Stuck at the airport, hoping for a standby, [they didn't dare get a hotel room for fear of losing a standby flight], they were forced to spend a very long time in O'Hare. Simply waiting. Now, for those of you who travel, you know that you never allow yourself to fall asleep in an airport, allowing yourself to be vulnerable to pickpockets and nefarious other creatures who lurk in such places. (Okay, silly, get the vampires and zombies out of your heads!)
Here are a few tips they could have used, especially since they were traveling in a group of three:
* Bringing along a small throw blanket/ lap robe, would have allowed some creature comfort while waiting, and could be rolled into a minuscule size within a tote bag; an inflatable pillow would also have been nice.
* They could have found a place where all three could sit together, and two could have napped while one kept watch. Reading or on the laptop, to pass the time.
* Snacks would have meant that purchases made in the airport could have been limited to drinks, sodas or water. At least for all except for one meal.
* A lightweight sweater would have kept them from the summer air-conditioning chill which happens when you sit still for long.
* A book, laptop, ebook reader, or tablet, would have provided diversion.
* Comfortable rubber soled slippers (those foam type, that look like shoes) would have helped with travel edema in the lower legs.
* Going ahead and planning for a possible layover, and including a motel/hotel room for one night in the budget would have saved 2 elderly relatives from sitting up in an airport for nearly a full day. Budget for a room on the return trip as well, just in case.
* Pack medications, at least for 24-48 hours, in portable containers for inclusion in your carry on. (I simply pack my medications for a full week in the medication box that you can purchase at any pharmacy fr a couple of dollars.) Make sure you carry a thermal bag for insulin if you are diabetic and your insulin requires refrigeration. Along with a small container to dispose your syringes in. (For travel I would recommend using pre-filled cartridge pen syringes to keep from having to carry the insulin and syringes.)
* Pack those little things that can really help: Tylenol or Advil, for headaches or aches and pains; antacid tablets; anti-diarrheal tablets; wet wipes for keeping germs at bay; a portable toothbrush and sample sized toothpaste; a small tube of denture adhesive if you wear dentures; a comb; nail clippers and an emery board. Lens wipes can keep eye glasses as well as your cell phone, tablet, laptop, ebook reader, etc., clean. They come pre-packaged, and are then discarded after use.
* Use a carry on that isn't difficult to carry! Small suitcases can sometimes be cumbersome. So I use either a large tote, and forgo the handbag, or a backpack and do the same. I put a handbag in my luggage for everyday. No need to have both a handbag and a carry on. Make it as simple as you possibly can! A small back pack can be placed on the back when you are claiming luggage, or can be thrown over a shoulder, whichever is most comfortable for you. And one bag is always easier to keep up with than two!
* Be sure to take an index card, or you can print this out, and have your full name, address, home phone, an emergency contact of someone who is NOT traveling with you, along with their name, address and phone, placed in your carry on. Make sure you include a list of your medical conditions, allergies, and medications you are taking. Laminate this card. If for some reason you should be unresponsive, medical, or police personnel, can get you the care you need sooner, rather than later. List your Medical Power of Attorney if you have one. Or who is listed on your Living Will.
* If you have a medical condition that can lead to a medical crisis, be sure to wear your medical alert bracelet or necklace at all times!
* Never put your bag out of your site, except on the plane when you will place it in the overhead bin. Men, always carry your wallet with you. But place it in a breast pocket, and NOT in your rear pants pocket. Ladies, consider wearing a waist wallet fitted under your blouse, or a bra wallet, that attached to the front straps of your brassiere. Carry a small amount of cash and coins in your pants pockets.
* Never set anything down and then go back to get it. If it's valuable, it will be gone. If it's food or drink, consider it contaminated, and toss it away!
I hope this has given you some ideas that might help you when traveling. Please feel free to list your tips below!