Ugh, it’s so frustrating to be stranded at an airport or in a hotel room from a flight delay caused by inclement weather or airline computer breakdowns.

As you’re reading this, you’re thinking delays are a huge waste of time, right?

No doubt, you can think of some things to be productive such as pulling up your work on your computer.

But you can use your time really well, if you’re prepared.

Here’s a checklist:

1. Have a personal WIFI

To be sure, you have some emailing to do or topics to surf on the Internet.

True, airports have public WIFI systems.

But the key word here, “public,” is a red flag for security reasons.

So get a personal WIFI.

You can also use your cellphone or other mobile device as a substitute, a mobile hotspot.

2. Consider new productivity apps

Create, edit, share forms, communicate with your staff in real time and perform other tasks with EZ Forms.

If you’re visually oriented, you can do all kinds of things with Inkflow.

Manage your passwords across all your devices with a single password that will delete your personal information from hackers with Keeper.

To keep you from getting lost while looking for destinations, Wikitude can be helpful as a reality app.

3. Consider buying a tablet keyboard

If you’re a tablet user, you can make typing easier with a cheap wireless keyboard.

4. Pack your device chargers

Even more frustrating than being stuck at an airport is having your devices shut down from dead batteries. You’ll want to fully charge and pack your mobile devices before heading for the airport.

Even better, extra charged batteries can be helpful.

5. Expedite Check-in

You can save time checking in and finding your gate by signing up for airport apps, and downloading your boarding pass.

Plus, scores of airports and 19 airlines allow a government pre-check with TSA Pre✓.

6. Use a business lounge

Work in comfort at a business or first-class lounge. Amenities can actually make delays enjoyable.

7. Write a to-do list 

Being stranded is a perfect time to get and feel more organized by working on a to-do list for tasks while you’re stranded.

8. Organize for the rest of your trip

Whether you’re en route to a speaking engagement or client meeting, surely there are things you can accomplish.

9. Organize your trip expenses 

This time is ideal for organizing your receipts and business expenses.

Yes, I know a lot of people do it and I appear to be old-fashioned, but I’m not wild about putting important financial information on mobile apps unless you’re absolutely certain your smartphone is absolutely secure.

No smartphone is secure without taking strong security precautions to prevent mobile attacks.

10. Delegate or request assistance

For tasks you can’t accomplish while sitting in an airport, you can probably think of things that need to be done. So, call or email your staff or associates for help.

11. Pay attention to vexatious emails 

Whether you’re procrastinating on responding to certain emails or you’re unsure what to write, now is the perfect time to at least start drafting an email.

It’s also a good investment of your time to review your emails, organize them and to delete unwarranted emails.

12. Contemplate your overall objectives 

Instead of stressing about the inconvenience of your delay, review your big-picture situation and current business stratagems.

Review your metrics and contemplate possible changes.

13. Make fast phone calls 

If you think about it, there are probably some quick phone calls you can make. Discussions about confidential matters or important phone calls can probably wait.

14. Catch up on your reading 

Review industry news online or have helpful books or articles you can consume.

If you’re all caught up business-wise, relax by reading a good book. To totally escape while reading, my preference is a good mystery or spy thriller.

15. Avoid annoying noise with headphones

Whether you’re sitting next to someone who’s carrying on a noisy phone conversation or hyperactive children, you can cancel out the noise if you have good headphones.

16. Set your phone timer 

If you’re engrossed in your work, set a timer so you don’t waste time continually checking the time or risk missing developments about your flight.

17. Work offline 

Avoid temptations or distractions by working offline.

18. Meditate 

Sitting around an airport can be stressful. Meditation is a great way to relax and to clear your mind.

You’ll be amazed by the benefits.

19. Eat a healthy snack 

Business trips can be draining. Instead of drinking too much coffee, get some brain food or high-protein snacks for energy.

20. Rehearse your foreign language skills 

Whether you’re traveling overseas or just want to better understand other cultures, learning another language is fun and productive for your brain.

Duolingo is a well-regarded free app.

Being able to speak to foreigners in their native tongues will bring a smile to both theirs and your faces.

21. Get compensation 

If you can justify to an airline how you’ve wasted valuable time, perhaps you can get some sort of recompense. It might be possible to get part of a refund or credit for future trips. It’s worth asking about it.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Best Tips to Avoid Unnecessary Stress on Business Trips — On overseas trips, business travelers feel anxiety for a myriad of reasons. Here are 14 ways to alleviate stress.

13 Great Business Travel Tips — Jet lag, bad hotel beds, and lost luggage – just a few of the miseries of business travel. But travel is vital to manage operations, close sales and to build relationships.

6 Top Tips for Etiquette in Business Travel — If you’re into people-watching, the airport is an entertaining place to be. You’ll see all kinds of personalities. That’s especially true for the wide variety of business travelers. For successful trips, business travelers share one common trait. They need to be mindful of business etiquette.

8 Year-Round Business Tax Strategies Are Vital — Many business owners find they can plan their futures, operate their businesses more efficiently year-round, and take maximum advantage of tax savings when they file their returns. Ask your tax advisor about these 8 strategies.

8 Strategies for Business Tax Deductions on Your Vacation — Did you ever notice professional organizations hold their conventions at favorite tourist destinations? The reason? An opportunity for a vacation using some tax write-offs.

Etiquette Tips for Conducting Business in the French Culture — Not to be gauche, but compared to the U.S., conducting business in France might seem a bit quirky to you. Nevertheless, business with the French can be very profitable, if you approach it with dignity.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

– Buddha


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.