Travel Anxiety:5 Ways To Not Go Crazy If Stuck At An Airport

Do you get travel anxiety when things do go as planned? Emotions can run high when there are severe delays. When you are stuck at an airport because of bad weather, there really isn’t much you can do which can lead to travel anxiety.

Airplanes cannot fly if the weather doesn’t meet certain requirements, that’s just the rules and being stressed out about it won’t help you. However, we realize that is easier said than done.

Here are 5 ways to reduce travel anxiety if you are stuck at an airport and you’re feeling like you want to punch someone in the face or hide under a chair.

  1. Get a room
  2. Buy a book.
  3. Buy a day pass in a lounge.
  4. Write a complaint letter.
  5. Have a nice meal.

5 ways to reduce travel anxiety

1. Get a room.

Many airports have hotels inside of them. Some of them even have cool Minute Suites. If you know you will be at the airport all day and can’t leave, book a room and get away from the crowds. It’s worth the cost to avoid the hundreds of people and noise in an airport with backed up flights.

A room is much more comfortable than lying on the floor of the airport. I see people do that all of the time and it’s uncomfortable and not hygienic by any means. So, if you have the option, get a room and relax. You’ll have a television to occupy your mind and a phone to make all the calls you’ll likely need to make to let people know about your delay.

2. Buy a book.

Almost all airports have bookstores. Many of them now have a read and return policy. You buy a book from a participating bookstore, read it and take it back to another participating bookstore. Upon return, you get half of your money back.  Reading is a great way to escape the chaos of life, especially in an airport.

BONUS TIP! Make sure to get a great pair of headphones. The right pair of headphones can drown out all of the noises in an airport. Less noise can be a lifesaver. I have BOSE earbuds and BOSE headphones and I can’t imagine traveling without them.


3. Buy a day pass in an airport lounge.

There are many lounges that will let you buy a day pass.  United, Delta, Alaska, American,  and American Airlines are just a few of the airlines that have lounges where you can buy a one-time day pass. However, this is not a complete list so if you are stuck in an airport, walk around and see what the possibilities are for you.

There are also some credit cards (usually gold or platinum status) that have partnerships with airport lounges. These will allow you to enter lounges free of charge. I recommend having a look at your credit card perks before you travel. NOTE: Many of these will not have beds or showers.

4. Write a complaint letter.

Ok, stay with me on this one. More than likely if you are stuck in an airport you have probably dealt with horrible customer service from gate agents. I have no idea why customer service is so bad but it is and it doesn’t discriminate.

I heard one gate agent tell a passenger after he asked “Where is Dallas?” say, “Texas.” And she wasn’t being funny. Some gate agents are so rude it’s embarrassing. One way to deal with this is by keeping your cool and taking names. Don’t send an email, send an actual letter.

You can use some of your time while waiting in the airport to write a complaint letter. Companies respond to mail, and you will likely get some goodies in return for the ridiculous treatment you received from their employees.

5. Have a nice meal.

Believe it or not, there are some pretty good restaurants in airports where you can have a delicious meal. Skip the fast food section and get a table in a restaurant, just being able to sit down, look at your options and have a drink or two can help you de-stress.

Most people get fast food and eat in the boarding area and that does nothing to reduce your travel anxiety. Being able to sit down and enjoy your food can help you relax and stay calm.

Check out the dining options on the map in the airport you are stuck in. Sit down options are often stand alone and you might miss a great restaurant. If you have several hours, why not sit down and relax?

Travel can be exhausting but it doesn’t have to leave you angry or anxious. Nip your travel anxiety in the bud with these 5 tried and true tips. Remember that this too shall pass and you’ll be home or to your destination, before you know it.

Have you ever been stuck at an airport? Do you get stressed when there are travel delays?



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  1. I’ve don the lounge thing and that was worth it.
    What are some airports that have hotels in them? or should i just google this?

    I agree, no point in being stressed – so read, relax, eat and get the stress off.

    Good post.

    1. Hey! Way too many for me to list, it’s best to Google it. There are some that have those hotels where you can pay by the hour is you just want to lay down and take a nap. Philly has that and it’s a great way to get some sleep without paying for a whole night at a hotel. Thanks for commenting!

    1. It’s so sad customer service is so horrible but those complaint letters really make a difference! Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like to be stressed! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. These are great ideas! More often than not, it is best to just get a room and stick it out. The stress of sleeping on the airport floor and waiting, hoping – it’s just too stressful!! Thanks for sharing! Visiting from our sits fb thread this morning!

  3. I’ve been stuck in many airports, but my love for travel keeps me calm. I give myself plenty of time & I actually enjoy exploring airports. I’ve done everything except rent a room. I always love reading your suggestions.

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