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As exciting as traveling is, airports can be some of the dullest places on Earth (with the exception maybe of Singapore – being in Changi is like discovering wonderland after having fallen down the rabbit hole!)

Yes, travel is often about the journey, not the destination, but no one enjoys being trapped in the terminal.

No matter how prepared you are for the airport downtime, armed with a top ten’s worth of airport best sellers and a fully downloaded Netflix hit, it’s still hard to make a layover interesting.

Often times it takes all our energy not to fall asleep at the gate! (don’t fall asleep at the gate – your layover will be next level insufferable if you miss your plane!).

If you’ve got a long journey coming up, here are a couple of ways you can keep yourself entertained during layovers.

4 Things To Do During Dull Layovers

Gaming On The Go

Traveling with technology cell mobile phone laptop RF airport

Look around the airport terminal. Specifically look for families with children. It becomes very apparent, very quickly, that one of the best ways to entertain kids is with an electronic device!

The same is equally as true for adults – portable gaming has all but caught up with home consoles now, with the Nintendo Switch experiencing massive popularity and making your Gameboy look like a relic.

Mobile gaming has also reached an apex, with clever, well-thought-out games that make the best use of the platform and surprisingly-fun home console titles flooding the app store. With all these options, you’ll quickly forget your snake high score!

The great thing about gaming, and the millions of games available, is that there’s something to entertain everyone – there are apps for hangman if you enjoy word games, sudoku if you enjoy puzzles, Mario Kart to embrace your inner child.

If you’re flying out to the Vegas or Macau casinos there are even mobile gambling games, where you can practice your skills in classic games like Craps. There are only a few rules to learn, which can be picked up pretty quickly.

Work Out

Fitness gym workout RF

Ever been boarding a flight and felt that strange tinge of guilt about spending the last few hours staring at your phone rather than doing something productive?

Turning the airport into your own personal gym is a great way to get over that feeling. You’ll board the flight fresher, more flexible and guilt-free.

Most of the bigger airports are fitted with modern gym setups these days, giving you the space and equipment to complete your routine. Chances are this is going to be one of the quieter spaces in the airport as well, as exercise isn’t the first thing on the mind of holiday-makers!

If you’re more of a yogi, airports also make great spots for some stretching. You can either get on a gym mat or just turn up to the airport in your best athletic wear and break out a couple of your favorite poses right there in the terminal.

Sure, you’ll get a couple of funny looks, but your back isn’t going to be sore a couple of hours into the flight! Plus, you’ll probably give people something amusing to watch! … which brings us to our next point …

People Watch

People couple airport RF

People are fascinating. Ask any writer you know and they’ll tell you about the joy of people watching. You can learn so much about people by taking the time to watch what they do in public!

It may sound creepy, but it can be an engaging and creative exercise.

Because people are, more often than not, interesting, fascinating and strange!

Make a game out of your people watching if you’re traveling with friends. See how many people you can spot wearing a particular item of clothing. Try and get them to guess who you are talking about.

It’s also a fun way to pass the time to create silly background stories for people. It’s harmless fun that can get your creative juices going and keep the group’s spirits up.

Just don’t talk so loudly that they can hear you!

Gorge in an Airport Restaurant

Food eating female traveler RF

Airport food doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. The terminal isn’t the first place to go to when you first think of fine dining, it’s more usually associated with fast food and chain restaurants.

That doesn’t mean you can’t find some gems though. If you’re in a long layover and have a bit of cash in your pocket to burn, you might as well live like a king with the entire airport waiting on you.

Find the best restaurant you can and treat yourself to a mid-journey feast. Rather than a bland sandwich or a greasy burger that’ll make you want to vomit on the flight, have a full three-course experience to make sure you’re well-fed and full enough to doze off on the flight.

Sit back, crack out your book or favorite TV show and enjoy being waited on while the flight is being prepared!

All frequent travelers will have their own method of passing the time during layovers. What are yours?

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 50+ 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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