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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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  • LINKwithlove

An Unexpected Travel Night

As you might recall, if you read my post from Sunday, I had an extra day added to my Philadelphia vacation.  Well kind of.

There were major storms moving through the east coast on Sunday, and I happened to get caught in them.  I was flying from Philadelphia through Detroit to Madison.  My flight from Philadelphia to Detroit ended up being so delayed (because of the storms) that I would not have made my flight from Detroit to Madison – and that flight happened to be the last of the night.  Rather than camping out on the floor of the Detroit airport overnight, I opted to spend another night at a hotel in Philadelphia and come back in the morning to catch a new flight to Detroit, and then continue on to Madison.

Overall I am very impressed with the helpfulness and organization of both Delta Airlines, as well as the the Philadelphia and Detroit airports.  I made it home in one piece, only mildly frustrated with the situation, and to my surprise, my checked bag made it there on time as well. As someone who works in customer service I can only imagine how many frustrated and upset people there were in the Philadelphia airport as flights were being delayed and cancelled left and right.

I realize that I am generally lucky with travel.  I travel a few times a year for work, and a couple of times a year for pleasure and this is the first time (that I can recall) in my 27 years that there has been a major delay situation that caused a change of plans.  Since this is the first time that something this major has happened to me, and most of you probably have not had any travel issues at all, I thought I would share some tips from my experience to help you to be prepared for this situation if it might happen to you.

1) Make sure you have everything with you that you would need for an extra night.  This means:

  • Any kind of charger or cord for electronics that you have with you – camera, phone, computer, etc.
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, deodorant, brush, contact solution, etc. This is an area where I failed.  I NEVER bring any of this with me in my carry-on bag.  I don’t want to deal with the hassle of the “3 oz or less” rule and really the biggest reason is that I don’t usually have space for extra things in my carry-on.  I will definitely think twice about this the next time I fly.  Luckily, I was wearing my glasses instead of contacts, or I would have been raiding the airport convenience stores for contact solution and a contact case.
  • A change of clothes wouldn’t be a bad idea, although I don’t really see myself doing this because I tend to not leave room for anything nonessential.  I will tell you though, after 48 hours wearing the same clothes, I felt smelly and dirty and gross and it would have been nice to have something to change into.
  • Any medications that you take daily.  Fortunately, I do not take any daily medications so I’m off the hook on this one, but as I was thinking about what I would need, this definitely came to mind.

2) If you end up leaving the airport and staying at a hotel, keep in mind the location.  When I asked the person on the phone for hotel suggestions, it was only price that I had in mind.  Although a hotel might be the cheapest and closest to the airport, it might be missing other amenities.  The hotel that I stayed at was good – but it was just a simple hotel near the airport.  My only food option was a Ruby Tuesdays a walk down the road, and since it was already getting dark out when I arrived, I decided against that option.  I survived on food that I happened to have with me, but it was definitely a close call as to weather I would have something to eat for dinner or not.Here are some ways that you make sure you have food, even if the hotel doesn’t:

  • Pack food with you as you begin your travels.  I ALWAYS do this.  (Travel Food for Picky Eaters)  I need to have a food option available at all times, even if it is just a granola bar.  I always pack some in my carry-on for the initial flights, and then pack more in my checked bag to transfer to my carry-on for the return flights.  (I’m also a fan of Julie’s Snacks on a Plane)
  • Stop somewhere at the airport before you make your way to the hotel for the night.  I was lucky and had done this earlier in the day, but I definitely didn’t plan.  I also had no idea that my hotel wouldn’t have food options, so that is probably something I would ask next time as well.

3) Travel in comfortable clothing.  This is another thing that I ALWAYS do.  I really just don’t understand people who get all dressed up to be in an airport for an extended period of time.  When I travel I am prone to being anxious, frustrated, and tired and being dressed comfortably is one way that I try to keep myself sane.  I also wear flip flops (or Ugg boots if it is Winter), and not sneakers like many people recommend.  Yes, I realize that sneakers take up more room in your suitcase, and are probably better for your feet/legs while walking around an airport, but they just are not comfortable for me.  Think about if you would be comfortable spending two days (including sleeping) in the clothing you have on.

4) Smile.  I know this is a hard thing to do when you are frustrated and stressed, but it will only help things get better.  Realize that (at least I was) it is not the airline representative’s fault that you are delayed or cancelled and they are doing their best to help you make the best out of the situation.  Making yourself easier to deal with can only make your situation easier.  A smile can really brighten someone’s attitude.  🙂

(My friend Heather has had lots of bad travel luck in the past and shares many helpful tips  here.)

Have you ever had major travel delays? How did you deal with them?  I know MANY other HLS friends had flight delays and cancellations traveling last weekend as well.  I was very lucky to have you all at the airport with me while I was there to vent to and hang out with and I hope you all got home safe too!

7 Responses

  1. you can always ask the front desk of your hotel for toothbrush/toothpaste/razor/etc. some of them even have deodorant and other tolietries they give to their guests who have lost luggage and such!

  2. this happened to me on the first day! i didn’t get to philly until 2am and totally missed the cocktail party. i had to go to the gift shop in the hotel at 7am just to peel my contacts off my eyeballs with solution. i went to most of saturdays workshops in clothing i’d worn for 2 days. i rolled with it!

    • Wow, crazy! I’m impressed that you just went with the flow and still made it to the workshops on Saturday!

  3. So I read you’re supposed to dress up to go to an airport because it’s one of the few places left to meet eligible men that can afford to travel! Must be why I don’t find it necessary 🙂 It makes me cringe when I see women walking through the airport in heels I couldn’t wear for a whole day of work.

  4. I’m so glad you finally made it home! Our flight ended up being delayed until 8:30pm, but at least it wasn’t cancelled completely. Instead we had a group of drunken bloggers at the airport bar talking about raw love (don’t ask).

    Thank you for all your help this weekend! It was great to meet you in person! I’m still always shocked when I meet people in real life on how different they are in person – you were a lot taller than I was expecting and I was a bit jealous of that! Send some of that tallness my way! 🙂

  5. Asking the front desk at a hotel for toiletries is my go to if I get stuck. The three ounce rule is a pain unless all you are taking is a carry on.

    But taking your medications in a carry-on is key in case you are stranded but also in case they lose your luggage and because some medications don’t react well to the unpressurized cargo hold. I always make way for all my meds.

    Also on meds…make sure you pack at least 3 days extra should you get stuck on the front and back ends of your trip.

    Your other suggestions are GREAT! Glad you made it home 🙂

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