Whether you are stuck at the airport because of a long layover or a delayed flight, you should not think of it as a complete waste of your time. There are many cool and productive things you can do while you wait for the flight. While most people prefer taking a nap to get rid of jet lag, there are other things you can do to entertain yourself. Here are some fun ideas to kill time when stranded at the airport:
1. Explore the airport.
Most international airports have a magnificent architecture with an interior design that represents the history or culture of that country. Some airports feature large glass domes, artificial waterfalls, and public art displays. While you wait for your flight, you can stroll around the airport and indulge its beauty.
If you are stranded at a smaller airport that does not have a lot to see, you can simply do a treasure hunt e.g. finding the quietest spot in the waiting area, looking for best wifi spots, discovering the shortest routes to the airport’s restaurant, or nominating the cleanest bathroom.
2. Browse the shops.
People generally don’t prefer shopping at airports as shops there can be very expensive. However, there’s no harm in browsing all the good stuff they showcase. Shops at international airports offer great variety.
If you are on a tight budget, you can simply window-shop or shop frugally. Airports are the best place to get culture-branded gifts, such as green-tea KitKat from Tokyo, wearables from India, and Stroopwafels from Amsterdam.
3. Enjoy the native cuisine.
While most airports feature eateries specializing in diverse cuisine, some have restaurants that serve authentic native cuisine. For example, if you are stuck at Doha International Airport, you can enjoy some delicious native dishes at the airport bistro serving Qatari cuisine. Similarly, you can try ramen, sushi, or yakitori when waiting for your flight at Narita Airport in Tokyo.
4. Make friends.
It’s easy to kill time at the airport when you are traveling with friends, family, or colleagues. However, if you are traveling alone, it may be hard for you to pass time. This is a great opportunity to socialize and make new friends.
You can talk to the stranger sitting beside you in the waiting area, exchange ideas, and get to know them. Most people hesitate to make the first move as they are not sure if the other person would be equally outgoing, however it’s worth trying.
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5. Drain the wifi.
If the airport offers free wifi, you can go online and spend time doing things that you don’t normally have time for, such as watching videos, checking weather reports, scrolling through social media, or playing games in an online casino.
This may also be a great time to binge watch movies or TV shows, specifically if you are stuck at the airport for hours. There’s plenty of productive stuff that you can do online while stranded at the airport for example, updating your Linkedin profile, reading news or informative blogs, or watching a TED talk.