For the Stranded Traveler

While traveling home for the holidays, I experienced some unexpected delays and wound up being at airports or on airplanes for a total of 24 hours. While delays can (and usually are) frustrating, there are several ways to make the best of the situation.

Two people hugging

1. Be nice. This is important, as it can help you get to your destination more quickly. After my first delay, some of the people on my canceled flight began throwing fits. Literal fits. With stomping and screaming. Yes, it’s annoying, yes, you have places to be, but there is nothing you can do about the canceled flight. When rebooking with a ticketing agent, know that they’re trying to help you, and that screaming in their faces will probably not persuade them to get you the best deal possible.

Emily and Josh with umbrellas

2. Be prepared. It can be difficult to know what exactly to put in your small carry-on item, but maybe a snack or two wouldn’t hurt. Also a change of clothes. And all of your chargers. You can buy things in the airport to help you get through your newly extended layover, but everything is way overpriced. Fact: I spent $9 on a small bag of almonds.

Hands on a wall

3. Make friends. I’m an introvert, so this step was challenging. But, when you and everyone on your flight missed their connections and have to spend the night in the Subway restaurant in the San Francisco Airport, you bond with each other. And that’s a good thing, because you meet interesting people and the time goes by more quickly. Bonus: sometimes they buy you pastries.

Hong Kong Airport

4. If you’re lucky enough to be in a cool airport, walk around. Mainly, it helps to pass the time, but some airports make an effort to provide interesting spaces for travelers. For example, the San Francisco airport has a sort of sports hall of fame throughout the gates that people can check out.

Josh and Emily sleeping

5. Try to sleep. Unfortunately, sleep was not in the cards for me, but I know that I would have been much happier by the time I reached my final destination had I been able to get some shut eye. Luckily, I was arriving at home, but if you’re going to a new place, a lack of sleep will only add to your disorientation.

FTH wishes you safe travels during this holiday season!


Places to Visit: Carousels

Carousel on Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier Carousel – Santa Monica, CA

Carousels are one of my favorite things to visit while traveling. They are beautiful pieces of history that you can actually interact with. They often operate in essentially the exact same way they did when they were first created, give us the rare opportunity to step back in time and experience something the same way our grandparents may have.

Beyond that, they are also generally inexpensive and can be a great photo opportunity.

Close up on carousel horse

Balboa Park Carousel – San Diego, CA

Close up of the body of a carousel horse

Balboa Park Carousel – San Diego, CA

The Balboa Park Carousel in San Diego is one of the last remaining with a brass ring game. Riders on the outside row of seats can try and grab for rings hanging near the outer edge of the carousel. The rider that snags the brass ring gets a free ride.

a sign advertising the brass ring game

Brass ring game at the Balboa Park Carousel – San Diego, CA

Close up of the head of a carousel horse

Historic Carousel at the Seaport Village – San Diego, CA