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Surviving a Cancelled Flight 101: What to Buy at the Airport

October 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM | by | ()

Now that Hurricane Sandy is upon the East Coast and canceling flights in droves, we're dedicating today to using all our travel know-how (and some on-the-fly advice, as half the Jaunted team is stuck at airports as well) to help you ride out the storm despite delayed travel. Stay tuned and stay safe!

You're stuck. You're cranky. You're uncomfortable. If you're lucky, your home (until you can fly out) will be a hotel or the living room of a friend, but many will find themselves sleeping at the airport and that's just no fun. Here, however, are Five items you can buy at the airport to survive the next couple days:

· Beach Towel: Not only does it soften a sleep on the floor or hard chairs, but it's also effective as a dirt barrier between you and whatever is on that floor/soaked into the waiting area chairs. Spread it out on a blanket to curl up on, roll it up to use as a pillow or cover yourself with it like a blanket for privacy or warmth. There are many uses for something so simple, and luckily it should be cheap enough to throw out once your flight does board and depart.

· A carabiner clip: If you're planning on getting some good sleep, it's always an excellent idea to secure your belongings just in case. Buying a carabiner clip keychain or something similar may keep your purse strap/laptop bag handle/shoes/airport purchases bag next to you all night, instead of having it easily picked up and wandered off with while you're snoozing.

· Lotion or face moisturizer: Don't laugh. It's important to think about your appearance sometimes and although you wouldn't think so, sleeping over at airports or in strange hotels is one of those times. A small bottle of lotion—or even better, face moisturizer, since it's generally more sensitive—can save your hands, your extra-dry or extra-oily face courtesy of airport/airplane air or your chapped and dry lips.

Try putting a dab of scented lotion under your nose to hold off any foul smells in the area and, when really stuck, in the event you can't even buy lotion, dig out a hotel bottle of conditioner as makeshift hand moisturizer.

· A pen and notepad/notebook: One pieces of napkin scratch paper may not be enough, with all the booking and rebooking you could be doing over the phone with your airline. Find a notebook that's compact and preferably with a pen included and a stretchy band that keeps everything closed. Easy to stick in your pocket, pack, or keep in hand for referring to confirmation codes, hotel/rental car details, new flight times and airline/contact phone numbers. Sometimes, like now, it's okay to go analog.

· Pre-packaged food: The last thing you may want is some soggy sandwich in a container, but when we say pre-packaged, we mean items like granola bars, bags of dried fruit (a nice alternative to potato chips) and other such easily available and cheap options. The reason for this is, after a day or two of an airport being without their usual supply line, the food offered may not be as fresh as you'd hope, and you could be running low on options and cash. And if the electricity goes out, you need food that doesn't require refrigeration or heating up.

Pro-tip: When you pass a condiment dispensary in a food court or wherever, grab napkins, a straw or two and a couple forks/spoons/knives just in case they run out later or you purchase food you though was finger food but turned messy quickly.

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