I recently had to fly standby on a trip to Palma airport to Alcudia. I had a four-hour wait to look forward to. I was not pleased, as the monitor at the check-in counter flashed a message that all flights for that day were oversold. This trip was supposed to be a fun trip. My twin daughters were with me and we were headed to Twinsburg, Ohio, for the annual Twins’ Fest, which is probably the largest gathering of twins and multiples in the world. We so very much look forward to going every year. While I am a patient person, and a creative person, I realize that other travelers may not be that way, especially if you have to make a connecting flight, or are on a trip to attend a family emergency. So, what to do with that four-hour time frame, or whatever time frame you are stuck waiting?
My daughters and I are avid readers, and that is a great way to wait for your flight. Hudson News is usually very reliable to have umpteen magazines and the latest best-seller paperback books in their stores. You can also pick up snacks, and Sudoku puzzle books, as well as crossword puzzles and word, find puzzles. I usually pack a few books in my carry on to read while on the flight, so it works out well if there is a flight delay. I also have “adult” coloring books in the carry-on. No, not what you think; these are purchased at Michael’s and usually are intricate architecture, maze type drawings, and exotic animals, that one can color in with colored pencils. Actually this is very stress-reducing. I read an article recently that states within five minutes of coloring or reading a novel, stress levels drastically decrease.
Being an avid knitter and crocheter, that is another option I use to while away the time. Some scarf patterns can be so easy, I have finished a scarf or dishcloth while waiting for flights. This is not for everyone, of course.
Obviously while waiting you may certainly need to call the people who are waiting for your arrival. This can take up some time, and you can make arrangements for pick up times, etc. Checking with the airline if you are going to miss a connecting flight, is of tantamount importance. The airline associated at the desk can make the arrangements for you, and help out with the luggage tracking.
Having gotten that out of the way, one can always find places to eat. Numerous restaurants and kiosks for coffee, snacks, bakery items, are located usually within quick walking distance of your gate. I know this is true at O’Hare International Airport.
If dining is not an option or desire, take a walk! Get some exercise. Pending the length of time of delay, you can probably log in a mile or two, or more, just by going from one end of an airport to another including checking out the other gates. If You have children who are aged 6 and up, this is a good idea and helps them burn off energy. Plus, most large airports have some sort of intriguing design or display. Syracuse airport has a play area for children and exhibits of airplanes. I don’t know why all airports don’t have something like this for “little travelers”. There could be supervisory and safety issues, though, I am sure.
Even in these hard economic times, shopping might be a way to take up time, even if it is just window shopping. If you are passing through a city on your way to your next destination, you can pick up a little souvenir. All airports have some sort of souvenir shops (except I don’t remember seeing one in Ithaca, New York). Duty-free shops are located post TSA on the way to the gates. That is helpful if you are traveling out of the country and want to avoid duty fees. Just make sure what you purchase coordinates with the TSA rules of transporting liquids and such like.
I don’t personally have a laptop, but I see numerous people waiting at gates, whiling away the wait time getting work done, sending pertinent emails, and sometimes playing solitaire. Which brings me to handheld video games. Most kids have these and they have no problem whiling away hours and hours on one of their favorite games. Portable DVD players are something my kids love to take with while on vacation, traveling in a car, or by train or flying. You just might get to see that movie You have been looking forward to watching it!
While I do enjoy being silly, I do not recommend playing Hide and Go Seek in the airport, nor should you encourage children to. This could be disastrous. Also, being annoying to fellow travelers is not recommended. You never know why a person is traveling and respect is just common courtesy. Being an author, I do find it so interesting to strike up a conversation with someone else who is waiting for the same flight. I find this a great way to pass on my business card. I have also gleaned many life stories, information that I never knew before, and just plain camaraderie with other people from all walks of life.
If all fails, and you are able to, take a nap! Make sure a purse, briefcase, carry on is tucked safely on one’s lap so as to avoid the temptation of being robbed. All in all, there are a variety of ways to endure the sometimes inevitable wait at the airport. These are just a few ideas that may be of some help. And, God bless the traveler who is on their way to a family emergency. I can’t imagine a worse time to be delayed in travel.
By the way, our luggage made it to Cleveland, but we did not. If the airline had put us on the plane with our luggage all would be well. If the airline had been courteous enough to not send our luggage without us, we could have driven. It took over a week to get my luggage back, and I am still missing one piece. As for the Twins’ Fest, as any die-hard Cubs fan will say, “Well, there’s always next year.”
Singapore will be a really interesting holiday choice for anyone considering a year end holiday vacation. This is one of my favorite holiday destinations and I’ll explain why shortly as well as what are the best places and things to do in Singapore. Yer it is not for everyone.
As mentioned in the title, Singapore is a Asian country with a strong flavor of western culture. You will find that the locals have been breed on a strong system of English education and media (TV, newspaper, movies, radio etc etc) which is great for any English speakers as you have no problems getting around and communicating with the locals using your native language.
The second thing to note about Singapore is that it is a haven for great food. You will find the delicious Asian foods (Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Thailand, Indonesia) and the usual Western Imports as well (KFC, Burger King etc etc). Food is considered a national pastime here and that explain the strong food culture here. Locals are used to waiting for half an hour and above for really popular food stalls. The personal recommendation to try out are food such as “Chicken Rice” ” Roti Prata” and “Mee Goreng.”
The shopping is not bad too, although you won’t find much great discounts but the quality of the goods is great as they imported all the famous brands into one area, known as Orchard Road. Orchard Road is a haven for shoppers as it is the central town of Singapore and you can find anything you want here (cameras, clothings, books, cosmetics etc etc). Another new shopping location is Vivo City, a newly open shopping paradise.
The security of the place is another strong point, you can even walk around in the middle of the night and not worried about getting mugged because the crime rate is one of the lowest in this world but of course that does not mean it is 100% crime free. Just know that you can generally be stress free about security due to the strict laws here.
Apart from security, there are also certain business opportunities to watch out for ever since Pilotoasia was launched where you can find a way to start your own business with the right set of people and the required necessities.
Lastly, getting around is rather easy with the advanced transport system here. Cabs and buses as well as trains will take you all over the places easily.
Unfortunately Singapore has a reputation of not being a place tourist would like to stay for long, unless you are really seeking a place to just relax and chill in a safe and peaceful environment. I would personally recommend staying for 5 days because you will run out of interesting places to visit and do after that, as the country is not very big, famously referred to as “a dot on the map.”
The beaches here are very poor and anyone seeking a beach vacation should visit “Sentosa Sunset Bay” which is actually is not a bad spot with active beach vollyball and clubbing going on.
Did I mention the clubbing scene is pretty tame too? However if you really wanna club and see the local clubbing scene, the notorious spots are “Zouk” “Ministry Of Sound” and “St James Power Station.’
The warm weather will take some getting used to as well, so wear light clothing and in general avoid walking in the sun. Luckily most of the places are air conditioned.
There you have it, as I said, Singapore is a unique place and will be a great holiday destination for certain people. Hopefully the above information was useful.