Has it ever happened to you that it was needed to stay at Airport for over a half day? How did you survived? I did many occasions of 12+ hours while waiting for my planes to depart last year so I tried to summarize my experiences here.
Because of the nature of my job, I work in the UK but I don’t have any place to stay. I don’t rent a room, as I live in with clients during assignments. On my departure day of assignments I usually leave with my luggage at noon from clients. Normally I arrange my flight for next day early in morning (6am) and stay over night at airport to avoid the £20-30 of hostel room fare. At the airport if you want a room is usually over £150.
What I’ve learned you can read here starting from super basics:
- always pack snacks
- have drinks and food with you to avoid paying too much money at airports
- Get your luggage secured with padlocks
- Get all your devices charged
- and keep them that way. Their energy level can get easily low so to ensure charging You can bring extension as plugs usually are rare and people with low battery are many…
- or power bank… especially when you have electronic ticket and not printed, it would save you a lot of extra money. as on these cheap flights they charge you plenty if they need to print boarding pass for you…
- Get your headphones with you.
- Wear layers of clothes. Also good to have warm socks with you just in case… (after security too)
- Use one device at a time on the free WiFi because it’s usually limited time (4 hours)
- Try to download content previously: like videos, books, podcasts to avoid the need of internet at airports
- Be conscious about when you use your free internet. (Especially when you don’t have mobile net) don’t start it and then read your book for 3,5 hours and then try to watch a 1,5 hour movie on the WiFi’s…
- Outside of transit, airports are not that fun places… they don’t have much to do as well as not many plugs too. I tend to buy a latte and stay at coffeeshop where mostly they have plugs. And if I brought extension I become usually the favorite of the people who are looking for charging points too…
- Normally I never sleep due to security reasons in these cases of long waiting… therefore after 3-4 hours (around 3-4am) I start to feel really sleepy so it’s better to get into some less passive activities like starting conversations and chatting with people around you. It will refresh your mind and make time fly quickly.
- If you are really feeling sleepy stand up and start to walk around pushing your luggage in a trolley. I usually enjoy that like a child 🙈
- I’m quite lucky to have many friends from all over the world from different time zones. So they are usually wild awake when I’m about to fall asleep so a great conversation can make time fly faster and keep you away from sleeping.
- NEVER leave your luggage unattended at airport! Security will remove it. Instead if you need to use the restroom bring it with you. Sometimes there is one toilet which has bigger space and you can get it with you inside to always have your eyes on them.
- Or if you are feeling safe with the people around you just ask someone near you to keep an eye on it..
- Take some refreshing tools with you it will come handy: wet wipes, face cleaner, body spray, deodorant, toothpaste and brush, makeup etc. (don’t forget to pack them either in suitcase or use the transparent bags if you wanna carry it into transit)
- Very important: just in case, set an alarm to remind you when to get in the line to check in and to security. Normally 2-3 hours earlier then the flight itself.
- I like to keep an empty bottle with me even after security and inside transit I can refill it with water as it tends to be quite pricey… although normally at restaurants and fast food places you can ask for water. Sometimes it is in a jar near the plastic forks and napkins and even have ice and cucumber or lemon slices in it. 😍👏🏼 fancy water
- You can bring dry food with you in transit so no need to pay tons of money.
- Inside transit it is a bit better environment with shops and restaurants so you can spend time quicker if you walk around there. You are also off your huge suitcase so can feel less annoyed then when you were passing time before checkin. Some airports (London Heathrow and Budapest) transits are closed over the night. Only early morning (4am) you can get in. And almost nothing is there to pass time with that “outside of transit” part… not even many chairs…
- Also at Budapest airport if your flight is 6-6:30am you can easily miss it if you are not one of the first people getting in transit and finding out the gate. The migration process is really slow (no e-passport Gates!) and many passengers are trying to get to the gates… very stressful.
- Once in Dubai I had a long layover when transferring there. I actually went straight to the airport crew in the office and they told me I’m to get free food voucher to use.
- It also depends on the airport and even the flight company but there are some cases it worth the check because you can even get a room for free. So you can sleep and take a shower too.
I had this for you guys for today. I hope I could help. It is not that bad to pass 12+ hours at airport while waiting. It can sound a bit challenging but actually not that bad. I did 4-5 times last year and honestly I have many memorable conversations with complete strangers. I have learned a lot about Travel hacks, cultures, history and once even about brexit from a conservative British elderly woman. It can be fun. Some people are even spending time by making videos and sometimes dancing around. Let your creative energies flow. 🙏🏼💛