What to do at the airport?

What to do at the airport?

What if you have gone through all the airport procedures, and there is still a lot of time left until your flight? It happens. Same like long layovers happen, when you’re travelling to some more far away countries. All of that can be boring and super-tiring. Especially if you don’t know what to do all these long hours at the airport.

The best thing you can do about it is to come prepared. Come prepared, and you may turn all this waiting into a pleasant experience. How?

Read this article and follow our recommendations.

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People walking around at the airport

What to do at the airport

1. Call a loved one

While you are waiting for your flight, call someone you love.

Vacation can be a busy time, and the free time should be used wisely.

While you are sitting at your gate, call your family and friends and tell them about your travels or just chat with them. To catch up and also to make sure that they don’t worry about you.

However, don’t forget about these things:

  • Time zone. Find out what time is it back at home. So that you don’t wake up anyone.
  • Costs. Are you travelling within Europe where calls and internet are free / included in your data plan? If not, use the airport WiFi to connect with your friends and family.
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2. Walk around the airport

Walking always is a good idea.

It is a common knowledge, that hitting 10 000 steps a day can help you stay healthy and fit. So, use this time you have now for walking around.

And airports are good grounds for walking around, especially the large ones.

You will have a lot of time for sitting or sleeping on the plane.

3. Take a bus / train to another terminal

If you have a long layover, explore beyond your terminal.

But remember, that it is not always possible.

If you have a layover somewhere with a strict visa policy, you may not be allowed past one particular transit area.

4. Dine at the airport

Try local cuisine.

If you have a layover at a country you’ve never visited, and, unfortunately, also this time you can’t make it to the city, you can at least try the traditional cuisine. Since mostly you can get it also at the airport. Just find a local food restaurant and indulge your tastebuds.

If you are travelling with a budget airline, this is your chance to have a proper meal.

Because mostly there is no “proper food” on the plane, unless you have booked it in advance. Otherwise, there are only snacks, sandwiches and salads. And also the prices usually are ridiculous. So, it is better to eat at the airport before departure.

It's one of the differences between full service and low cost airlines.

5. Buy some snacks for your long haul flight

It’s a better idea to buy them in advance.

Especially if you are going on a long haul flight.

Because it’s cheaper this way. But if you haven’t done it yet, and you want to bring a snack on a plane, we would recommend buying it at the airport before departure. As the choice of snacks you can get on the plane is limited.

Choose a snack you would like.

Healthy airplane snacks are the best.

People at airport cafe

6. Shop at the airport

And spend the rest of your foreign money.

Often airport duty free shops have good deals on cosmetics and perfumes. Check out several stores, and compare the prices.

But, before buying anything, check the carry on baggage rules for your travel class!

Some airlines are very strict when it comes to hand luggage.

In some cases they don’t allow you more than one cabin bag.

And everything, including your purchases, must be placed in your carry on.

7. Take a shower

Had a long flight? Why don't you freshen up?

Airports around the world offer shower facilities.

Check the airport map to located them.

8. Take a nap

If you’re tired, don’t push yourself anymore.

Better have some rest now. Taking a nap is probably the best thing to do during a long layover, when you’re feeling tired.

Find a (relatively) quiet corner and settle down for a nap.

But don’t forget to set on an alarm! Preferably on several devices.

And keep it close to you — airports are loud places, and you can miss the alarm easily. I know what I’m talking about. I have overslept a few times.

If you have a smart watch, set an alarm (on vibrate) on it, too.

9. Relax in an airport lounge

If you want to get some rest, consider purchasing a lounge pass.

There are a few ways how you can get airport lounge access.

10. Have a cup of tea / coffee

How else you can kill time in the airport?

Go to a cafe and have a cup of tea or coffee. Take your time and enjoy your cuppa!

Avoid consuming caffeine before a long haul flight flight.

You may want to sleep a bit, so you don’t arrive at your destination totally exhausted.

A cup of coffee

11. Read, watch a movie or listen to a podcast

If you don’t want to walk anywhere, this is how you can pass time until boarding starts.

If you have forgot your book / e-book reader, don’t worry! You can buy reading material, books and magazines, at the airport. There are also some very good reading apps that are great for travel.

Magazine shops sell books as well, including new arrivals.

12. Get some work done

If you have a long layover, why don’t you do something useful.

Find a quieter spot or put your headphones on, and work on your laptop.

13. Plane-spot

This goes without saying, but — airports are great grounds for plane spotting.

Explore the airport gates and check the aircrafts parked at them.

14. Enjoy the airport attractions

Not all airports are created equal.

Some of them are bigger, better and more modern than than others.

Some of the best airports in the world offer their passengers and visitors plenty of attractions.

The best example is Singapore Changi airport. It boasts a rooftop pool, a few free cinemas, a shopping complex, the world’s highest indoor waterfall and several gardens, including the world's first butterfly-garden-in-an-airport.

15. Do something you don’t have time for

Just like that.

If you are stuck at the airport with nothing to do, and with plenty of time on your hands, better spend the time wisely.

Call someone you haven’t called for a while. Write that e-mail you wanted to write a couple of days ago, but forgot to! Catch up on a podcast. Read that magazine you’ve been carrying in your bag for days. Edit photos. Delete blurry photos from your phone. Update your social media. Relax and read a book.

Don't do any of these things at the airport.

Bon voyage!