Have you ever been so bored at the airport and needed some ideas on how to spend the time before your delayed flight? We feel you! If you regularly travel by plane, chances are you’ve experienced a delayed flight at some point or, even worse, a flight cancellation.
In some countries nearly 30% of flights fail to depart on time, which is not a conclusive percentage because these things may change daily, sometimes from hour to hour. For example, Air Canada was recently ranked no. 1 for flight delays. (Learn how to protect yourself from an airline meltdown)
Yet, beyond all delays and cancellations, airports are generally unavoidable for people who want to travel internationally. In other words, whether you’re waiting for your connecting flight or stuck at the airport due to an unforeseen flight delay, you need to occupy yourself with something if you don’t want to lose your mind.
Here are some tips on how to pass the time at the airport.
1. Take an airport shopping tour
Shopping is a great way to forget that you will be waiting for hours at the airport. You might not find something interesting to buy while on your trip or forget you must bring some souvenirs home.
Luckily, most airport stores sell more than just unique souvenirs. Yes, most stores are a bit pricey, but that’s the last chance to buy something nice for your friends and loved ones. Just remember that not all souvenirs can survive the flight. Buy only things that won’t break easily and can fit your suitcase to ensure your presents will land in one piece.
2. Relax at the airport’s amenities
Most airports have multiple amenities for entertaining travelers waiting for their flights. For example, if you’re stuck at some major airport, ask around and see what they have to offer.
Some airports have beauty salons and spa centers, and some even offer massage treatments to people who need relaxation after or before their flights. Instead of sitting at the airport gate for hours, you can do your nails or pay for a relaxing massage that will help you forget you’re stuck at the airport in the first place.
If you’re a regular traveler, consider joining a VIP club that allows you to use the airport’s lounge. These VIP clubs typically feature many amenities like showers, luxury restaurants, places to rest, etc. Some even have sources of entertainment like pools, television, or pool tables.
3. Watch something on your laptop
Nowadays, many services like iTunes and Netflix offer you to watch movies on the go, no matter where in the world you’re waiting for a delayed flight. You can watch fun TV shows and movies on your tablet or laptop.
So, when cancellation strikes, you will find a remedy on your laptop or smartphone. However, it is crucial to understand that free Wi-Fi at airports is far from secure. Some people could even set Wi-Fi networks as bait in hopes of monitoring the traffic of connected users. Therefore, installing a VPN for Windows before connecting your laptop to an unknown network is crucial. Since a Virtual Private Network encrypts traffic, no one can see what you do online. It should be your device’s first line of defense when using free Wi-Fi.
4. Get some rest
Do you remember the last trip when you tried to get some rest at the airport? You probably got up with only some unexpected neck pain to show for it. Luckily, more and more airports are trying to fix that problem. Today, most airports offer modern sleeping zones, and pods travelers can pay to use.
Let’s be honest – no one likes to sleep on the floor or chair in a chaotic atmosphere, which best describes the environment in most airports. If you’re wondering how to get some rest and don’t want to worry about keeping your bags safe, you can always ask if the airport has a sleeping zone.
5. Read a book or reply to emails
When was the last time you immersed yourself in an exciting novel without worrying about being late for work or forgetting to do your laundry? Waiting for a delayed flight at the airport is the best opportunity to change that.
If you didn’t bring a book, you can also be productive and clear out your overloaded inbox. We’re sure you have a lot of unread emails that you need to reply to. Take advantage of having a few spare hours and get rid of those emails that are causing you stress and anxiety.