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10 Things to Do When You’re Stuck in the Airport Overnight


Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, flying is almost always the quickest and most efficient way of getting from point A to point B with minimal fuss. That is, of course, assuming that you don’t miss a flight or experience a cancellation. Few things are as frustrating for travelers as the idea of an overnight layover in an airport, but there are a few ways that you can make the experience a more enjoyable one. These ten tips can help you survive an overnight layover, and maybe even enjoy it a bit.

  1. Try to Make the Best of the Situation – You can approach an overnight layover from the perspective of the situation being a terrible one, or you can simply accept it for what it is and attempt to make the most of your experience. A positive attitude can make all the difference, and you may even find that you’re actually enjoying yourself before the night is over.
  2. Make Late-Night Snack Arrangements Early – Most food outlets in airports will close at some point in the evening, leaving you without a way to soothe any late-night cravings. Be prepared for hunger pangs in the small hours by stocking up on the healthiest snacks you can find before closing time arrives.
  3. Check On Amenities Offered By Some Airports – In the event of a flight cancellation or overnight delay, some airports will offer cots and other amenities to stranded passengers. Be sure to see what, if any, amenities are offered by the airport you’re stranded in before resigning yourself to a miserable evening.
  4. Catch Up On Your Reading – If you’ve ever wanted a few hours to dedicate to your reading, consider your wish granted. Cell phone, tablet and laptop batteries may have relatively short lives, but most eReaders are designed to maintain a charge for weeks. Settle in with a good book or even a paperback you snagged in a gift shop, and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a bit of uninterrupted reading.
  5. Be Friendly – From employees of the airport to fellow travelers, everyone is more likely to respond positively when you treat them with friendly respect. It’s easy to lose your temper when you’re frustrated by the circumstances that left you stranded for hours in an airport, but anger and rudeness will not improve the situation.
  6. Raid Your Carry-On – If you packed a change of clothes, toiletries or diversions in your carry-on bag, your overnight delay is an iron-clad excuse for a raid. You’ll be grateful for a toothbrush, book or MP3 player at some point, and an overnight stay offers you plenty of time to repack the bag.
  7. Find an Airport Lounge – There are lounges in most airports, but they may only be accessible to first-class passengers or those willing to pay an admittance fee. Overnight layovers can be much more easily managed when you’re in relative comfort, so find a lounge and find room in the budget to cover an admittance fee.
  8. Take Advantage of Free WiFi – Almost any major airport will have some sort of free WiFi in place for travelers to take advantage of during long delays. Whip out your smartphone, tablet or laptop and catch up on your favorite shows, chat with loved ones or just play games to pass the time.
  9. Resist the Urge to Imbibe – Being stuck in an airport overnight might feel like absolute justification for a drink or two, but it’s wise to keep the effects of alcohol in mind before you belly up to the bar. The last thing you’ll want is to be hungover in the airport or wandering through it with compromised judgment.
  10. Keep Your Wallet On Your Person – Even if you’ve made a few new friends throughout your ordeal, you’ll still want to make sure that your wallet is on your person at all times. Pickpockets and thieves are less likely to target you if your belongings are secured and your wallet isn’t within easy reach, so resist the urge to throw it in your carry-on.

While you’ll want to make friends with those around you, it’s important that you keep airport safety in mind. Maintaining a reasonable level of cautiousness and vigilance over your belongings can help to avert unfortunate situations.

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