This blog post was updated on November 2, 2018.
All across Europe and parts of North America, snow is grounding planes and travelers in the process. It would seem someone is trying to tell us something, angering the travel gods with every tiny snowflake that falls to the ground and prevents planes from taking off. Passengers can’t get home in time for the holidays. Patience is wearing thin. It would appear the weather doesn’t want you to travel.
Mother Nature can halt all transportation in a mere instant and without warning. She is one powerful woman, but there are ways of dealing with the bad weather rather than just sitting in an airport stewing. Here are a few tips to keep sane when the weather is doing everything in its power to keep you far from sanity and your destination.
Enjoy The Sights You Didn’t Get To See: You want to get home for Christmas. Sightseeing some more may be the last thing on your list. However, it turns into a more enriching and productive way of spending a delay. Catching that exhibit you didn’t have time to see on your planned trip or merely enjoying a few extra days in a city can make a delay less painful.
Go Shopping: Even when the weather outside is frightful, stores always seem to be open and ready for your business. If you can do your Christmas shopping while delayed, you are essentially killing two birds with one stone. When I travel, I often forget to pick up that rare handicraft from Copenhagen and the like because I run out of time. If you are delayed, you have no excuse not to do a little window shopping or actual buying before heading home.
Think Positively: While a delay due to weather often congurs up feelings of “get me out of here”, try to keep positive. If your plane or train doesn’t go out today, don’t act like the sky is falling. You will get home eventually. You may miss a family holiday gathering or two, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Complicating a delay due to poor weather with stress and anxiety will not get the plane to take off any faster.
Skype With Friends and Family: Many stranded travelers are complaining about missing their loved ones back home. The costs of calling internationally or even locally can sometimes be a turn off for delayed travelers. Find a computer or take advantage of the free WiFi at a café and Skype with friends and family back home. By seeing those familiar faces at little to no cost, your mind can be put more at ease.
If you can’t beat the weather, join it: Growing up in Colorado, I learned early on that if the weather was detaining me from a spring break, go after the weather. Find a nearby ski resort. Strap on some ice skates. Sled around London. Sometimes enjoying the weather comes through holing up at a café with a warm glass of wine or hot chocolate. Eat. Drink. Be Merry. The weather is outside of your travel control, no sense in fighting it.