While it’s exciting to go on a long journey and get to your destination, what’s not very exciting is the actual journey itself – particularly time spent waiting around. Long overlays at airports can be a fact of life. But the better prepared you are to handle that long overlay, the less time it will feel like you are there, waiting, bored with nothing to do.
So, charge up your phone, pack with some comfy clothing essentials, and read through this list to make sure you’re ready to go.
Take a nap
This is perhaps the best way to kill time at an airport on a long overlay. Nobody likes a long overlay unless they have a lot of work to do on their laptop, a comfy chair, and a charge point, so the best way to get through the time is to fast forward it. Unlike the movies, the only way that we can press fast forward on our lives is to sleep!
People will try anything to get comfortable
Now, you won’t always be able to get a comfy chair or a chair at all to nap on for your journey. But do have a look around the airport to see what you can find.
Be prepared for your nap. You may need to sleep on the ground, and it may be cold. A big coat, blanket, or other clothes to put on the ground will make it easier to nap. An eye mask or just something to cover your face will keep out the bright lights. Earbuds with some music or a sleep app, or earplugs will ensure the outside sound doesn’t bother you. Make sure you’re napping out of the way of other travellers and don’t forget to set an alarm to make sure you don’t miss your onward flight.
Watch a movie
Movies are a great way to kill time, whether you’re mid-flight, or between flights. The best way to make sure you can watch the movies that you like on your phone or computer is to download them in advance, so you don’t have to rely on the airport WIFI.
It pays to either find somewhere near to a charging port to watch your movie (as watching movies can reduce your battery quickly) or carry a portable charger when you fly (these only work for phones and tablets, not laptops). The greater the portable charger’s mAh capacity, the more charge it holds.
Do be aware that many phones have a limited memory and might not be able to hold many movies. Download movies in standard definition instead of high definition so they take up less space.
Play some games on your phone
No matter whether you are a casual player or a hardcore gamer, there is a game or games out there for everyone! Because you’re in the airport, you’ll have WIFI, which is good news – when you’re in the air you can only play phone games that have an offline option.
Again, it’s best to download some games before you fly, so that you’re already prepared for your layover. What’s your favourite type of game? Are you an RPG fan and want to play some Final Fantasy? Still hooked on Candy Crush? Or more of a fan of casino games like poker, slots and more?
Browse through the app store and download a few favourites to keep you entertained.
Read a book (or browse the bookstore)
You don’t even need a phone for this one. Before the mobile phone was popular, airports and planes were full of people reading books. So do like they did and pick up a big book for your layover. Fiction or non-fiction the choice is yours – a stack of magazines will suffice, too.
If you have forgotten to pick up a book before your flight, then not to worry, most airports will have a book store or section. Have a read of the backs of the books and see if they might interest you. Even if you don’t end up buying one, it’s a good way to see what’s out there at the moment in terms of literature – and a good way to kill time.
Do some shopping or check out the shops
When the real boredom sets in, your phone has run out of batteries, or you simply can’t sleep, it’s time to have a look around the shops and see what’s about. Are there some souvenir shops stuffed to the brim with local treats? Gucci and Prada stores? What’s going on at the food court?
If you wind up extremely bored, then do a thorough look through all the shops. You probably won’t find something you decide you can’t live without, but who knows? Chat to a shop assistant if they look bored. It’s always interesting to see what the latest and greatest electronics are, and if you get a chatty assistant, they’ll be able to tell you all about each and every one of them, whether you decide to buy or not.
Try a local delicacy
If you’re in an international airport en-route somewhere else, and you’ve never visited the country itself, then it’s a good opportunity to try out the local dish of the region. Airports will always have a local food section, so you can see what’s on offer, pick up a snack or meal, and taste some of what the region has to offer – all without having to leave the airport. If you like what you eat enough, you may be tempted to visit beyond the airport one day!