Long layovers can be seriously excruciating, but these tips will help you make the best of them.
Ah, the dreaded long layover, that break between flights that seems to last forever. We can probably all agree layovers are one of the more excruciating parts of air travel. But, even though you’re stuck in an airport, you don’t have to let those hours of travel purgatory go to waste. Next time you find yourself aching for a way to pass the time before your next flight, try one of these suggestions. Before you know it, it’ll be boarding time.
Catch Up On Sleep
This one may be a no brainer, but it really is a great option for passing time very quickly while recharging your body. Sure, airports aren’t the most comfortable nap settings, but you can make it happen, especially with the help of a travel blanket and pillow (need to link these two to products). Just keep in mind that if you’re traveling solo, it’s up to you to make sure your possessions stay safe and you wake up in time. To avoid a travel nightmare, keep a hand or foot on your bags (or use one as a pillow), and set a couple alarms. If you want extra security, try finding a kind-looking stranger on your flight to wake up you up if you miss the boarding call. Sweet dreams!
Play A Game
Before you leave for your trip, pick up a few travel-size games for your carry on. These days, everything from Connect Four® to Scrabble® comes in a miniature size. Can’t spare space for even those? Download a couple new games on your phone, or get creative and invent some on the spot. Whether you’re counting how many pink roller bags go by or competing in a sort of travel “I Spy” or dusting off your 20 Questions skills, playing games is a sure fire way to keep your mind occupied while you wait those long hours for your flight to depart.
Research Your Destination
Make great use of your extended layover by doing some more research on your destination. Confirm restaurant reservations, scour the Internet for excursion ideas, and try to find some pro tips from locals or seasoned travelers. Even if you think you’ve researched thoroughly, you may be surprised at how much new information turns up after another look. Is the long layover on your journey home? Just research for your next trip instead!
Read or Write
Who says you can only write in your travel journal when you’re at your destination? Use the extra time to add some more entries or catch up on your book and magazine reading. In our fast-paced modern lives, these are activities that often get neglected in favor of more high-tech entertainment, but once you get started you’ll remember just how relaxing and engaging they can be.
Meet New People
The airport is full of people just like you who love to travel and are willing to share their stories. Try striking up a conversation with the person next to you at the gate or the terminal bar. There are so many different stories to be heard at the airport, you may actually find yourself disappointed when it’s time to board the plane.
Get Some Work Done
So many people these days can do their jobs from anywhere. Are you one of them? Use your layover to take care of any and all of the work hanging over your head so you can enjoy your trip interruption free.
Some airports offer fitness centers on the premises. If you won’t be passing through one of those, try doing a yoga routine or bring some resistance bands in your carry-on for low-key strength exercises. Not only will you kill time, but you’ll also burn some energy to tire yourself out for the next flight, and burn some calories so you can really indulge in local treats on your vacation. Sure, you might get a few funny looks from people walking by, but you probably won’t see them again anyway—just brush it off.
Take A Short Trip Out Of The Airport
If your layover is considerably long (longer than a few hours—anything shorter is too much of a time risk) and you’re feeling brave, head out of the the airport for a while and see what you can discover. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to go through security again when you return, so make sure to leave plenty of time for that.
How do you use your layover time? Let us know in the comments below.
Patrick Gensel is a world-roaming visual storyteller with a special place in his heart for action sports and the natural world. No matter where Patrick is, you can always find him sharing his stories on Adventuretravelbuzz.com, Instagram and Twitter.
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