Oh gawd I hate delays and cancelled flights. There is not much that makes me angry in life, but delaying me from getting home to my babies kinda gets me wound up. Regardless, you have time to kill, and you’re stuck at the airport. Not feeling inspired as you cart around your bags is not something you are alone in feeling.
Here are my tips for filling in the hours until your flight:
- Take a daytrip or even visit a nearby hotel or restaurant. Getting out of the airport can refresh you and invigorate you for the next leg of your travel like no activity that you can find within the airport walls. We have checked-in to the hotels at the airport in Los Angeles and used the pool for 4 hours. On another trip, we have ventured to a nearby diner that was used for filming scenes in Pulp Fiction. If you’re stuck for more than eight hours, I would consider seeing a nearby site or attraction.
- If you are travelling with the kids do a quick check of what shops and activities are available and go on a scavenger hunt. I tend to cater for both and being 6 years apart, I tend to create a random list of objects and wander around the airport until we find them all.
- You have been stuck on a plane for hours and about to board another one to be stuck with limited room. Airports are great for walking. In Singapore, the gates are not opened until the flight is about to board and because of this you can find wings that are empty at times. Use these spaces to time the kids on the travellators or running from one end to the other.
- Find some delicious treats I am sure it is bound to beat plane food. I always pack some protein snacks or nuts as often plane food doesn’t fill me up (I don’t often eat it) and when I am flying with the kids I have vegemite sandwiches on hand.
- Watch the planes. My boys are not really into trucks, cars and bikes but they are into planes. We try to see if we can see a crash or a fire. Not because we want people to be hurt but to marvel at the well organised trucks and ground support. We try to see where the bags are going and if one will fall off. This is far more fun in regional airports where the chances of this are higher.
- Find a place to stretch and perhaps do some yoga. Maybe don’t get all tangled up but stretch your back and your body is a great way to be ready for the next flight.
- Go shopping. I love buying perfume at the airport and stocking up on makeup is easy to do. The bonus for buying makeup at the airport is they have travel pack sizes in stock! I am much more likely to try a new fragrance when I am about to go somewhere – I love being reminded of a trip by a smell. Whilst makeup and perfume is duty free I recommend avoiding buying books at an airport without a recommendation. Nothing worse than being stuck on a flight for hours with a dull book.
- CHARGE everything you have and more. Obviously many planes now have the capability for you to charge in the sky, but when they don’t I am telling you better to be safe than sorry.
- People watch. I play a game with my kids and husband that we pick someone and we invent their life. We decide what they do for a living, where they are going and who they are going to meet. We can get a little crazy and make up some wild tales but it is super fun.
- Avoid sleep. I find it easier to get to sleep on the plane if I am super tired and a quick nap at the airport is bound to keep me awake on the plane. I think it is better to sleep through the time changes than before it.
- Learn something. Pick up a local newspaper, or find yourself a book. Depending how long you must wait, it’s worth tempting fate on overweight carry-on.
- I always change between flights. I hate smelling like a plane and I always cover up on the flight to keep warm. You may need to take a layer off. My kids always get off a flight covered in chocolate (even when I haven’t packed it) so I change them a lot.
- American airports are great for finding a massage and manicure and pedicure bar. Be sure to check the times carefully. Recently at Orlando airport getting through security took almost an hour. Lucky, I had time to spare.
- Brush your teeth, clean your face. My no makeup rule is because I choose to reapply moisturiser throughout the flight and use facial wipes. I use time at the airport to brush my hair.
- Do you use the app Trip Case? Trip Case has saved me many times from missing flights as it will send updates to you when you are on the go. It will update you at the airport to changes in your gates as well.