20 things to do during long layovers

20 things to do during long layovers

So you’re out travelling, how fun! Well, the only flight you could get hold of was that one with a multiple hour layover somewhere midway. What do you do? Well, here are some suggestions.

  1. Extend your layover. When you book your flight, consider making the layover even longer so you can have a chance and leave the airport and perhaps to a day of sightseeing at the layover destination. 7-hour layover in Bangkok? Why not make it 20 so you have a chance to see the city (it might also tire you out enough to easily sleep through the next leg of your trip). Also, make sure you have the right visas and documentation to enter the country so you don’t end up stuck.
  2. Have the right mindset. Yes, we all prefer direct flight, because airports are not the most entertaining, inspiring places, but sometimes layovers are a necessary evil. So set some goals or a plan for what to do during your hours land-bound and keep yourself entertained. Dreading those unavoidable hours won’t make them pass quicker.
  3. Find the 2 essentials –  Power outlet and Wifi. We all have a lot of devices that need power and out travelling we can’t always rely on the 4G coverage. So go on a hunt for the outlets and figure out the wifi situation. Is a crowd gathered around that ONE outlet? Find a different one. Is airport wifi expensive as heck? Is there an alternative in one of the Starbucks or the lounges.
  4. Speaking of lounges – Consider paying for a lounge. Then you can get some food, some wifi, a comfortable place to sit and definitely a reasonable power outlet. Some have amenities like showers and some might even be included by your airline in your flight, or perhaps you have a club card that gives you access. Some lounges can give you access if you’re just willing to pay a fee.
  5. Binge Netflix. Once you found that sweet sweet wifi, get your money’s worth at Netflix and binge. Hey, it’s a concept that works when you’re at home on the couch, so why not at the airport?
  6. Deal with your digital hoarding. Go through your images and delete some of the multiple versions of the exact same image that you don’t need. Go through your email and delete the crap. Check your Pinterest boards and remove broken pins and things that you’re no longer obsessed with (those bathroom tiles you used to love now feels soooo 2017 now).
  7. Also, clean out and organise your wallet. Unless you’re completely digital (Apple Pay all the way, baby) you’re gonna have a random assortment of banknotes, coins, cards, membership cards and a half shit ton of receipts. Trash the receipts you don’t need moving forward, gather all the loose change in one place, organise your banknotes and see if there are any membership cards you could part with (why did you even bring those? Are they even needed on this trip?!).
  8. Check-in at the airport hotel. If your layover is overnight, check out the hotels in connection to the airport. Instead of trying sleeping on the floor in a corner of the airport, get some proper sleep instead and increase your chances of arriving at your final destination well-rested. Just remember to set an alarm you won’t sleep through!
  9. Create a bucket list. This is a golden opportunity to check out the departure board and add things to your bucket list. Dream about activities, destination and things that would make a great story.
  10. Buy a Toblerone. No one ever buys Toblerone in their everyday life, so now your out travelling so this is the one moment that eating Toblerone is almost required.
  11. Find a new favourite podcast. Either take your time going through the browser tab on your favourite podcast app or (if you’re brave) ask your fellow traveller (or just the person sitting near you) what their favourite is. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something that can keep you entertained for hours.
  12. People watch. Check out people and try to imagine where they are going. Perhaps write some short stories based on your theories if you’re feeling creative.
  13. Find the weirdest/best souvenir in the gift shop. Airports are full of hilariously weird souvenir and this would be the perfect opportunity for you to find it. Look at it as a scavenger hunt. And while you’re at it, perhaps you’ll find the best souvenir of all time. 
  14. Airport photo scavenger hunt. There’s a bunch of these to be found online and they seem like the perfect thing with Instagram stories. One can be found here and another one here. Childish? Perhaps, but you’re about to be bored out of your mind so you can’t be picky.
  15. Find new ways to braid your hair. You obviously have the time, so now is the perfect moment to learn how to make those boxing braids or that fishbone braid that you’ve been dreaming about. Find the perfect YouTube tutorial and get practising (for some reason this tutorial was the one that taught me boxer braids).
  16. Learn a new language. Duoling is a great app for learning a new language, especially to learn vocabulary. There’s both a browser version and an app and it is more like a game than a learning app. Great way to learning the language of your destinations.
  17. Check the departures and guess the countries. To have a full list of cities could be a great way for you to learn some geography. See if you know all the countries of the cities on the board and if you know what their flag looks like. Perhaps this is where you find a new destination to add to your bucket list.
  18. Read a book. Reading is always a great way to pass the time. If you didn’t bring a book, airports ALWAYS have book stores and you might find something new. If you’re feeling a bit extra adventures, get a book in a language you’re just learning and see if you can figure it out.
  19. Get crafty. Okay, so this might need a little prep, but you knew this layover was happening, so why didn’t you prepare?! Spend your time to embroider, like cross-stitch, or perhaps crochet if you’re feeling that, or if the thought of tangling thread makes you cringe, origami. It can be kind of cute to fold little origami animals and leave around the airport (if nothing else it might confuse the cleaning staff).
  20. Buy a tabloid. It’s a guilty pleasure for sure. Buy one that seems to be the most outrageous and see if you even recognise the celebrities anymore. You don’t have to be embarrassed reading this trash, no one knows you at this airport anyway!

Hopefully, some of these helped keep you entertained for at least a little bit. What suggestions do you have?

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