Many folks find themselves at airports for long stretches of time. It could be due to long layovers, flight delays or cancellations, or a wait to be picked up. These periods can be boring or frustrating, so here are some ideas for ways to pass the time at airports.
Look Into Compensation
Are you stuck because of a flight delay or cancellation? Look into your compensation options if you have not already. As an example, Wizz Air claim compensation is possible for delayed and canceled flights with varying amounts of compensation. Doing this may make you feel more productive and active in tackling a problem.
Explore the Airport
If you’ve yet to download the smartphone game Pokemon Go, this could be a great opportunity. It gets you exploring the airport while playing one of the most fun games around.
Other approaches to exploring include checking out the art and doing a scavenger hunt especially if you are traveling with kids. Make a list of random things to find, and you are set.
Shopping is another option. Some airports have “buy now, pick up later” policies that help you with duty-free products, too. If shopping is not your thing, food might be. Many airports feature local cuisine along with chain eateries. An airport can be a great place to taste delicious local food.
Yet another technique is to take pictures. You can choose a theme, say, flowers, blue, or hidden in plain sight, and have a lot of fun with it.
Spring for a Massage or Get Some Exercise
Some airports have massage chairs or day spas for passengers with sore, cramped muscles. If you have been wanting a facial, you may be able to get one at an airport spa, too.
Otherwise, some airports have yoga studios. The largest airports may feature ice skating, swimming, squash courts, or even exercise bikes for phone recharging. If you are traveling with children, many airports have children’s play areas.
Chat With Someone
Striking up a conversation with strangers can be difficult if you are shy, but it is often a good way to pass the time. Airport bars and cafes are places to find people, but you could start talking with the person next to you at the gate, too.
Bored airport staffers may welcome chat too. Just be sure not to complain to them or disrespect them.
Set up camp and people watch. This can be especially fun at international gates since you’re getting to see people from cultures new to you.
Hopefully, you packed an easily accessible travel toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. Duck into an airport bathroom to brush your teeth and hair and touch up your makeup.
If your layover is long enough (a minimum of five hours, typically) and the weather permits, pass the time in a city instead of at the airport. Some airports even offer city tours.
Purchase Lounge Passes
The perks of airport and airline lounges can include movie theaters, kids’ rooms, and showers, depending on the airport. You can book a one-time lounge pass for these frustrating travel delays or so you can arrive early and unwind. You can also use a lounge for a post-flight shower.
Download a Movie or Game
Use the airport WiFi to download movies or games to your tablet. Downloading is safer than streaming live so you have the content there in case your connection gets interrupted or hacked.
Learn Something New
Now could be a good time to start learning a new language or skill. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, why not take this time to read up on point of view or other storytelling techniques?
Journal the Experience
Journaling your experience can make the time at the airport pass quicker. Write (or type or draw) about why you’re here and what you are feeling. Discuss who you are traveling with or who you are going to see, if applicable, and what you see, smell, and hear around you.
Write a Letter or Call Someone
If you would rather not journal, try writing a letter. It could be to a friend, spouse, child, grandparent, or maybe even yourself. A letter is an excellent way to connect and bond in a different way compared with email and texting. Another alternative is to call someone and catch up.
Organize Your Travel Pictures
If you’ve already been on your trip and are returning home, this time at the airport represents a fantastic opportunity to organize your travel photos. Which are social media worthy? Which do you want to print out or frame?
Having a few hours at the airport could be a chance for you to look into flight delay compensation or reflect on your trip and state of mind. Depending on how long you’re there, you could even get out of the airport for a quick city visit.