Booking long layovers might be the best keep secret of frequent travelers. Airports get a bad rap – many people think of them as busy, stressful environments. But with the right attitude, airport layovers can be enjoyable.
A long layover is a perfect way to transition into your travels, and there are so many things to do at the airport. Instead of wishing you could get to your destination faster, make the most of your layover by treating yourself to activities you enjoy.
Read on for our list of 7 things to do at the airport. We promise you’ll never be bored during a layover again.
1. Squeeze in a Workout
Sticking to your exercise routine while traveling can be a challenge, so why not get a head start? If you’re between flights, it will feel good to move and stretch for a few minutes.
Many airports offer fitness centers for active travelers. They are affordable and equipped with top-notch exercise equipment. Go for a run on the treadmill, then take a quick shower to freshen up.
Airport yoga spaces are also becoming more common, and they are free. Pack a travel yoga mat in your carry-on luggage for easy access.
You could also opt to take a long walk through the terminal, or find an empty corner to do lunges, squats, or push-ups. There are plenty of exercises that only require your own body weight.
2. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is all the rage for a reason. Feeling good from head to toe can lead to better work performance, relationships, and sleep.
In this fast-paced world, there’s not always time to pamper ourselves. That’s why indulging in a spa treatment is one of the best airport activities.
Most terminals have a spa, and some have nail salons as well. Check the airport map and head to the nearest location for a manicure, pedicure, or massage. It’s a great way to relax if you’re a nervous flyer, or if you’re en route to a stressful meeting.
One more way to practice self-care at the airport is to spend a few minutes meditating. Find a quiet area, put your headphones on, and tune in to a meditation app. Get ready to feel completely blissed out on your next flight.
3. Train Your Brain
Puzzles and brain teasers are good for your brain, and they’re fun! Stop at a newsstand to pick up a book of crossword puzzles, word scrambles, or sudokus. You’ll be amazed by how time flies when you’re engrossed in a game.
If you have your smartphone or laptop handy, you can also find a variety of puzzles online. Fans of J.K. Rowling’s writing will love this Harry Potter word search.
4. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Airport dining is getting better all the time, with many popular restaurants opening outposts for frequent flyers. Don’t miss out on experiencing a slice of the local dining scene. Deep-dish pizza at Chicago O’Hare, anyone?
Keep an eye out for healthy options like sushi, salads, or wraps. You’ll feel better on the plane if you’re not bloated from overeating.
Crowd-watching from the comfort of an airport bar is one of the most interesting things to do at an airport. The drinks are notoriously strong, and travelers from all over the world will pass by, providing endless entertainment. If you don’t drink alcohol, cafes are also prime people-watching locations.
5. Shop ‘Til You Drop
Airports have become hubs for high-end shopping, and browsing world-class brands is an enjoyable way to spend an hour or two.
Get a head start on your holiday shopping, or pick up a thoughtful gift for your host. Maybe you’re in need of some new clothing or luggage for your trip. You can treat yourself to a new pair of sandals if you’re heading to the beach.
Discovering what’s available in each airport you visit is all part of the fun, but there are a few items to watch for everywhere. Great makeup, tea, and candy shops often have locations in terminals. It’s also possible to find deals on perfume and sunglasses.
6. Embrace Your Inner Lounge Lizard
A long layover is just the excuse you need to splurge on a pass to that airline lounge you’ve always wanted to visit. Airport lounges provide respite from the hustle and bustle of public areas.
The entrance fee usually includes snacks, beverages, and access to strong Wi-Fi. Get cozy in an oversized leather chair and order a glass of the house red wine.
A lounge is a wonderful place to relax, catch up on work, or read a good book. Some airports offer more affordable independent lounges, so check the options online before your trip.
7. Plan Your Next Adventure
Smartphones make it easy to plan your adventures from anywhere. While you have some free time, research the best restaurants, bars, and activities at your destination. Make a list of your favorites to refer to later.
Travel magazines, blogs, and traveler reviews all have helpful insight to share. Taking advice from other travelers is a reliable way to set yourself up for a positive experience.
Your future self will thank you when you arrive at your hotel hungry. With the perfect dining establishment already picked out, all you’ll have to do is hop in a cab.
There Are Endless Things to Do at the Airport
The next time you’re not sure what to do during a layover, remember this list and do your best to appreciate the experience. Whether you enjoy snacking on delicious food or lounging around with a cocktail and a novel, there’s an airport activity for everyone.
These are all great things to do at the airport, but you should also come up with your own ideas. Something as simple as watching planes take off and land can be a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
Before you know it, you’ll be booking long layovers intentionally.
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