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Frequent flyers are familiar with the struggle of getting stuck at the airport due to a layover. Sure, layovers can be frustrating, but if you know how to spend your time wisely you can make the experience more bearable, perhaps even fun.

Try some of these ideas next time your departure time gets delayed and save yourself from complete boredom.

Get Your Workout In

After a long flight and an even longer layover, you’re going to need to stretch your legs out. Take this time to burn a few extra calories by getting a quick workout in at the airport. If you have the pride and self-confidence to flaunt your physique to the public, break out your yoga mat and get your downward dog on. Or, try out that new ab workout you found saw on YouTube. If this is not your style, try a more subtle workout. As you already know, your carry-on bag can get quite heavy. Take a few laps around the airport carrying your luggage and you will burn off all the extra calories you loaded on from those pretzels you devoured on the plane.

Explore the City

There is no benefit of waiting around in a stuffy airport for hours until your plane finally boards. If you have a few hours before your flight, get out of the airport and explore the city you’re in. Whether you’ve been there on multiple occasions, or it’s your first time, there is surely something new to explore and experience. Airport food is not always the most appetizing, so grabbing some grub outside the airport is a great reason to get out and about. Just make sure that you check your time and budget for traffic in order to catch your flight.

Catch Up on Sleep

With all the traveling you’ve been doing lately, your sleep schedule is out of whack. From staying out late on vacation to waking up at the crack of dawn to catch your flight, your body has not had a sufficient amount of sleep these past few days. And surely the jet lag is not helping the situation, either. If you have the time, relax and take a quick nap. If you’re traveling with your family, take turns napping and watching your luggage to make sure it stays safe. If taking a nap in public is unappealing to you, some airports have lounges that offer a more peaceful setting to travelers seeking a spot to nap. These lounges offer day passes for purchase, and are usually quite inexpensive. The price is worth the peace of mind and the peaceful place to nap.

People Watch

If you thinks this sounds lame, then you’ve obviously never done it. People watching can be quite entertaining, especially in a spot like an airport that has so much action going on at all times. It’s a strange world out there and taking the time to pay attention to your surroundings can be eye-opening and entertaining. To make it even more exciting, you and your travel companions can even turn it into a game, like a scavenger hunt of people to find or things to see in an airport, or an intense game of “I spy.” With a little creativity, you can turn a mundane activity into a fun way to pass time.

Get Work Done

If you’re traveling for business and you have some work you need to get done, this is the perfect time to do so. Many airports offer free, or cheap, access to Wi-Fi that you can use to write that report, or connect with customers. The issue that many people run into is the lack of privacy. If you don’t work well in a noisy and bustling setting, like an airport, there are other options you can try. See if your airport has a lounge or chapel area where you can complete your work in peace. If you can manage to get your work done now, you can relax when you finally get home and it will be much more rewarding.

Go Shopping

If you’re a shopaholic with a passion for purchasing, shopping is an obvious way to pass the time. This is also a perfect opportunity to get any items you may have forgotten to pack, like your toothbrush, or even a pajama shirt. Prepare for your trip by picking up these items at the airport. Some airports even have specialty shops featuring items like designer apparel or new technology options. If you have your laptop or smart phone on hand, you can even shop online from your seat. With all the items you are looking for right at your fingertips, shopping has been made even easier. Even if you can’t afford to purchase anything, browsing can be fun and can help make time pass by faster.

Have a Drink (or Two)

One thing that almost every airport offers is alcohol. A nice tall beer can take the edge off after a long flight, but try not to overdo it. That 24 oz. margarita may be calling your name, but it may not be the best idea to chug before catching your flight. You never know how the liquor is going to hit you later, and if you already get motion sickness on long flights, this may be a fatal decision. Stick to a drink or two and avoid getting plastered at the airport bar. Your hangover will feel ten times worse on that 8 hour long flight.

 

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