Stranded? 10 Tips For Spending A Somewhat Comfortable Night In The Airport

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Global Rescue, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Global Rescue

    Global Rescue SPONSOR Since 2012 AH Enthusiast

    Apr 7, 2011
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    Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, Grand Slam Club/Ovis

    Your plane was delayed, and now you’ve missed your connection. It’s after midnight, and the next available flight doesn’t depart until dawn. A hotel room is out of the question. What do you do?

    Aaron Laurich, a Global Rescue Security Operations Supervisor, is no stranger to spending a night in an airport as a paramedic and a former U.S. Army special operations combat medic who has operational experience planning and conducting complex rescues from austere and remote locations. Over the years he has developed some tried and true techniques to making an airport overnight a little more comfortable.

    The ability to nab restful sleep on the go in places like airports and bus stations might make or break a trip when the unexpected happens. Before your next never-ending layover, here are a few tips and tricks you can keep in mind to survive a night in the airport.

    1. Lower your expectations. Aim for rest and relaxation instead of hoping for eight solid hours. Make your goal to just be as relaxed as you can be, and sleep will likely follow. If not, even the restful quiet time will help you recharge.
    2. Remember to stretch first – and last. Fellow travelers might raise an eyebrow as you do light yoga in the concourse, but you’ll start your rest feeling loose. Hours on a hard floor or seat will not be kind, so do some more stretching when you wake up, too.
    3. Pamper yourself with a few comfort items. We all have a bedtime ritual, and even in an alien environment you can stick to at least some of yours. Have your toothbrush and toothpaste handy, as well as a travel size bottle of your daily moisturizer or lotion. Keeping even some of your routine intact will give you some control over the situation, which is huge for your peace of mind as well as your ability to achieve meaningful rest.
    4. Carry a spare t-shirt, socks, and underwear with you. Keep a soft exercise shirt to change into if you get stuck sleeping somewhere. It’s as close to pajamas and it’s an easy way to tell your brain that it’s bedtime.
    5. Prepare to keep warm. Whether traveling to Patagonia or Dubai, carry a small pair of gloves and a light stocking cap in your pack. They come in handy during cold nighttime flights and are worth their weight in gold when the air conditioning has you shivering.
    6. Bring your ear plugs. Standard foam ear plugs will suffice, although silicone ones can be cleaned easier. You don’t need much protection – just enough to lower the volume of that overhead speaker. Bonus Tip: Carry two pairs; being neighborly is worth it during rough travels.
    7. The jack(et) of all trades. Keep a lightweight, insulated jacket in your luggage year-round. Drape it over yourself like a blanket, and opt for a hooded model – the hood helps block out harsh airport light. The large pockets are perfect for securing valuables on your person while you snooze, and you can stuff the jacket into its own sleeve for a crude pillow.
    8. Make your bed and lie in it. Some folks need more creature comforts than a minimal puffy jacket thrown over them. For this, consider a small air mattress, travel pillow, or a sleeping bag. If you're going on a long trip with the likelihood of being in small regional airports, carry these along. This is especially relevant internationally.
    9. Traveling alone? Put your valuables in your pockets or in a purse or backpack slung across your shoulder. Pull other items as close as possible and if possible, route your arm or leg through a strap. It’s not as secure as keeping a waking eye on everything, but it will make you feel better, and hopefully help you relax.
    10. Traveling as part of a group? Establish a guard shift and create a roster – yes, even for a well-lit major airport. It might feel like overkill, but you’ll feel more comfortable knowing your items are safe. As a bonus, the ‘guard’ can keep tabs on any developments with your travel.

  2. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

    May 29, 2010
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    Good tips.

    I keep a goose down pillow in my carry on. It crushes down to very little space, so it always fits but then expands to fill the bag which serves to protect the optics that I'm carrying. Always underwear, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss. Makes the unexpected less uncomfortable.

  3. sonnyn913

    sonnyn913 AH Veteran

    Jun 28, 2013
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    Kansas City MO
    Member of:
    SCI International, SCI Kansas City Chapter
    RSA, Limpopo region,NorthWest Province, VaalWater and Free State New Zealand
    Bert, I always carry my goose down pillow on all my

  4. The Big Game Hunter

    The Big Game Hunter AH Veteran

    Nov 30, 2012
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    Namibia, Zimbabwe
    Some very good travel tips!

  5. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

    May 7, 2013
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    South Africa, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
    I'll remember this for the next time I get stranded in Atlanta.

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