Hacks to Kill Time During Long Layovers

Airport hall

It is wonderful news that so many countries are welcoming travellers once again. Many adventurous souls have gathered at the entrances of airports, eager to fly towards unexplored destinations. While companies try their best to normalize flights, it is, unfortunately, a common problem to get your flight cancelled or get long layovers between flights. To make your travel experience go smoothly and ease the discomfort level that comes with it, we came up with hacks to kill time during long layovers. You’re welcome!

Girl researching about the airport she is going to stay at using laptop

Google your airport

First and foremost, read about the airport you are going to stay at. Every airport is different: some have rest zones, yoga studios, gyms, and hotels, some have nap zones, reading areas, and kids’ playgrounds. You will be surprised by how much you can do in the airport if you know where to look. Gone are the days when an airport was just a transition place with food and restrooms. Nowadays, you can even find galleries and museums. To get the most out of your long layover, make sure you learn about your airport so you can take full advantage of what it has to offer.

Binge a series

Streaming services learned a long time ago that the best way for travellers to kill time is to watch series or movies; however, the internet can be tricky to get during a flight or in the airport. Instead of relying on Wi-Fi, save your favourite series on your device. Alternatively, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc., offer various movies to be downloaded for a short time. There are some limitations to which shows you can watch, but we are sure you will find the ones you love for the trip. So when there are five hours of layover on the horizon, you can rely on Friends to give you a good giggle or the tragic scene in Titanic to give you a good cry.

Read more: Free Wifi Airport Passwords for Every Airport Around the World on a Single Map

A game console in somebody's hand

Catch up on gaming

If you are a gamer or have a favourite game to play, then bring your console with you. Your brain will immerse in the adventures on your screen and will forget where you are. Gaming, watching, and interacting, in general, makes it easier to tolerate long waits. Moreover, you may meet game buddies on the road with similar tastes. Take a battery charger with you as well. It will not only make sure that your game will last you the whole trip, but it will help with reviving the battery of your phone. While every airport is supposed to have charging stations, it is always better to come prepared and avoid facing disappointment later. Nothing can make a long layover even longer than a flat battery!

Spend some dollars

Duty-free, souvenir and magazine shops are great places to spend your time and money. If you have forgotten to buy a present for somebody and don’t want to feel the guilt, the airport offers a wonderful opportunity to buy “authentic” gifts. While they may not be the cheapest, some travellers prefer to look for specific luxury skincare brands in duty-free stores to save on taxes. Books, lipsticks, belts, flags – there are many things for everybody’s taste.

A girl kills time during her layover by talking to somebody on her phone

Chew the fat

Do you remember that promise that you gave to your mom that you will call? Or the friend that you wanted to talk to a long time ago but never got the time to do that? Well, this is your chance. You can use all of this free time in the airport to catch up on the latest gossips revive old relationships, and even network. Just check your time zones and make sure that you don’t call them at night time!

Work up a sweat

If you are active, eager to move your body, and overflowing with energy, then this tip is for you. It can be a jog through halls, stretching in yoga studios, or a hardcore workout in the gym. Just be considerate of your fellow travellers and think ahead about shower facilities. Nobody wants to sit in a cramped space with a sweaty person next to them – and you don’t want to sit on a plane for 8 hours in sweaty yoga pants!

A guy kills time by sleeping on the airport's bench


Travelling is tiring, so we understand if all you can think of is catching some zzz’s. That is why it is so important to check the facilities of the airport in advance. Some offer napping zones, some have hotels, and some have comfortable sofa benches. Every airport is different, and depending on how protected you feel about sleeping in public, you may consider some more isolated areas. 

Go old-skool

The mysteries of Clue, hidden gems of Monopoly, or unpredictable battles of Chess can help you to kill time during the layover. They are fun, and you can find ones specifically created for the road, so they are convenient to pack. It is a great way to while away a few hours and exercise your brain cells.

Somebody is working on their laptop

Sort out your mailbox

Have you ever seen what an empty email box looks like? Well, this layover is your chance to see it for the first time. With time to spare, you can finally clean up stashes of important (and not-so-important) mail you have been putting off for years. Work mail should go to a separate folder from daily family updates. Promotions, coupons, news that are still unread should all go to the trash can. Create sections, tags, colour code. Do whatever your organizing self desires.  Hopefully, at the end of your layover, you should get a pretty, empty inbox. 

Play Pokemon Go

Developers of Pokemon Go knew their way around hiding unique pokemon. One of the places where you may find them are airports. Pikachu by the check-in section, Snorlax sleeping on the bench, and Charmander heating the stand with hotdogs… If you like this game and have some time to spare, you should explore all areas and catch as many creatures as possible. The best thing is that some airports can have exclusive pokemon associated with the country you are currently in, so even without crossing an actual border, you will get the missing pieces for your collection.

Layovers can be daunting and exhausting, but with good preparation, we are sure you will be able to get the best from them and enjoy yourself.

Have a safe trip!

Read more: 7 Best Countries to Teach English Abroad

The post Hacks to Kill Time During Long Layovers appeared first on The TEFL Academy Blog.

I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

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