Guest Blogger: How to Survive an Airport Layover

Several weeks ago, Jess, a travel addict and fellow blogger, asked if she could guest blog on her all time favorite blogger’s page (okay I made up the “all time” part. And the “favorite” part). And here is Jess’s guest blog (with my commentary in bold):

I would like to thank Tracey for publishing this article. Her blog is a great read for vicarious travelers or those looking to get a bit of travel inspiration. For a taster of her hilarious adventures, I highly recommend you check out this article about her surprise encounter with Leo the elephant.

All travelers dread long airport layovers. Whether you’re going for a weekend away or have been on-the-go for years, the thought of being stuck inside an airport for hours on end is never a pleasant one.

For anyone trapped in limbo between where you were and the place you want to go, it can be  a tedious and mind-numbing experience, so having a few tricks up your sleeves to make the most of your layover could turn your airport nightmare into a few well-used and enjoyable hours. Here are five strategies to defeat the boredom and pass the time till your next flight.

Start a New Hobby

Most of us complain that we’d like a hobby or that we don’t have time to excel at the ones we do have. An airport layover gives you exactly that—time—so there’s no excuse not to get crafty! All you have to do is bring along your knitting needles, crochet hook, sketchpad or whatever else you might choose to pursue and you’re set for a few solid hours of time to practice and hone your skills.

Plus, many of these hobbies have now been claimed to have meditative effects, so it’s the perfect way to chill out as any long journey has the potential to be extremely stressful. This is an especially useful tip if you’re facing an unexpected layover due to a delay, as this is one of the most frustrating traveling experiences you can encounter. I would also recommend a few sessions of Headspace meditation or yoga – get weird on that airport floor.

Have a Movie Marathon

A good film is a sure-fire way to pass the time wherever you are, and now because most airports are equipped with WiFi, it’s easier than ever to get through your airport layover one movie at a time. All you have to do is find a quiet and comfortable corner somewhere, stock up on snacks from one of the shops, connect to the WiFi, log into your Netflix and you’re good to go! Put your earphones in and shut the world out, and in no time, you’ll be boarding your next flight. If an airport doesn’t have wifi (or even if they do, in case it’s slow), download the movie beforehand! I know, I know this is an innovative tip you’ve probably never even considered. You’re welcome.

However, it’s important to remember than many sites, such as Netflix, are subject to geo-blocking so you may not have access to your favorite movies and shows while abroad. Luckily, to get round this all you have to do is install a VPN, which will hide your IP address and unblock the Netflix content, so you can access it as if you were at home.

Go on an Airport Adventure

Many of us are guilty of complaining about being bored during an airport layover when we haven’t even had a look at what’s on offer to entertain us. We all do it: get off the plane, maybe grab a bite to eat at the first restaurant we see and then find a spot near our gate and don’t move for the remainder of our time in the airport.

However, perhaps unsurprisingly, airports have been made with layovers in mind and are usually built with many different entertainment hotspots. You can browse through the shops and pick up some last minute souvenirs or have an in-depth search for the best restaurant and fill up before you’re reverted back to plane food during your next flight. You could even search for the specialty features, such as the butterfly garden in Singapore’s Changi airport, or pop down to another terminal to see what’s offered there.

Butterfly Garden!

In reality, airports are a great a place as any to have to entertain yourself for a few hours.

Read a book

Reading a book is a great way to transport yourself into a world of adventure and excitement from anywhere in the world. It’s always easy to while away the time in the pages of a gripping story. Many of us have a long list of books that we’re forever wishing we had to time to get round to reading or spend our time browsing the best-sellers list wishing we could get through them all.

This is where airport layovers turn into a blessing in disguise. Either bring along a few books, charge up your Kindle or head down to the airport bookshop, which there usually always is. Simply find somewhere comfortable to curl up, absorb yourself in the world of literature, and within no time, you’ll find it’s time to start boarding your next flight.

Take a Nap

Airports are also a great place for catching up on sleep. Chances are you managed to drift off a few times on the plane (clearly written by not me ;)), but it’s never possible to get a good solid stretch. This is where your layover can become a godsend! Simply take yourself to one of the unused gates or terminals armed with blankets, earplugs and, if it will help, a mask to block out the lights, and you can settle down for a good few hours of undisturbed sleep (or 1 minute of potentially thinking you were going to fall asleep but then NOPE). By finding a nice piece of floor or a row of unused chairs, you can even have some horizontal rest time that is impossible to find on planes! A word of warning however: be sure to set an alarm to make sure you don’t miss the next leg of your flight!

Airport layovers don’t have to be a nightmare. If utilized properly, they can actually significantly add to your trip. There are just five options for passing the time quickly and efficiently, but there are many more things you can do. If you have any other tips or ideas on how to survive your layover, then be sure to comment below!

Thanks for guest blogging, Jess! I hope everyone’s travels are a little bit easier; now go book a ticket somewhere crazy and adventurous, y’all! 

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