Travel doesn’t always go according to plan.
Even if you’ve managed to snag a ticket to one of your bucket list destinations, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to arrive at wherever you need to be without a few hitches along the way. For instance, you may find that the cheapest way to get to wherever you want to go is to buy a ticket with a layover somewhere in the middle of your journey.
Sometimes, overnight layovers are a fun way to spend a night in an incredible city somewhere special. Other times, a delay may mean that you’re forced to spend a long and uncomfortable night in an airport.
Fortunately, while a night in an airport is rarely a lot of fun, there are a few things you can pack to make the experience more comfortable. Here are just some of the must-haves you should consider taking with you as you prepare for your upcoming layover.
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1. A Portable Charger/ Power Bank
The chances are that you’re going to need some access to your electronics during your layover. You might need your smartphone so you can check on the latest information for your upcoming flight, or you might want to be able to call the person waiting for you on the other end of your journey. A portable charger or power bank will ensure that you have an extra supply of juice to keep you going whether you’re browsing social media or sending all-important texts.
What’s more, a power bank will also mean that you don’t have to wait for other people to be done using the available outlets at the airport.
2. A Travel Pillow and Blanket
With a little luck, you’ll be taking a travel blanket and neck pillow with you on the plane anyway, so you can hopefully get a good night’s sleep on your journey. However, if you haven’t invested yet, now’s the time to do so. A travel blanket and pillow will help you to get a couple of hours of all-important sleep when you’re stuck in the airport overnight.
Just make sure that you’re traveling with someone who can keep an eye on you and your belongings while you’re sleeping. You shouldn’t risk going to sleep in an airport if you’re on your own.
3. A Reusable Water Bottle
We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water, but it’s easy to forget this when you’re planning for your upcoming trip. Having to pay for expensive drinks at the airport while you wait for your flight can quickly deplete your budget. It’s a much better idea to take a reusable water bottle with you in your bag that you can fill up on the public bathrooms.
Having a water bottle with you will also help to remind you to stay hydrated when you’re rushing around trying to get things done before you move into the next stage of your journey.
4. Pain Relievers
There’s always a chance that you may feel less than your best once you’ve gotten off one flight, and you’re waiting around in the airport for your next one. Some basic pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen will make it easier for you to get the rest and relaxation you need before you expose yourself to yet another stressful flight.
It’s also worth keeping some bandages and other basic health equipment in your backpack or carry-on luggage just in case too.
One of the biggest threats you’ll face as a person with an overnight layover is boredom. Ultimately, you won’t have a lot to do in the airport after you’ve explored every store a couple of times. With that in mind, make sure you download some movies and shows onto your laptop or tablet. Or, you can consider taking a good book with you if you can find something you want to read.
If you’re planning on using magazines to entertain yourself, buy them before you go on your trip. Magazines are usually a lot more expensive at the airport than they are elsewhere.
6. Extra Clothes and Toiletries
Spending a night in an airport can leave you looking and feeling less than your best. Changing into an extra shirt or putting on a light jacket that you’ve kept in your carry-on luggage might help you to feel a lot better before you start the next leg of your journey. You might even want to keep some toiletries handy too, like a small travel toothbrush and toothpaste to spruce up with in the bathroom.
Depending on where you’re flying, having an extra jumper or jacket available will also help you to stay warm when the temperatures drop at night at the airport.
Remember to have a backup plan
Finally, make sure that you have a backup plan for what you’re going to do if your airline doesn’t allow you to stay in the airport overnight. Some officials won’t let you sleep in the waiting spaces, so that means you’re going to need to find a cheap place to lay your head for the night.
With the right plan and the tips above, you can make any overnight stay in an airport a lot more appealing.