Lengthy layovers, inclement weather and flight delays are never fun, but as the 250,000 aspirant flyers stuck at London’s Gatwick Airport could probably tell you, it can be especially frustrating at this time of the year.
Whether you’re road-tripping down the coast or jetting off somewhere during the summer holidays, you’re bound to run into some sort of delay that’ll get you hot under the collar, so take it easy and try out these four tips to make it through any festive commuting crises.
1. Take a chill pill
Meditate, pray, stay hydrated, and locate that bottle of tissue salts or Panados if the noise and frustration of the airport/bus terminus is getting to you. Take a walk if your luggage is safe or you can afford to drag it along with you. Walk it off and get the oxygen and blood circulating again.
2. Get organised
You’re likely most upset about how much you still have to do, from checking in to hotels and holiday houses to helping the family foodie with Christmas lunch and secretly wrapping the gift you had to save from suspicious customs officials eyeing that perfectly wrapped gift set. Nip off somewhere and write out your Christmas cards, or make a list of what still needs to be done or bought so that you can hit the holiday roads running.
3. Stay entertained and charge up
We know that you may be tired and have been entertaining your kids or keeping the designated driver awake for a while now, but take advantage of the airport, terminus or roadside Wimpy’s Wi-Fi zones. Sniff out those plug points and capitalise on this time to charge devices and power banks for the journey ahead or the duration of the delay itself to ensure you have some entertainment yourself. Misery loves company, so seek some solidarity with your fellow passengers; and if you do so online and on Twitter, you can keep abreast of flight and traffic news updates.
4. Catch up
If you aren’t travelling alone, this is the time to bond for a while, or catch up with all of the above, from taking a moment to calm down and take stock of your predicament, to plotting your next moves, to entertainment—with jokes, conversation, catching up on those articles you keep saving for later reading—to a good old scroll through Instagram or Facebook.