by B G June 05, 2017

Most of us would prefer a nice nonstop flight, however, layovers are often inevitable during long flights.

Flights with layovers are typically a bit cheaper than direct flights- appealing to the masses regardless of the extra hours. Layovers don't have to be an endless amount of time staring at the clock waiting to catch your next flight. There are several things to do to keep you occupied and entertained while waiting for your next flight.

Be prepared
Plan your itinerary out in advance to avoid wasting precious layover time. Figure out what your airport layover provides in terms of entertainment choices, public transportation, sleeping options, luggage storage, and anything special you might find out about the airport. Some airports have neat things such as museums, spas, nature, performances, and shopping. The Incheon International Airport, for example, has a 72-hole golf course, indoor gardens, Korean jimjilbangs, gambling, a movie theater, an ice rink, and shopping! Be sure to do a Google search of your airport and prepare some activities based on your time allotted.

See the sights
The best places for an airport layover adventure will have great public transportation into the city. Washington Reagan National, Boston Logan, Chicago O'Hare, and Portland International, for example, have excellent transportation systems that will enable you to see some lovely sights while waiting. Check to see if you can store your baggage at the airport while you explore! Many airports provide lockers or a storage area leaving you hands-free for a few hours. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time since you will have to go back through security to catch your next flight.

Sleep
While traveling, one's comfort may depend on several things including the specific airport, life experiences, and time allotted during the layover. Many airports have specific sleeping lounges or long comfy chairs that a traveler can fully stretch out on and enjoy a nice nap. Make sure to bring a little pillow or blanket to maximize comfort on a budget at the airport. If your layover is a tad longer, perhaps look into booking a nearby hotel or hostel. Many nearby hotels have a free shuttle and sometimes free breakfast as well. You may also enjoy the comfort of a private room and a shower. While sleep may be a great option- make to set an alarm or two to ensure you make your flight!

Get little stuff done
If your layover is too short to go anywhere or do anything try to get things done. Chat with friends or family over the phone or sift through unread emails. Delete old pictures or unknown contacts from your phone to free up space. Make much needed doctor or dentist appointments that you have been ignoring. Find an outlet and charge all your devices. Get your nails done or head to the airport barber. Smile at a random stranger and have an engaging conversation about life. Purchase a fun postcard and mail it to a long lost friend. If all else fails or is completed, grab a nice drink at the bar and relax! If you give yourself a time limit, you'll be surprised just how productive you can be before your next flight.

Exercise
We all make excuses at some point about why we didn't have time to work out. This could be your chance to get that much needed workout in! Many airports are now building gyms for use while on a layover. Even if you can't find a gym, pack some running shoes and shorts and workout in the airport. Pack a yoga mat if you like! Many airports also have showers that you can use after you work up a nice sweat.

Have a feast
While airport food is notoriously bad, some airports actually offer gourmet cuisines. Use your time to have a lovely sit down meal with a glass of wine perhaps. Once again, do your research and check the reviews before you sit down. There's no need for McDonald's when you have some extra time on your hands. If airport food is too pricey- pack a picnic lunch in your carry on and find a nice place to roll out your smorgasbord.

Read, write, or watch
This could be a great time to catch up on your newest book or take a time to update your blog. If you brought your computer, catch up on some recent shows or watch a movie. Find a nice quiet corner and get comfy for a while. You could also purchase some fun postcards and write to your family and friends about your trip. If you don't have a book, take a look at the shops in the airport. Some airports will even have a small library or a small facility where you can borrow books.

Funny videos showing ways to pass time in an airport:

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B G


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