Waiting for a connection at the airport sucks. It sucks even more when you have to wait eight hours (or more!) for one. We’ve all been there, it’s sometimes just part of travelling, but we’ve found a few tricks to make the most of an unavoidable, boring wait. Here are some ideas for making the most of your next lengthy layover.
Use this time to get even more excited for your holiday
The first thing you can do during your downtime is to pump yourself up even more for your eventual arrival. It’s a great time to do more research into your destination, book an airport transfer, make a game plan about what you’ll see first, see what people are eating on Instagram or where the best spot for a beautiful sunset is. Make a hit list so you can hit the ground running on the other end.
Catch up on life admin
What have you been putting off? Heaps? Same. This is a great time to clean out your inbox, email your grandparents, upload pictures from your LAST trip to Facebook or the million other little things you just never seem to get around to. It doesn’t all have to be online either, if you’ve been travelling a lot you might just need to do the basics—shower, shave and brush your teeth or finish the book you started months ago and has been gathering (metaphorical) dust on your Kindle. If you need to shower or use Wi-Fi, it might be worth upgrading to get lounge access. You don’t always have to be a member and can sometimes just pay a fee to enter for a few hours while you wait.
Train your brain
Whether it’s reading, writing or puzzles like sudoku, sitting still with nowhere to be is the perfect time to flex your mind muscles. Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn (like a language) or there’s a documentary you’ve been meaning to watch. Do something that occupies your mind completely and the time will fly by.
Airports are getting fancier every year and some even have gyms now! They say physical activity is great for ditching jet lag altogether after a long flight, so even if you can’t find a gym, get moving! Walk around the airport or if it’s quiet, do a mini workout in an empty area. Squats, pushups, wall sits and tricep dips are all moves you can do without any equipment. If you’re not brave enough, a simple little stretch sequence will do the job too.
No, we don’t mean shopping sadly, a layover is not the time to fill up your bags. But you can still treat yourself like the king or queen you are by either finding an airport spa (they exist!), or if that’s not on the cards, ignoring the looks of other travellers by sporting a face mask and sitting in a massage chair. I guarantee you every airport has one of those chairs. If you’re travelling with a partner, you might even be able to convince them to give you a foot rub—you just need to be prepared to return the favour.
Worst case scenario, if the wait is really getting you down, just sleep it out. Again, some airports have sleep pods, but otherwise find a quiet departure gate, set an alarm and enjoy laying horizontal for a few hours instead of curled up in your seat. It might be the best sleep you get during transit!