A flight delay can instantly turn into something negative due to the fact that they are not part of a traveler’s plan. Whether it be on the way to the destination just thinking about arriving to that beautiful location, or leaving a place and just wanting to go home, the unplanned nature of a delay causes the mind to wander off into fear. It is so easy to go off the rails. This can decrease the mood of a trip experience. At the end of the day travelers need to turn this into a positive. Hey, maybe a traveler can look at it as added vacation time! Before you know it you’ll be back on that work desk. So, is a delay really that bad?

In this article we discuss the various things to do during a delay. From obtaining a priority pass to indulging on what the airport has to offer, a delay can turn into a valuable experience and can turn into some added vacation time; we counter that with 10 things to avoid doing. Staring at a flight time monitor or having one too many drinks can just make the delay that much worse.

Without further ado here are 10 things to do at an airport when your flight is delayed and 10 things to avoid. Keep this list in mind during the next travel delay and be sure to share it with a friend. Let’s begin!

20 Things To Do - Create An Itinerary

A traveler starts to complain about the flight being delayed; they finally arrive to the destination without a plan. This causes more of that precious vacation time to be lost.

Instead, during a delay why not add some hype to the trip by jotting down some of the do’s and don’ts. Creating an itinerary can not only allow lots of time to be saved but it can also add that much more excitement to a trip. Once a traveler gets off that delayed flight there won’t be any time to waste thanks to that awesome itinerary creation.

19 Avoid – Sleeping

This seems like the obvious thing to do. A flight is delayed so a traveler decides to close their eyes. However the result can lead to a sleepless flight, something you really don’t want. A traveler can also wake up feeling pretty cranky about the flight getting delayed.

Instead, it is best to stay awake and keep active while opting to relax on the plane instead. Once that plane finally lands you’ll be full of energy and well rested instead of feeling cranky due to wanting to sleep before the flight.

18 Things To Do - If It’s a Layover... Go Sightseeing

Travelers despise layovers. Not only are they time consuming but in lots of cases setbacks can take place, whether it be missing the flight or an added delay. It’s no fun getting stuck in a foreign airport just waiting on another flight.

However this can turn into a blessing depending on the amount of time the flight is delayed. If the delay consists of several hours, a traveler can easily explore the layover city if interested. This can be an added bonus even if all one does is indulge at a restaurant outside of the airport in the area, or quickly visit a tourist attraction. This can be a massive upside to a layover. Just make sure to return on time!

17 Avoid – Over-Drinking

This happens more often than we think. A traveler has time to waste so they hit the airport bar. Due to the amount of time, one drink turns into two and so on and so forth. This can be quite risky and it can result in a further delay - one that doesn’t allow a traveler on the flight altogether. Airlines have the right to refuse access if a traveler doesn’t appear to be in the right state of mind.

By all means a traveler should not take this risk. Having a beverage is fine as a way to waste time, just don’t go overboard or it’ll make the experience one you’ll never forget (for all the wrong reasons).

16 Things To Do - Access The Priority Lounge

The priority lounge can be a great way to waste time. A traveler will need access to this lounge by getting a pass. If a traveler does this it can be one of the best ways to burn time during a delay. Priority lounges worldwide feature a plethora of food and beverages along with a cozy setting. Television screens and Wi-Fi access are also available in the lounge area.

For those that travel regularly, this might be a worthwhile option particularly during lengthy flight delays. By the time a traveler leaves the lounge they might be wishing the flight was delayed even longer!

15 Avoid - Unnecessary Spending

Flight delays can cause some serious spending. Particularly when a flight is delayed on the way back from a trip, a traveler can spend a little too much time purchasing some extra souvenirs. The same can happen if a traveler has some extra bucks. Why go back home with the different currency when you can spend it all at the airport during a delay?

That is the wrong way to go about it. No need to burn money because of a delay. Instead a traveler can easily exchange that money at a local bank once they get back. It is okay to make purchases during delays, however a traveler needs to make sure it isn’t a completely unnecessary one.

14 Things To Do - Read

Finding things to do doesn’t have to be complicated. Something as simple as reading may suffice. Nowadays reading can be so easily accessible, whether it be on a cell phone or even with a Kindle. A traveler can also pack an extra book on a carry-on in the event that a flight is delayed.

Another way to burn some time is heading to the airport bookstore and glancing at some novels or magazines. A traveler can also purchase one - it is among the top time killing things to do. And heck, a traveler can also continue to put the book to use on the plane. Spending some extra bucks on a book or reading one you have is a simple yet effective thing to do during a delay.

13 Avoid – Overusing Data

A handheld device is the popular choice among travelers during a flight delay. However this can be a costly tactic. Just by going over the data limit, this can lead to a terrible bill and one that just isn’t worth it. A traveler needs to be aware of the costs. Unlimited vacation plans exist and certain areas at airports also feature Wi-Fi.

If Wi-Fi isn’t provided a traveler can easily purchase a plan – this is a lot more beneficial than exceeding the data and having to pay a ridiculous amount. The last thing a traveler needs is more bills when heading back home.

12 Things To Do – Social Media

Along with using a cell phone, social media has now become one of the most popular options to use during a flight delay. Whether it be Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or various other platforms, one can easily burn so much time with these applications.

Heck while you’re at it why not share some of those vacation photos with some of your followers. All the feedback can result in several minutes of added discussion. Before you know it the delay is over and it is time to hop on that plane back home.

11 Avoid - Making Long Distance Calls

The flight gets delayed and you need someone to talk to. Why not call mom, dad, a loved one or a friend to burn some time? This can be a disastrous tactic. Although a traveler might burn lots of time quite easily, they’ll also burn lots of cash at the same time.

If a traveler has a type of international plan then by all means, but if not this should be avoided. Instead applications like WhatsApp have free calling powered by data and Wi-Fi. The application also allows users to send a voice note (which let's face it, is like calling someone). All a traveler needs is Wi-Fi and the rest is completely free of charge - no need to call.

10 Things To Do – Set Goals For Once You Get Back

This is meant for a flight delay on the way back home. Leaving a vacation spot is a horrible burden. What can make things that much worse is dealing with a delay. However this can turn into a blessing. With the added time a traveler can create some positive anticipation for when they return back home. Instead of coming back with zero excitement a traveler can create new goals for once they get back.

Goals can consist of work related objectives or even something as simple as eating healthier. Goal setting is an excellent way to not only burn time but create some excitement – that is much needed when returning from a fun trip.

9 Avoid – Rushing

A traveler needs to avoid rushing. Whether it be rushing once you get off that delayed flight or rushing to make the flight because you were somewhere else – do not make this habit a part of the trip experience during a delay. If the delay isn’t a lengthy one stay nearby and be on the alert for updates. The last thing a traveler needs is to be late for the flight or miss it altogether.

Also there is no need to rush once the delayed flight finally arrives to the destination. Thinking about rushing out of the gate just creates anxiety for no reason. Take a massive deep breath and just be thankful that you arrived to the destination safely. Everything else really doesn’t matter.

8 Things To Do - Indulge

Hitting the airport on an empty stomach isn’t a bad idea, especially in the event that a flight gets delayed. This can be an awesome part that extends the trip. You’ll feel like the vacation isn’t quite over yet as you indulge (maybe with a loved one?) while sipping on some fine wine and eating a nice meal. This is the perfect way to spend a delay.

A traveler can also indulge by purchasing some goodies. That can be a nice dessert treat or even something as simple as candy. It all depends on what the traveler feels like indulging in at that very moment.

7 Avoid – Over-Eat

Indulging on a fine snack or meal is definitely okay. Just don’t go overboard and eat way too much. This can happen in a priority lounge with all-you-can-eat buffets available, along with drinks as well. Once the delay is up a traveler might regret eating so much.

An upset stomach during a plane ride is no fun (and is perhaps even worse than a flight getting delayed in the first place). Enjoy a nice light meal or healthy snack but don’t overdo it – it’ll just make things that much worse during the flight. That’s not a good way to start or end any type of trip.

6 Things To Do - Brainstorm For The Next Trip

Goal setting is one way to create anticipation once you get back. However a traveler can also create excitement by starting to brainstorm about the next trip. What better way to spend a delay than by day-dreaming about which destination is next?

A traveler can weigh out the pros and cons of the trip they just took (as it's still fresh in their minds), while discussing what they want and expect out of the next destination. This can make choosing the next destination a lot easier and hey, who wouldn’t get excited thinking about the next trip?!

5 Avoid - Looking At The Travel Time Screen

Yes, delays suck! But what good is it to just stare at a travel time screen hoping to see the delay sign suddenly vanish? So many travelers parade around the screen hoping to see a change. All this tends to do is add further anxiety and in most cases, add anger to the situation.

No need to look at the monitor as airports let all travelers know about developments through the intercom. Make sure to listen once an announcement is made. Even if it isn’t a favorable one, at least you weren’t wasting your time staring at a screen for no reason whatsoever.

4 Things To Do - Explore The Airport

Another way travelers love to burn time during a delay is by exploring the airport. This is definitely a wise tactic and one that can consume lots of time. Just by heading to the Duty Free a traveler can get lost in testing out all of the new perfumes, let alone glancing at all the goodies available.

Along with the Duty Free, a book store can also provide a traveler with a lengthy pit stop. Pop open some magazines and books, that’ll get the delay to pass in no time! Of course various other boutiques exist - all of these airport facilities can cause lots of time to be burned by simply exploring them.

3 Avoid – Getting Angry At The Airline Staff

It is quite easy to lose your cool during a delay. Some airlines regress the blow by providing special gift cards. This can be used on an upcoming flight or in some cases a gift card is to be used at the airport. That can be another time consuming measure.

However, some airlines don’t really offer anything during lengthy delays and that just leaves travelers with added frustration. There is no reason to lose your cool with the airline. Basically, what’s done is done and getting frustrated will only make things worse. Spend the time doing whichever of these 10 things instead - especially the final entry on the list.

2 Things To Do – Stay Positive

Before anything else, this needs to be a priority during a delay. Open up to being positive and lots of good will come. If needed, find a private location available at the airport and take a second to meditate. Recalibrating your energy can make all the difference. At the end of it all, it’ll seem like the delay was destined to happen and it led to lots of productivity.

Instead, having that negative feeling will only spoil over during the trip. A traveler doesn’t need negative karma when arriving to a vacation destination spot because of a flight delay.

1 Avoid - Letting It Get It To You

This is the opposite of feeling positive. A traveler can easily allow a delay to get to them. Whether it’s the anticipation of getting to the destination or just wanting to go back home, a delay causes lots of anxiety due to the fact that it wasn’t part of the plan. When things don’t go accordingly the mind wanders off into fear which brings in negativity.

This needs to be avoided and instead looked at as a positive. Focus on the other 10 factors suggested on the list. It’ll make the delay pass by in no time while you’ll be able to maintain a free and positive mindset.