Long layovers are one of the most annoying parts of traveling. It’s bad enough that you have to take more than one long flight to arrive at your destination. Having to spend hours twiddling your thumbs in the airport is almost enough to put you off travel for good!
That said, layovers don’t have to be boring. If you play your cards right, they’re actually very useful. There are plenty of things you can do during a long layover that will help you to pass the time and actually prepare for your next flight. Check out these 10 ways to make the most of a long layover.
10 Have A Shower
We all know the feeling of getting off a long flight surrounding by people who are coughing and leaning their bare feet against your chair. Nobody blames you for wanting to jump into the shower as soon as you leave the plane. And at some airports, you can!
If you have a long layover while waiting for another flight, you could always enquire about what shower facilities the airport has. Many have showering areas while others rent rooms out by the hour that come complete with a bathroom and shower.
9 Try To Get Some Fresh Air
It’s amazing how much better a breath of fresh air can make you feel. Sometimes, it can even give you the motivation you need to actually get on yet another long flight. If the airport you’re staying in has an outdoor area that doesn’t require you to go through security all over again, make use of it!
Some airports will have indoor gardens, like the Butterfly Room at Singapore’s Changi Airport. These are a great option if it’s not possible to go outside because the plants help to keep the air clean and fresh.
8 Go To The Spa
At the end of a long flight cramped in coach, you will more than likely feel disgusting. If you’ve got some cash to spare, you could always head to the spa and get some beauty treatments. Having fresh, clean hair and a manicure will definitely make you feel better on the next flight.
Most airports will have some kind of spa that you can walk into without making an appointment in advance. A facial is one of the best beauty treatments you can get before and after a flight because the air on the plane tends to leave your skin feeling dehydrated.
7 Get A Massage
The chances are, if you’ve spent a few hours sitting upright in coach, you’re going to be sore by the time your layover begins. Cramps and knots in your shoulders, arms, back, and legs definitely aren’t uncommon after flying. So it makes sense to get a massage with the time you have spare!
You can go into one of the traditional spas that most airports have and request a massage, or you can make use of the coin-operated massage chairs that you’ll find at some airports. These probably won’t be as effective as getting a real hand massage, but they’ll be cheaper!
6 Charge Your Electronics
There’s only one thing worse than a long flight. That’s a long fight where your electronic entertainment is out of battery! To be sure that you don’t get stuck in that annoying situation on the next flight, charge all your electronics during your layover.
In today’s technology-driven world, most airports have outlets where you can charge your devices. Always remember to bring your chargers in your carry-on luggage so you have access to them during your layover. Alternatively, you could bring portable chargers to charge your devices during your layover. That way, you can enjoy them on the plane.
5 Stretch Your Legs
The most important and beneficial thing that you can do on a layover? Stretch your legs! Though it sounds trivial, making sure that you walk and stretch your muscles will make the next flight so much more comfortable for you. Of course, if it’s a long layover, you won’t be able to walk for the entire time. But make sure you get to spend a decent amount of time on your feet.
You can do some stretches while waiting in the terminal or you can simply take a leisurely stroll around the airport.
4 Get Your Shopping Done
Today, the majority of airports have ample shopping opportunities. Some even have better shopping than the cities themselves! And if you’re traveling internationally, you can always take the time to get in your duty-free shopping.
You have to be careful with how much shopping you do because you won’t have your checked luggage to store your new purchases when you’re on a long layover. But it’s still fun to window-shop and make note of any purchases you’d like to make in the future. This is also a good time to get last-minute gifts for people.
3 Stock Up On Snacks
If you can’t stand plane food, you’re not alone. Though some airlines have surprisingly good culinary services, others serve food that’s less than delicious. The only thing that makes a long flight feel longer is being hungry, so make sure you’ve stocked up on snacks in case you don’t like the food.
You could also use your layover time to have a big, filling and yummy meal so you don’t have to eat on the next flight. Just make sure you don’t have anything that could disagree with you, as a plane is a less than ideal place to be sick!
2 Catch Some Z’s
Not everyone can fall asleep on a plane. It’s hard to completely relax when you’re in a cramped seat and there are crying babies around you. If you’re feeling really sleep-deprived during your layover, you could always try to catch some z’s. Often, the terminal will be more comfortable than the plane anyway.
Nobody will even look twice if you decide to take a quick nap in the terminal, especially if you’re in a major international airport where most people are on a layover. Just be sure to keep your belongings on you if you’re by yourself.
1 Go Sightseeing
Sometimes, you’ll have a layover that is so long that you’ll need to leave the airport. When you have more than 24 hours between your flights, you’ll feel much better if you have somewhere nearby to stay (that may be part of the airport itself). If you’ve slept and showered and you still have time on your hands, you could always fit in some sightseeing.
Make sure you know where you’re going before you leave the airport. The last thing you want is to get lost in a foreign city and miss your connecting flight! But once you’re sure you know where you’re going and how long it’s going to take, sightseeing is a great way to pass the time on a super long layover.