My travel home is getting closer and closer, and my anxiety is getting higher and higher that’s why lately I haven’t really been around. I swear I have a lot of posts lined up, I just never have the time or creativity to take some pictures to go with them. That said I bring you the second installment (?) of our Lagom column; this is actually my favorite type of posts to write, mainly because I want it to be a brainstorm and I end up not stressing too much with double editing or looking for mistakes and weirdly phrased stuff. I just write, enjoy it in the moment, and post you guys the raw content; the raw me, errors and all. That said, let’s dive in into this mini handbook on “how to survive an overnight stay at the Airport and walk out with it with your own legs— without dying of boredom”.
I realized only few weeks ago how early in the morning my flight was ( Yes, I was the one booking it, but in my defense, I was watching at the price, not the time) and with that realization came the knowledge that I would have to spend yet an other night at the Airport.
technically speaking a 6.30 flight is not too bad: you can take the bus from Stratford around 3, make it with plenty of time and a good five hours of sleep under your belt and still have time to stop for coffee, but I really can’t afford to lose this flight and I do not trust myself enough to hear the 75 alarms that I would set ( Let’s be hones, I can’t trust me to get out of the bed and not just lye there switching off every allarm, wihout any power of will to get out of the bed, damn kidnapper. ). So an overnight at the airport is the best choice for me.
Now, wisdom is the daughter of experience and after my close encounter with the marble floor on an over night stay at the airport there are some things that I swore would never happen again and things that I told myself I would improve so…
Full disclousure: I had no idea that the security checks aren’t 24/7, I thought that flights were just going to continue all night long — and maybe in other places they are, but in Stansted security closes at a certain hour and doesn’t open untill 5 ish ( I think it depends on when exactly the first flight is due to leave), so last time I had to sleep on the hard floor outside and… well that’s plainly uncomfortable. The floor is marble so you end up freezing and your legs will go numb because unless you want to lie down you don’t have anywhere else to sit but on the floor. Also, If in the morning you have to take the first flight, you will have to rush through security and wrestle with the people who are not actually in a hurry but just fed up of being therein order to check your stuff in time and then run for your fligh.
So, if like me you are traveling alone first thing in the morning, you might want to go there early the night before to secure a spot and all the things you need buy in the duty-free area before closure. But most of all, you might want to follow this steps and transform a nightmare over night stay in a semi-enjoyable experience!
Are there going to be usb sockets? are the coffee shop going to be open over night? Are there seating outside the check in area? Those are only few of the questions you should ask yourself.
Cafeinate. You want to have coffee or tea with you. Ask around and if coffee shops aren’t going to be open 24/7 then you might need to bring an empty thermal bottle or thermos and fill it with coffee before the shop closes so you can have warm drinks over the course of the night.
Energize. Are there going to be a lot of sockets going around? If not or you are not sure I would suggest you invest in a power bank to get you through the night without having to be afraid for your battery to run out.
Feed the hunger, and the boredom. Are you going to have enough snacks? bundle up with a lot of sweets but also chips, limit yourself to lightly salt and avoid sour sweets tho, you don’t want to end up drinking too much and having to run to the bathroom with all your stuff every 10 mn or you’ll lose your spot! That said invest in two bottles of water, and iced tea, avoid fuzzy drinks. Stay Hydrated guys!
Entertain yourself. Fill up your kindle, tidy up your music, download every Netflix series and movies you can think of, and hold on to buy a book that you really want untill you are in duty-free zone so you can treat yourself and dive into something you are really looking forward to read and that’s you settled.
Bundle up. never underestimate the power of a neck pillow. Never underestimate the power of an old big scarf that can be disposed before boarding and that can be used as blanket or chair padding. Find a place where you can lean your back against something and maybe even pull up your legs; actually, don’t worry too much about that, you can always use your luggage as puff!
Organize your time. once you’ve collected all the things you needed you need to begin your quest. Find the perfect place, pad it, find the best position and then set an alarm. Set it more or less three-hour before your flight and you should be fine. That way you can hold your bags close, read, binge-watch something and not have to be scared of falling asleep, because you will have something to wake you up in time to go and take an other coffe right before making your way to the terminal. Your shopping is done, your checks long gone and you will, with all the calm of the world, reach your seat fresh and rested looking down at those back-hurting, not-an-eyelid-closed-all-night people that had to fight their way out of checks. Now you can enjoy your holiday.
That’s it, if you have any tips of your own about how to make this experience an even better one, don’t exitate to let me know!