The Christmas travel season is upon us and chances are that you’ll be spending some time in an airport. Flight delays, long layovers, and overbooked flights await you on your journey back to family and friends.

Here are three ways to combat the stress of long airport stays.

  • Relax and Accept The Circumstances – There is usually very little you can do around this time of the year. When your flight gets delayed or canceled call the airline or borrow some wireless to track your plane.
    • Once you know where your plane is you won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t come at the time airline staff says it will.
  • Strategize Quickly And Begin Setting Up Camp – As flights start getting delayed restaurants start filling up and power outlets become scare. The best thing to do is find a nice place you can sit down and eat, preferably with a plug nearby and call the airline from there. Avoid lines as much as you can – they don’t enhance your layover experience one bit.
    • If you’ll be staying overnight, snag one of the best places to sleep in an airport.

  • Call A Long Lost Friend Or That Uncle You Haven’t Called In A While – It amazes me that people risk their lives making phone calls from cars during rush hour, but get so frustrated if a flight gets delayed and never call anyone. Sure, you’ll call your boy-toy or wife, but you’re trying to make the most of it. We all know someone around the holidays who doesn’t get called, receive as many presents, or has lost a loved one recently. Give them a ring.
    • Most airports still have payphones. Save the minutes on your cell phone and talk for an average of 30 minutes per 25 cents or use Skype.
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Don’t forget to leave home without your small travel essentials and plan your connections through good airports to crash in. USAToday has a good list of the 10 best US airports to spend time and money in. Come loaded with your iPods, laptops, and inspirational travel movies.

[photo by: boxelf]