Whether you’re heading out on vacation, have a layover between flights, or are on your way home, there are lots of occasions where you might have some time to kill at the airport. Most airlines suggest arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international one, which can add up to some serious waiting time between security and boarding! Luckily, these days airports have plenty of options available to keep you occupied.
Here are five of the best.
1. Pick up last-minute necessities or souvenirs
Airport stores can be great places to grab some important items to help you have a more comfortable flight. These include cozy travel pillows for better sleep, handy mini toiletries, books, snacks, and noise-canceling headphones. If you’re flying back home, it’s also a good chance to get a souvenir of your vacation – or stock up on some bargains in the duty-free sections! Even if you don’t want to buy anything, simply browsing the shelves and trying some free food and drink samples can be fun.
2. Plan the first day of your vacation
For those who are at the beginning of their trip, your time in the airport can be the ideal opportunity to plan what you want to do when you arrive at your destination. That could be making a list of restaurants you’d like to eat at, figuring out how to navigate the local public transport system, or booking your Statue of Liberty tickets to save yourself time and money when you get there.
3. Have a meal
Airplane food isn’t always the greatest! So if you’ve got a long flight ahead of you or are on a layover, it can be nice to take the opportunity to have a proper meal before you get on board. There are usually plenty of top-quality restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from, including those that cater to vegans, vegetarians, and others with dietary restrictions. Don’t have time for a full meal? You can always grab something to go from a coffee shop and eat it on the plane.
4. Get some work done
Ok, this suggestion might not be as fun as the others, but the airport can give you a surprisingly good chance to be productive. There’s almost always free WiFi available, as well as seating areas with charging points where you can plug in your laptop and work without worrying about its battery life. If you don’t have any work to do, you could always try learning some key phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting instead!
5. Just relax
Your vacation starts as soon as you get to the airport, so make the most of it! You could sit in a coffee shop and read a book with your latte, go for a drink in a bar, treat yourself to a go on a massage chair, or watch a movie on your laptop. Some of the best airports even have dedicated entertainment facilities which are perfect for long layovers. The more relaxed you are at the airport, the more refreshed you’ll feel when you arrive at your destination!