Long journeys often involve connecting flights, which means one thing: the dreaded layover. Some travelers are fortunate to have just enough time between flights to grab a snack and find their way to the next gate, but sometimes having several hours to kill in an airport is inevitable.
Make the most of your layover with these tips to keep you occupied while you wait:
Even though you’re technically just sitting down for an extended period of time, flying can be exhausting. Take advantage of a lengthy layover to get some pep back in your step. If you’re in a big airport, consider simply taking an intraterminal stroll to stretch your legs while browsing the various shops and restaurants along the way.
Plus, we all know that airline food is nothing to write home about — if you’re even lucky enough to be provided with a meal! During your layover, take advantage of the more sophisticated and diverse culinary offerings on offer at the airport, including local fare (or that chain restaurant you’ve been secretly craving).
2. Stay Plugged In
Even if you charged your devices before boarding your first leg flight, long flight times and connections may drain your batteries once more. Hunting for an outlet in a busy terminal can be a challenge, and for that reason, we suggest bringing your own extension cable or mini power strip along for the journey.
Not all airports have free WiFi, so internet-lovers should be prepared to either pay up or get creative. Many smartphones have built-in WiFi hotspots (especially good for unlimited data plan holders), but you might also consider investing in a subscription hotspot service if you plan to use a laptop during your layover.
3. See the Outside World
If you’re faced with a particularly long layover, you might even want to leave the airport and check out the local scenery. You should only leave the airport if you’re absolutely sure you have ample time to leave the premises, however. Don’t stray too far, and be sure to take out some of the local currency just in case you happen upon a must-have souvenir.
Stay abreast of any notifications from your airline in the event that your flight details do change unexpectedly. If your airline has an app, download it and activate push notifications on your phone so that you don’t miss a beat.
Consider lowering your stress levels by setting up shop in an airport lounge, where you’ll often find comfy chairs, free WiFi, and even open bars. While many airports offer day passes to their home lounges, another option is Priority Pass — a subscription-based independent lounge program available at airports worldwide.
If you’re not interested in shelling out big bucks for a swanky lounge, or being around the hustle and bustle of travelers, stopping by an airport chapel could be the ideal opportunity for peace and quiet — you might even be able to squeeze in a nap!
5. Catch Up on Work
Is your inbox filled with dozens of unread emails that you’ve been meaning to comb through? A long layover presents the perfect opportunity for a digital cleanse. If you don’t have any pressing work to do, pack a book you’ve been meaning to read, journal, draw, or call a family member. You’d be surprised how much you can get done when you have nowhere to go.
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