How to Spend a Long Layover in an Airport

It’s an unavoidable part of travel sometimes: long layovers. Unfortunately, we can’t always find the perfect itinerary that take us from point A to point B with minimal layover and in the shortest amount of time. Sooner or later, we are all going to have to spend a handful of hours in an airport or maybe even sleep over for the night. Here are some ways to spend a long layover in an airport:

  1. Have movies loaded on your laptop or tablet. Nothing kills time better than immersing yourself in a good movie, especially one you’ve been wanting to watch for a long time. Make sure you pre load movies onto your portable devices before your trip.
  1. Read a book. If movies aren’t your thing, find a quiet place to read and bury your nose in a good book.
  1. Eat a meal. Airport food has really stepped up over the past few years and there are some really great restaurants to eat at as you wait now. Layovers of 6+ hours are going to require you to eat anyways, so you might as well sit yourself down at a nice restaurant and enjoy your time eating and drinking a nice meal.
  1. Do research on the airport before your trip. In addition to better restaurants, airports are also stepping up their game in terms of entertainment and activities. Singapore’s Changi Airport, for instance, has a free movie theater, free sleeping pods, and even a butterfly garden. They even offer free tours of the city for those who have long enough layovers. Do research on your airport beforehand to see what kind of amenities they have available to passer throughs.
  1. Work out. Changi Airport also has a free gymnasium where you can do a few stretches and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has a meditation center that’s available to travelers at no cost. For airports without such amenities, a quiet corner of an airport lounge also works as a suitable place to do some yoga.
  1. Get on the wifi. A lot of airports have free wifi now, some of which require no sign in. In airports where you do need a password, you can usually get one from an information desk.
  1. Head out and explore the city. Not every airport is as advances as Changi or Schiphol unfortunately, but even when a free city tour isn’t offered, take it upon yourself to get out of the airport and explore the city. Many airports have lockers where you can store your bags for a few hours which will make exploring much easier.

There are an increasing number of resources for travelers these days, including which airports have certain amenities. Websites such as AirportGyms.com and SleepinginAirports.net are great ways to learn more about the airport you’ll be spending a handful of hours in. Make the most of you long layover with these tips. At the very least, you can people watch!

Photo Credit: Magdalena Roeseler via photopin cc

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