Tips for what to do when you're stuck at the Airport Increased tourism means more inbound and outbound flights. As a result, airline delays have become an integral part of the travel experience. Compounding that, airline protocol dictates that travelers check-in 2-3 hours prior to departure, so long layovers and delays aren't always avoidable. Even though you plan everything down to the last detail, you can't control the weather, routine inspections and other delays that come up. Essentially, you might find yourself stuck at the airport.
Through this "Things to do When Stuck at the Airport" guide, we hope to offer some ideas, so that if you find yourself stuck at the airport, it is a more positive and productive experience.
Let's Shop at the Airport: Yes, you read it right, shop! This is probably one of the best ways to kill time. If you're at an international airport, explore duty free shops. Check-out the various things on display. These shops offer great stuff at reasonable prices. You can always use this opportunity to buy gifts for your friends and relatives. Additionally, buying from duty free shops is a safe bet that you're purchasing quality products.
Surf the Net to Check Email: If you're behind on emails, this might be a great time to catch up on e-mails to friends and family. During your vacation you might miss, or miss out on checking your e-mails, so it's a good time to catch up. Many airports have free WIFI and if you've got your laptop, why not? In case you don't have one, many airport bars and restaurants have computers, which can be used. Nothing kills time better than surfing the net and playing online games.
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Hungry? Snacks, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Airport food is no longer fast, poor quality food. In fact, many airports offer notable chain restaurants, regional cuisines and local fare. When travelling from home abroad or from abroad back to home, you can take this opportunity to indulge in regional delicacies.
Reading, Books and Magazines: Definitely one of the best ways to kill time productively is browsing the bookstores and other kiosks, which offer books and magazines. Check the bestseller lists. Buy a book that looks engaging. A few pages in, you'll be so engrossed, you'll wonder where the time went when you're called to board your plane. Pick up your favorite newspaper or magazines.
Take a Shower: Most air terminals now offer shower facilities. With increased air travel, airports offer so many modern amenities. One of the most appealing is a shower. In case you are on a transit flight and waiting for your plane, which is delayed why not "hit the showers"?
Listen to music: Sure it might sound obvious, but it's definitely worth mentioning. While waiting, you can divert your mind from the frenetic pace at the airpot by listening to your favorite songs on your iPod shuffle or MP4 player, or on your cell phone.
Frequent Flyer Clubs: Make sure you join any airline clubs you're eligible for when booking flights. Most of the airlines these days have lounges at all major airports. Access to a lounge means sitting in comfort, sipping coffee and reading your favorite sections from the newspaper. It's always a better choice than waiting for the plane at the gate.
Ah, Sleep: Many airports have hotels adjacent to them. If you know your flight is going to be delayed for 12-24 hours, check-in at an airport hotel. Relax and go to sleep. Wake up fresh and ready to board your flight.
Explore the City: Being stuck at an airport in between flight's, delayed connections or for any other reason means you might have several hours on your hands. Another productive way to use this time is to do some sightseeing. You can always visit attractions near the airport. All airports have helpdesks who would be more than happy to assist you. Be mindful of the time. If you're flight leaves in 3-hours, you probably shouldn't leave the airport. However, if you're set to take-off in 5 or more hours, that might be time to get out and do some sightseeing or walking.
Smart travelers get all the packing, checking and planning for their trip done. Even the savviest traveler can't control an airport delay. We hope that the tips from our experts go a long way in helping you spend your time stuck at the airport more relaxing, enjoyable and fun.
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