When Brooke and I travel, we often have long layovers. Whether using mileage or paying for airfare, it is much more cost effective to book non-direct flights. Rather than view this down time as torturous monotony, we have created a list of things to do during this expanse of free time. Layovers honestly don’t have to mean endless hours of sitting on uncomfortable benches or staring at the clock waiting for your adventure to begin. Brooke and I have in fact, actually changed our mindsets and view a layover as a fun and memorable part of each journey. So what do we do during our long layovers?
Here are our top five things to do to kill time during a long layover:
Since we only use backpacks for our carry ons, power walking through the airport is easy. We make sure that we get our 10,000+ steps in during this time. Sure people may stare at us as we are getting our cardio on, but it doesn’t bother us to say the least. We make sure to find stairs as well and try to get as many vertical steps in as possible. There have been times we also travel with our yoga mats, find a quiet corner and you guessed it….downward dog here we come. Again, there are the glares but we actually find humor in the looks and comments people make. Perhaps they are a bit jealous of our carefree attitudes and amazing flexibility:) There are several airports around the world that have yoga and meditation rooms as well as actual gyms to work out. Contact the airport prior to travel to inquire. Note: To freshen up, make sure you have deodorant, perfumes, hair brush/accessories and a washcloth in your bag.
Ohare is a great airport to walk during a layover
2. Game Time
A deck of cards, the “Heads Up” app on our phone, Scrabble and Yahtzee To Go, anything interactive that keeps us engaged with one another is another way to pass the time. I am okay with Brooke playing a few independent games on her devices, but for the most part we choose something that involves human interaction.
Magnetic Travel Games are Great to Bring Along
3. Explore-Sight See
If you have time, leave the airport. Make sure you return with a few hours to spare to avoid any stress of missing your connecting flight, but if you have the time, take a few hours and get outside. We’ve taken taxis into cities, even if it’s just to grab a bite at a city’s well-known restaurant. Other times we’ve just spent a few hours window shopping, visiting a park or museum, or even getting foot massages or yes, pedicures!
4. Read or Listen to Audio Books
Brooke and I always travel with a book or two. I will often read the same book as Brooke so we can have mini book talks during this time. We will find an airport restaurant with the classiest atmosphere. Brooke typically orders their finest lemonade or milkshake, and I of course enjoy a glass of Cab as we discuss the plot unfolding in whatever novel we are reading.
To most of us, sleeping in an airport is an unappealing option. For us we’ve found a few ways around sprawling out on a dirty carpet or bench to get some Z’s. Some airports offer sleeping sections or comfortable sleep chairs, but if you’re at an airport that does not, here’s what we suggest: plan ahead and book a cheap hotel, especially if it’s an overnight layover. We’ve planned ahead before and have found nearby hotels for under $75 which is significantly much cheaper than that direct flight. Furthermore, we don’t have the fear of having our bags stolen in the airport while we doze.
Helsinki Airport was the first Airport to offer Sleeping Pods–
hope this catches on worldwide soon!
And finally….just be open minded, have fun and look forward to the upcoming vacation!
Dylan’s Candy Bar Detroit Airport