an epipen or inhaler 
  • Reading material
  • A pair of comfy slippers, especially for long haul flights
  • Basic toiletries (TSA approved) 
  • Your Handbag and an empty tote bag
  • Snacks

 3. Plan your Entertainment

While this is applicable for all age groups, this is an absolute must if you are travelling with children. Before you even start packing, ask yourself how you would pass X hours at the airport in case of an unexpected delay. Download a few Netflix shows on the app in your gadgets, as WiFi at international airports can be sketchy. Pack a book, some work, or your knitting if you are so inclined. With children you may pack their backpacks with a comfort toy, coloring books and crayons, and their favourite snacks and candy to keep them entertained. 

Getting stuck at the airport may seem exasperating, but it is not the end of the world. If you plan for the unexpected, you will find that even delays can feel like a fun adventure.