How To Cure Airport Boredom
New York Trips & Tips

How To Cure Airport Boredom

There is a special place in hell for extensive airport delays and layovers. Throughout my travels I’ve had tons of delays from in climate weather, mechanical issues and some crazy long layovers. The worst experience by far was on a Virgin Australia flight; yeah I’m calling you out Virgin! Three hours outside of LA, they turned the plane around due to a bathroom malfunction and I had to stay overnight until the next flight to Australia. Here are some travel hacks to keep you and your flying buddy entertained before you jet off to your next kickass vacation.


Catch Up On Work

Crank out your laptop or scroll through your phone and reply to any unanswered e-mails flooding your Inbox. If you’re a blogger like me, open up a Word doc and start writing out a blog. P.S. I may or may not be writing this during a delay myself. It’s a great way to be proactive and cut down on the work you’ll be behind on once you get back from your trip.


Talk A Walk

Taking a quick cruise around the terminal to do some window-shopping is one of the most popular ways to kill time. I tend to avoid the name brand stores like Ralph Lauren or Coach and go to the souvenir shops. The Melbourne airport has some great little stores for souvenirs, albeit overpriced. Also check out the crazy huge duty-free section at the Bangkok airport. You can also stop and buy a magazine or a book. Which leads me to my next time-killer.


Post On Social Media

Obligatory inspirational passport photo
Obligatory inspirational passport photo


Don’t forget to update all your friends and acquaintances with your travel plans. Who doesn’t love a good passport and travel ticket Insta pic? No, but seriously take some time to scroll through your feed for the latest fake news, stalk a new co-worker, or check in at the airport. It’s really amazing how much time you can waste on social media. But it’s also pretty fun.


Read A Book

I feel like no one reads physical copies of books anymore. Everyone has a Kindle or just scrolls through their Facebook stories for the latest articles. Sometimes it’s nice to turn a page in a book. Even though they tend to be overpriced, airport bookstores always have the latest reads. Plus, if you buy an informational or self-help book you’re actually bettering yourself while you wait.


Catch Up With Friends

If you’re anything like me you get to the airport three hours early. I like to be overly cautious so I don’t have to worry about missing my flight. Once while waiting for my flight to New Orleans, which was three hours delayed due to a storm the day BEFORE (I really gotta get over that). Anyway, I took the extra time to call one of my best friends who I haven’t spoken to in a while to catch up. You can also just talk to your flying companion and connect with them.


Get Something To Eat

Shake Shack At The JFK Airport Is Everything
Shake Shack At The JFK Airport Is Everything


Sometimes I get excited thinking about airport food. I know it’s weird; it’s kind of like enjoying hospital food. However, there are some REALLY good chains at airports. When the Shake Shack opened in JFK it was felt like Christmas. When I was younger there was a Panda Express at Logan Airport in Boston and I loved that place. If it’s still open please let me know. It’s the opposite for airports like LAX or Bogotá, Colombia, which has some of the worst, most expensive food out there. But what better way to spend some extra time than ordering a few cocktails at the bar and some wings to go with them?


Plan Your Trip

I’m a massive planner. I plan so much it’s almost a bad thing. But if you’re not like me you can spend this time Googling top tourist attractions or TripAdvisor ratings. You can also spend the time searching blogs and sites for the best restaurants in your destination. There is nothing worse than paying for mediocre food while traveling.


Do Some People Watching

I’m not talking about creeping on people. Just find a comfortable seat near your gate and check out the world around you. You might find sleeping people, crying babies or some interesting airport drama like in the movies, you know that whole running to the gate to say goodbye thing.


Binge Watch TV

If the airport has good connection, basically anywhere except South America, you can probably get fast enough speed to watch Netflix. I have downloaded TV shows and movies on my laptop so I can watch episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” even if I don’t have Wi-Fi. This is a great way to relax and chill at your gate so you don’t miss any announcements. Also if you can get onto Netflix, watch “The Great British Baking Show”. I’m obsessed!


Buy A Day Pass For A VIP Lounge

On my way to The Galapagos Islands I had a seven-hour layover in El Salvador. It’s a tiny country and an extremely impoverished on as well. Lets just say the airport was very underwhelming. We had heard they have an Avianca Elite Members lounge that we could pay to hang out in. So for about $25USD we spent the next 7 hours drinking top shelf liquor, using there Wi-Fi and eating all the tasty little sandwiches, cakes and snacks they put out until we boarded our flight.


Leave The Airport

Exploring Sydney during an extended layover
Exploring Sydney during an extended layover


Your delay or layover may be long enough that you have time to leave the airport and explore. If you’ve checked your bags you’re all set. If not, try heading to your nearest hotel chain and asking them to keep your bag. I did this once at a Marriott in Sydney, no questions asked. After that you can go grab some food, stretch your legs and see a few attractions before your next flight. Of course, leave yourself at least an hour and a half to get back to the airport and go through security again.


How do you like to kill time at the airport? Share your worst travel delay stories.



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01 Comment

  1. Sophia

    I’m a big people-watcher, I could watch people’s behaviour and mannerisms all day, it’s like a tv programme unfolding haha. I also like to eat, gosh can I eat when I’m bored. Oh and I tend to catch up on emails and boring admin too xx

    Sophia xx

    April 18, 2017 Reply


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My name is Katie Lockhart and I launched Find Your Happy Plate in 2015 to offer adventurous wanderers the best advice for food and travel around the world. Find Your Happy Plate is a place for travel inspiration, food porn and tips on where to find the best of both. Whether you’re looking for luxury of budget, I write and photograph it all. Follow along!