Long layovers can be a bit of a nightmare, but sometimes, they’re unavoidable. But rather than grimacing the whole way up to your trip, there are plenty of things that you can plan on doing to entertain yourself instead. In fact, your layover could even become part of your trip if you have enough time to kill. Here are some ideas to keep you occupied:
Make the Most of It
If you have a long enough layover, there’s no reason why you can’t get out and explore the city you’re laying over in. Provided you get the appropriate visas and leave yourself enough time to get back through security, there’s no reason why an airport layover can’t turn into an impromptu exploration of a new city. In fact, some airports even offer tours directly from the airport. Do a little research ahead of time and see if it’s possible to turn your dull layover into an exciting mini-vacation en route to your final destination.
Explore the Airport
By the time you reach your layover destination, there are probably a few things that you need—a restroom, a restaurant, or whatever else. But if you’re flying through a major destination, there’s often more to what an airport has to offer than just the basic necessities; in addition, you could find spas, museums, play places for kids, and a plethora of other things to keep you entertained. Again, if you do your research (or make it simple for yourself by using the GateGuru app on your smartphone or tablet), you might find a lot of things to do.
Watch Some Videos
You can often find free WiFi and in your terminal—use your layover as a chance to get caught up on your favorite shows! Unfortunately, if you use a streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu+, they often refuse to let you access their streaming catalogues if you’re traveling abroad, but all you have to do is install a VPN prior to your trip and use that to hide your real IP address. The VPN will cloak your location by sending it through a third-party server located in the country of your choice, and your streaming service will never know you’re sitting in an airport hundreds of miles away. Voila, you’re successfully unblocked!
Make it a Game
Turn your time in the airport into a game to keep everyone entertained. Print off some airport bingo sheets or an airport scavenger hunt. You could even come up with prizes for winners or challenges for the losers when you reach your final destination (for example, the losers have to buy the winners a meal or pose in some silly pictures). If each person or team has a smartphone, you can require photographic proof for each thing—or just play for fun.
Catch Up on Sleep
Make your layover disappear in the blink of an eye! The thing is, when you’re traveling, especially if you’re going through a bunch of different time zones, catching sleep wherever you can en route means you can actually enjoy yourself a little more once you arrive at your final destination. If you can’t find a comfortable spot in the main part of the airport, you may want to look into whether or not your airline’s has a paid lounge where you can relax, or check out the day-rates at the airport hotel.
Although suffering through a long layover is never fun, especially when you’re super excited to get to your final destination or you’re just ready to get back home, there are definitely things you can do to make the time pass. What else do you do on your long layovers? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments!
About the Author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler and enjoys writing about her adventures at www.tripelio.com. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further. Traveling is her drug, and she’s addicted. (Please, no intervention!) www.twitter.com/JesssTravels
What do you do to pass time during a layover?
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