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Boring Layover? Here Are Four Ways to Entertain Yourself at the Airport

About to have “boredom” on your schedule because you don’t have any long layover tips? We’re not talking about two hours stuck gazing at the artwork around JFK, either. We’re talking full-blown, sleeping on the floor, grazing at the vending machine-type layovers. They aren’t always planned. Sometimes, there’s a storm, or you miss your connection. It happens. But that doesn’t mean you have to be bored and miserable the whole time. So, what can you do to entertain yourself?



These Long Layover Tips Will Get You from Bored to Chill


Long Layover Tips – Get in a Nice Workout


You might not think of the airport as the best place to exercise, but you should change your way of looking at it. Airports are the perfect place to go walking because they’re huge. Large international airports transport thousands of passengers each day — London’s Heathrow alone transfers over 70 million per year. That’s more than the entire population of the U.K. Because airports transport a large influx of travelers, that’s good for you. It means you’ve got space to do your thing.


Since there’s so much ground to cover, use it to your advantage by walking or even jogging through it. Even at smaller airports, there’s still a lot of room. Plus, walking around the airport never gets boring. The constant flow of passengers will give you more than enough to look at, and when you get tired, you can stop in at a shop to browse the books or magazines.


If you’re traveling with friends and family, you can leave your luggage behind as you traverse the vast plain of fast food kiosks and vending machines that await you. If you’re going solo, however, see about leaving it behind the flight desk at the terminal from which you’re set to depart. Even if your flight isn’t set to leave for a while, you may still be able to get away with it.


Long Layover Tips – Catch Up on Movies


Spending some quality time with your laptop is an excellent way to while away those hours at the airport as you wait. Catch up on your favorite show or settle down with the latest adventure flick while away the time waiting for your flight. The good news about this is you may not even notice the time pass. Don’t wait too long to board your plane, though, as you don’t want to be stuck twiddling your thumbs until the next flight.


Your best bet when setting up an airport entertainment system is to find a quiet place and make it into your personal haven. Also, many airports have free lounges, so that won’t be hard to do. Typically, travelers use these to read, work remotely, listen to music or even take a nap. You can use one as your personal movie theatre. If you do find a lounge, get some earbuds — you don’t want to disturb other passengers.


Even if you can’t find a lounge, stake out a quiet corner of the terminal where there isn’t a boarding queue. Take your trusty travel pillow (if you have one), sit back and enjoy the show. Blankets are also a good idea, as are snacks — you can find these in any airport easily enough.


When you’re ready, choose to connect to the airport Wi-Fi to stream movies and shows on your device. If you don’t want to be at the mercy of the airport Wi-Fi, however, download the movies before you get there. That way, you’ll have uninterrupted entertainment. But if you’re going international, check out how to stream while traveling. This article will help you figure out how to navigate the World Wide Web of movies in tricky international waters.




long layover tips
Infographic Credit: Wondering which airports in the U.K. are best for streaming? Here’s a list of the best and worst Wi-Fi spots in the country.


The Obvious Tip – Play Some Online Games


If you need something a bit more interactive than a movie, play some online games. This pastime has recently grown to epic proportions, occupying the entire world to the point of near obsession. But that’s okay with us. And it’ll be okay with you, too, especially if you hop on the bandwagon and start to play. But which game would be perfect for you?


If you want to stick with the airport theme, go with a simple flash game like Airport Madness. You’ll play the role of an air traffic controller who must set planes on the right path or suffer the consequences. It’s a fast-paced game that will occupy you for as long as you need, but the rounds are relatively short. If you want to get into a longer game, take your pick of laptop-friendly RPGs — Thimbleweed Park is great lighthearted fun while Shadowrun Returns is sure to test your tactical skills in a fantasy world.


Bingo is another excellent gaming choice for those long airport hours, as it’s wildly entertaining, offering short but exciting rounds to hold your attention span. Plus, you can play bingo games for free online with no commitment required on your end. It’s the best introduction to online bingo you can get, and it doesn’t require a single cent. Log in, create an account and begin to play within minutes.


Curious about free online bingo? Check out what this site has to offer.



Another Tip, Make Some New Friends


There isn’t enough to say about making airport friends. It’s an excellent option if you’re alone, but you can also do it with friends and even family. After all, travelers need to stick together. You may not have even considered searching for buddies in the terminal, but it’s a relatively common practice.


From forging new friendships in times of trouble to making connections that last a lifetime, airports can serve you up a slice of humanity on a silver platter in a way no other place can. That’s because people come together in times of crisis. And a delayed flight can seem like a crisis to a lot of people.



long layover tips
The airport is an excellent place to strike up a conversation or grab a cup of coffee — who knows? You may end up making a lifelong friendship.


Head to the airport bar or the lounge area to search out your next best friend. Be open and friendly when starting a conversation. Remember that everyone loves humor, and it’s often the best way to make the most of a possibly dismal situation. Waiting at the airport isn’t quite the best spot to be in, but with a little bit of camaraderie, you’re bound to get by (with a little help from your friends).


You might make a more meaningful connection than you ever intended, too. Dating and even true love are possible when you fly. A study done by AXE and Best Places gives you the real deal on the best airports to meet someone — the first on the list being Liberty International in New Jersey, USA.


No matter what your reason for flying, layovers can be the worst. However, they don’t have to be, especially when you use every tool at your disposal to make them fun. If you’re committed to your airport adventure, nothing can stop you from having the time of your life. So, go ahead. Don’t be afraid to book that flight and use these long layover tips to make your trip even more of an adventure! Are you looking for more travel tips? Do you love unique adventures? Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post!




Christa Thompson

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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