Our plane arrived at 12:35AM. Sadly, the Metro in Athens closed at midnight. The only nearby hotel, while a great one, was way more expensive than what I could justify spending for a few hours. Neither was taking a €65 cab ride into the center of downtown only to take a cab back almost immediately. The option was a dubious one, sleep in the airport! Of course I have done this kind of thing many times in the past: a train station in Poland, a little airport in Iceland, and a barn in a small town outside of Vienna, Austria (I am still grateful for that one).
However, it’s been a while since I have had to justify the experience. I managed just fine.
Here are a few thoughts on how to prepare and enjoy a difficult experience.
1. Understand people get stranded all the time.
2. Never put your tooth brush in your checked baggage, carry it on the plane
3. Backpacks stuffed with a sweater makes a manageable emergency pillow.
4. When in doubt line up four chairs.
5. Don’t worry about safety, most everyone is in the same place and there is no where to run. However, always use common sense in any public place while traveling.
Remember these are not recommendations for creating free accommodations in Greece. Airports don’t want you there and it won’t be enjoyable. This is only the last resort.
Written by Devin Galaudet