An approaching storm. Thousands of cancelled flights. Crowded airports. Long lines. No empty seats onboard. No more room in the overhead bins. It's beginning to look a lot like the holiday travel season.
As heavy rain and snow head from North Texas towards the east, Mother Nature surely isn't making it easy for us to be thankful just yet. Combine that weather with some of the busiest travel days of the year and you've got a recipe for delay disaster.
Of course, we're hoping for the best and you should too, but the reality is that you're likely going to be waiting around for the weather to pass before you can get to that delicious turkey dinner. With that, here are seven ways to pass the time as you wait for your plane, train or ride.
When the lines are long, your flight is delayed another two hours and you cannot get hold of a customer service rep, there's nothing better than some social media kvetching. But don't just tweet or post something unoriginal like "Ugh, I hate [insert hated airline here]." You've got time to invest in the complaint. Some ideas: Make a Bitstrip comic to express your annoyance or document your wait in a Instagram or Vine video.
|Digitally Entertain Yourself|
This is one we are hoping you read before you are stranded. Charge up the iPads, phones and laptops and load up some good movies or a TV series you've been itching to watch. There's no better way to pass the time than to get lost in someone else's non-delayed life. If movies aren't for you, grab some new apps. My Talking Pet is particularly fun; it lets you upload a photo of your dog or cat and make it speak.
(Extra tip: Make sure to bring the chargers and if you can a surge protector to the airport. The power outlets will be hard to come by.)
|Eat (and drink!)|
While you're on your phone pull up Yelp or Gate Guru and find the best restaurants or bars nearby. You might as well drown your sorrows in calorie-rich food and drink. Bonus activity: share photos of that food or drink on social media to kill another few minutes!
|Break a sweat (even with Yoga)|
Who says you have to be stuck "sitting" around? Pass the time with a little bit of physical activity. If you're at the train station or airport a power walk or stroll isn't a bad idea.
Also, make sure to keep your eyes open for yoga rooms. Both Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco International airports have free yoga rooms. In Dallas, the yoga center is in Terminal D, and the airport supplies free mats. At SFO, the yoga room is in Terminal 2.
|Get a Flu Shot|
In keeping with odd things you can do at the airport: some offer flu shots. What better way to fight the weather than by beefing up with immunities?
At Chicago O'Hare, one of the nation's busiest airports, the O'Hare Medical Clinic in Terminal 2 offers flu shots, immunizations, diabetes and cholesterol screening and more. No appointments are necessary. In Atlanta, flu shots are available in Hartsfield-Jackson's AeroClinic in the main terminal. AeroClinic also has kiosk locations at Charlotte and Philadelphia airports, where flu shots are available. No appointments necessary.
Many airports have chapels or non-denominational spaces. There are some daily services, but mostly these places provide a quiet space for you to pray or think. There are, of course, a lot of things to pray for, but we're thinking you might want to throw in getting to your destination safely and not too late.