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We’ve written a lot of different articles on ways to stay entertained while traveling; from staying entertained on road trips, long bus journey’s, and when you’re stuck at the airport because of a killer flight cancellations and delays.

But one of the best places to spend time in an airport is the lounge; beyond the great food, free champagne, and comfy seating, there are often showers, magazines, and free WiFi.

Some lounges come with great inbuilt entertainment – cool games rooms, libraries, a la carte dining, and even spa centers. But some can be downright boring! A restful, quiet space to kick back in a comfy chair with some great food. 

If that’s not enough to keep you entertained, here are some ideas for things to do, while still maintaining a respectful, quiet atmosphere for the other travelers who do just want their chair and their food.

Things to do in an Airport Lounge (Stay Entertained!)

Poker or Chess

Chess RF

Poker and Chess are both fantastic games to pass the time in a lounge, and now that everything is online, you don’t have to rope in the staff to play with you (though you could take a physical game with you in case other lounge guests are keen).

Whilst they may appear to be simple games on the surface, there’s a ton of strategy, a heavy dose of psychology, and a sprinkle of luck involved with both, which is for something you can play mindlessly, but while keeping your brain engaged. 

This balance is important to strike, because whether you’re starting your vacation or ending it, an engaged brain keeps you awake, so you don’t miss your flight (those lounge chairs can be scarily comfy!)

The likes of Ignition Poker make it easy to hop online and play from your mobile or laptop, and free roll tournaments are ideal ways to play for free yet potentially win real money, or you can hop straight into the lions’ den.

However, make sure you use a good set of headphones so you’re respectful of other travelers. This is both to block out the noise of your phone or laptop from the lounge, and to block out the noise of the lounge from your zone.

Active Noise Cancellation (ACN) is a technology that can detect the surrounding noises and play white noise sounds accordingly to provide total silence around you so you can focus, as well as playing media in high-quality sound from your phone, tablet, or laptop.

Watch Content on the Place You’re Travelling To

New York City travel plan RF

A fun part of travelling is the excitement you feel over the next place you’re about to travel to. And, if you’re looking for entertainment, it’s possible you’re already on your way on a train or plane, so this will be hitting two birds with one stone.

Youtube is the ideal place to watch travel content. When heading to a new city, you can watch your favourite vloggers document the place you will soon be arriving in, or find travel guides from mainstream channels.

Perhaps there are limits to this (keep some level of mystery, you don’t need to do a full virtual tour!), but it’s helpful to show you what you should see and do. Perhaps they stumble upon recent hidden gems that aren’t documented online. 

This can provide both more hype around arriving in the new area, as well as information that is useful to making the most of it. Hotels now even usually have YouTube channels with content and videos on things to do. 

Most lounges offer internet, but you can also download a batch of videos offline using a Youtube Premium account to watch offline.


Airport plane sunset on runway RF

You’ve probably not thought that the lounge is a good place for travel photography, though most have windows which look out over the runway, meaning some great opportunities to snap photos of the plane.

Taking photos through windows without getting glare or reflection is a skill to develop in itself, so this could be a great way to spend the time. The great thing about lounge windows is that they’re usually floor to ceiling, and always very clean!

This is also a good opportunity though to go through and edit or sort your photos, if you’re traveling home on the tail end of your trip. 

We so often arrive home with hundreds, if not thousands of photos, and oncew we get back into our everyday routine, there’s never much time to sit down with our SD cards.

So use the time in the lounge to get this sorted, and have your best shots ready to share when you come home.

Pick up a Magazine

Magazine plane window flying RF

Every lounge I’ve been to has a considerable stack of latest magazines, and whether you’re into gossip rags, newspapers for whats going on in the world, or looking for a travel read, there’s a lot to choose from to stay entertained.

Many of these also have crossword puzzels in them, though it can be a spot of luxk to find one which hasn’t been pre-filled by a previous traveler. Though this could be part of the fun, continuing the last persons work!

Ask the front desk for a pen to complete any of the puzzles, and if you want to take it with you onto the plane, it’s worth making sure you can actually leave with the copy – some need to stay in the lounge and can’t be taken out.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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