6 Ways to Pass the Time When You’re in Line at Customs – Travel Tips for Busy Humans

After a long international flight that featured three in-flight movies, two meals and all the cranberry juice you could drink, you have finally landed at the airport. Now, all that is left to do is clear customs before you can head to your final destination. Upon rounding the corner to the customs area, you see a line that looks to be at least a mile long. While you are not looking forward to a long wait, there are plenty of things you can do to keep busy to help pass the time quickly. 


Travel Tips – Owning Your Time When You’re Waiting for Others

Read Long Contracts


Chances are good that you have signed a number of contracts without taking the time to truly read them. Now’s your chance to do just that. A great example is your smartphone contract; for example, you should carefully read what you have agreed to in terms of contract length when you can upgrade your equipment and what your data plan allows. To save your precious battery power on your smartphone, print out this contract and any others that you want to read prior to your trip and tuck the docs into your backpack or purse.

Watch a Movie or Show


Yes, you watched three movies on the flight, but if you love films or TV shows and have some downloaded on your tablet or smartphone that you haven’t seen yet, by all means, put on your earbuds and have the cast of “Stranger Things” get you through this line. Bring a portable phone charger with you and have it in your carry-on; this way you can make sure you have the power you need to get through the shows. In addition, although you might be surrounded by noisy folks chatting away, resist the urge to turn up the volume too loudly — you don’t want to miss out on any important announcements.


Make a New Friend


Use part of your wait time by striking up a conversation with the friendly looking people next to you. Chat with the cute couple who have a baby in the stroller, and ask about how the flight went with their little one. Offer the young man who is struggling to load things into his backpack while balancing his phone and tablet to hold his electronics while he gets situated, and then chat about general things like the weather and good places to eat nearby.


Google Stuff You Have Always Wanted to Know


How come Pluto isn’t a planet anymore?  What did President Rutherford B. Hayes stand for and why don’t we hear about him much in history class? What types of flowers can you plant out back? Standing in a long line with plenty of time to kill is the perfect time to do some serious learning. Harness the power of Google and research your way to amazing knowledge, and maybe share some of it with your new pals behind you in line. If your battery is getting low, use the portable charger, or if you are near an outlet in the wall, use a short cord to hook up your phone.


Call Your Mom


Us thirty-somethings get super busy. When is the last time you called your parents? Tell her she’s awesome and that you’re thinking of her. You will pass time and her day will be made! Win, win!


Check Your Email and Actually Answer It


This is probably the number one thing I do when I’m in any line, anywhere, waiting for anything. Don’t let those emails pile up. If you’re waiting around, be productive! You’ll feel better about your workload when you return if you do.


Standing in line for a long time is a bummer, especially after an international flight, but it is unavoidable. Try these four tips to help pass the time and you might be pleasantly surprised to find that the line moves faster than you thought it would.


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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