Keeping Your Sanity during a Long Layover
A previous article on The Travel Pharmacist discussed how to tackle jet lag and suggested ways on how you can beat the unpleasant experience of adjusting to a new time zone. But as much as traveling brings excitement and enjoyment, it also has many undesirable aspects, some of which are inevitable especially if you travel often.
Another dreaded experience for travelers is an unexpected layover that sometimes takes several hours. No matter the cause, no one likes to stay in a place for longer than they have to. It can get frustrating, and drain you of all your energy.
In case you have to experience a long delay in the middle of your flights or bus rides, learn how to keep your cool during this unexpected layover.
Have someone to talk to
The importance of venting your frustration is heavily understated, given that many people tend to just bottle up their feelings. Doing this often may have negative consequences and Psychology Today explained that holding in what needs to be let out is directly related to all sorts of health problems, whether physical, mental or emotional.
If you’re experiencing a long layover, it’s good to share your frustration by having someone to talk to. You can discuss it with your travel companions, but if you’re traveling solo, making a call to your friends and family is ideal as they can understand you better and you can update them about your situation at the same time.
But if you don’t have anyone to share your sentiments with, getting into a casual conversation with your co-passengers could be a good starting point. Afterwards, you can talk about how you’re feeling about the unexpected delay. This can go both ways and will be beneficial for everyone given that you’re all in the same situation.
In today’s world, there are virtually endless things to do to entertain yourself. The most basic is through mobile devices considering that the devices are now necessities. You can make use of digital reading materials through countless e-book apps, some of which are Bluefire and the classic Kindle, as highlighted by Tom’s Guide. Moreover, most major airports now have free Wi-Fi access, which you can use to stream your favorite programs. Whether it’s fantasy like Game of Thrones or a reality game show like Deal or No Deal, now’s a good time to catch up with all those missed episodes.
There are tons of games as well that can help you chip away at the layover time. If watching the show’s not enough, Telly Mix highlighted the quiz type game variation of Deal or No Deal which features the iconic host of the show, Noel Edmonds. Additionally, there’s a mashup of Deal or No Deal in the form of slots-bingo hybrid that is currently being hosted on gaming portal Slingo. This platform even offers players the chance to chat with friends while playing the game. However, if you’d rather be a lone wolf, there are classic single player games like the hit strategy titles Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds or the Candy Crush Saga which you can enjoy before your flight. Keeping yourself entertained will take your focus off the negative situation and make the time pass faster.
It’s not all amusement either, because as you may have read, games are proven to help reduce stress. In a study published by eMarketer, it was found that half of the smartphone users around the world turn to games as their stress reliever. So if you’re traveling, be sure to have at least one or two games downloaded on your mobile device. They’ll be extra useful in case of situations such as a long layover.
Take it as an opportunity for an unscheduled tour
Perhaps the best way to deal with an unexpected layover is to take an unscheduled tour. After all, your primary purpose is to travel so why not revel in a bit of spontaneity? Do note though that you may have to clarify first with authorities whether it is possibly to leave the airport during this time, such as if you need a visa to enter the country which you’re currently in.
That said, take the experience of a Redditor during an unplanned stop in France. The couple found a place full of model jets and vintage motorcycles which was admittedly described by the poster as one of the coolest spots they’d found on their travels.
Taking an unplanned tour may bring its surprises and the thrill of exploration, which are amongst the essences of traveling. Roadrunner elaborated how you can be ‘in the moment’ and get to enjoy raw, unprecedented excitement as you take on an unexpected trip. Just be sure to be back in time for your flight – that goes without saying.
The key takeaway from these exercises is that by combatting boredom and frustration it will help you forget about arduous layovers. And hopefully along the way you can discover something about yourself or the airport you find yourself in.
Here’s to safe and happy travels!