things to do when you’re stuck in an airport

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obody likes travel interruptions, but long layovers and delays can actually be fun and productive if you use the time well! Every airport and airline offer different amenities to keep travelers entertained and tempers at bay. Since I’ve spent a few days this week bopping around the country on planes, I’ve had to really find ways to keep entertained and productive. And really, I don’t think airports are that bad: there are much worse places to be “stuck.” Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Walk the terminal for exercise. I don’t just mean making the long distance sprint between gates to catch a flight, but keep active and moving. It will help ward off any travel weight, and help prevent a PE or blood clot.
  • Stop by a 10-minute manicure kiosk. They aren’t very expensive, and the relaxation benefits can work wonders for stressed travel brains.
  • Blog! Even if you don’t currently have one, you can build one quickly during a layover and you don’t even need your laptop – WordPress’ mobile app is great for on-the-go posting.
  • Go on an airport scavenger hunthere’s one idea, or maybe try my version by clicking here!
  • Drink local beers. Because obviously.

More ideas under the fold…

  • Organize your digital life (clear out downloads folder and trash, clear off desktop, archive emails)
  • Call the airline customer service phone number while waiting in line – you might reach a human on the phone before you get to the counter
  • Scout out unique features of the airport you’re in, like DTW’s famous tunnel (pictured above. bonus points for relaxation!) Stuck in the Airport is a fun website to check out airports around the world.
  • Read a book. Befriend fellow travelers and rotate books and magazines if you’re on an epically long delay.
  • Learn: download some apps and start learning that foreign language you’ve always meant to with Duolingo, or improve your Chess game. I’ve lately really gotten into the latter.
  • Engage in friendly banter with the airline’s customer service twitter.
  • If you have your full makeup and hair line with you, have a seat and do a full look. It passes the time.
  • Find new blogs you love – Bloglovin is my blog reader, and I love it for finding new blogs that are similar to the ones I already subscribe to.
  • Work on personal development: read industry journals or blogs, work on your portfolio, send some networking emails.
  • Drink water. It’s always important to stay hydrated, and doubly so when traveling. Drinking extra water will keep your skin looking dewy, help your energy levels, and keep your immune system running.
  • Keep a deck of cards in your travel bag and make friends with other distressed travelers.
  • Explore other terminals. Good for really long layovers in really big airports. See if they’ll check your bag for free so you can explore unhindered.
  • Turn people watching into a game. Pedal Steel and I love to people watch no matter where we go, and it’s excellent in airports (which makes it a great place for drinking games!)

How do you pass the time when you’re stuck in an airport?