Some people say that half the fun of a trip is getting there. While that may be a nice sentiment, those who are trapped in a random airport for hours on a layover might disagree. Airport chairs aren't exactly known for their comfort, there usually isn't much to do other than eat or buy over-priced trinkets while playing the waiting game can make nervous travellers even more anxious.
While it can be exceedingly convenient to book direct flights, that's not always possible. Maybe you're not flying into a main hub or it could be that it's simply more cost-effective to hop between airports or even change airlines while heading to your next vacation spot. Whatever the case may be, if you're forced to hang out at a foreign airport for any extended period, you'll have to do something to make the most of your time.
Sure, you might have to think outside the box a bit, but it is possible to be productive or even have fun while waiting for a connecting flight. Here are a few ideas on things you can do to make the time fly before you do!
1. Watch your health
When you think about long, potentially boring layovers in a city you're unfamiliar with, you probably don't immediately think about ways you can improve your health. But maybe you should. After all, there are ample opportunities to improve your well-being - or at least give you a much-needed burst of energy to get you through until you can nap on the next flight.
For instance, you can take this opportunity to get the blood flowing by taking a walk around the airport. Many of these buildings in major hubs are huge and offer different shops and restaurants if you're willing to cross a few terminals. Some airports even have specific places you can go to exercise, whether that means putting in a few push-ups or bringing a yoga mat and striking a pose in a designated spot or even a gym. Moreover, rather than hitting the nearby convenience store and loading up on potato chips and candy, make sure you're adding good things to your diet by eating healthy.
2. Do work
Few people want to do work while travelling, unless they're specifically going on a business trip. As such, to tie up some loose ends before you go on a vacation, you may want to do some work while waiting for the next leg of the journey. That said, the area around the gate might not be conducive to productivity.
You should consider looking into a temporary membership for the VIP lounge area of your airline - think the frequent flyers' club space. Many times, depending on the airline, for only a small fee, you can spend a few hours sitting in much more comfortable seats, in a quiet environment and have some refreshments.
This is probably a no-brainer. If you're really trying to re-charge the batteries and waste a few hours at an airport, why not take a nap? That way, you can catch up on your sleep and also wake up that much closer to your departure time. That said, there are some things to consider. For instance, if you're not travelling with loved ones, this can be a little daunting. Make sure you keep you carry-on bags close to you and any valuables on your person. If you've got a bag with straps, think seriously about either wearing it or wrapping a strap around your leg, making it harder for someone to get away with your belongings. Consider seeing if the airport offers lockers.
If you're delayed for longer, you might want to turn a nap into a full night's sleep - see if the airport has an associated hotel. Many times, the front desk can call up to your room if there's a change in the flight's status. Regardless of whether you're in a hotel or catching some shut-eye at the gate, make sure to set an alarm so you don't miss boarding!