Spending hours in an airport before your next flight is unavoidable if a layover is part of your itinerary, or your flight has been delayed. Instead of dreading these hours, there are many ways to make the most out of them. In fact, if you are on a YMT Tour in Asia, you may stop at one of the best airports in the world. Planning ahead goes a long way in looking at the experience in a positive light. Here is a list of 10 ways to make the most of a long layover or delayed flight.
- Enjoy a Few Hours in the City – If you have plenty of time until your next flight, head into the city. Many international airports offer fast and affordable transportation into the city, which is an easy way to check out a new place. If this idea makes you nervous, talk to the customer service agent as you may be able to book a hop-on, hop-off bus tour right from the airport and avoid navigating the city on your own.
- Read – If you are an avid reader or in the middle of a great book, use your time to read. Find yourself without any reading material? No problem! Just make a trip to the airport bookstore.
- Explore the Airport – Walk around the airport and get comfortable with the layout. Notice where the restaurants, shops, bathrooms, and charging stations are in case you need them during your wait.
- (Window) Shop – Visit airport stores and purchase souvenirs for friends, family, and even yourself! If you are on the way to your destination and want to avoid buying anything until your way back home, you can still enjoy window-shopping.
- Make Conversation with Strangers – The people around your boarding gate may be waiting for the same flight, and you can make a few quick friends by striking up a conversation with those who seem friendly. You may even get some local tips if they happen to be from the country where you are headed. Talking to new people isn’t reserved to just your gate area. Chat with shopkeepers, waitresses, bartenders, and others who seem receptive.
- Relax in the Airport Lounge – Spending your time in a lounge will give you unlimited access to food, beverages and TV screens, and is more relaxing than waiting at your gate. If you do not have lounge access, ask the host if you can pay for entry.
- Play Cards – Keep a pack of cards in your backpack or purse and play a few rounds of cards with your travel companions. This may also be a great way to make friends by inviting those seated around you to join. If cards do not appeal to you, consider a travel-sized version of your favorite game.
- Sample Various Cuisines – If there are a variety of bars and restaurants, check out multiple options. Have a drink, appetizer, main, and dessert at four different restaurants to sample the best of what each has to offer.
- People Watch – Airports are one of the best places to observe people from all walks of life. Since you are in a public space, there is nothing wrong with eavesdropping on conversations near you, or taking notice of the attire of fellow travelers.
- Write Postcards/Letters – Handwritten letters are a rarity these days but since you have some time, why not compose a few handwritten postcards while you wait? If you don’t have postcards with you, browse through the selection at the airport gift shop. You will definitely put a smile on the faces of those who receive them.
Take advantage of any unexpected delays or a scheduled layover to engage in these interesting activities. There’s no reason why you should sit in the same seat for hours when there are simple things you can do to pass the time. Whether you are on the way to your guided YMT vacation or headed back home, approach your time at the airport as part of your trip and you’ll have much more fun!