Behold, the dreaded layover. This unnecessary time suck in a random city’s airport is keeping you from the things you need to do. Some people will gladly pay more to avoid one, but is it really worth it? Is it possible that you’ve been looking at the layover in the wrong light all this time? Instead of a burden, is it actually a golden opportunity? Could the layover be some bonus free time in your otherwise busy life?
OK, that may be wishful thinking, but there are ways to make a layover bearable (and, dare I say it, fun). Check out these five ideas for getting the most out of your next layover…
1. Be Smart
Your iPhone is your biggest ally in fighting boredom and frustration during a layover. Almost all airports provide complementary Wi-Fi, so find a comfy area to hang out, sit back and surf with abandon. You can catch up on work (boo), finally watch that movie everyone has been talking about or FaceTime with your Mum. Just remember to be respectful of those around you and pack your headphones.
2. Join the Club
If you have a long layover, buy a day pass to an airport lounge. Passes generally run around £30 and most of these swank areas have amenities like free drinks, food, Wi-Fi and comfortable seating. If you’re a frequent traveler, it might be worth it to buy an annual membership, which will save you money on food and beverages in the long run and make layovers infinitely more relaxing.
3. Get Pampered
Spa services are popping up in more and more airports, which is great news for the weary traveler. Businesses like XpresSpa at John F. Kennedy in New York City and 55 other airports worldwide offer quick services like a fifteen minute neck and back massage or a 30 minute mini-facial. Some of them have more elaborate treatments like a full body massage or deluxe pedicure.
4. Get Moving
Just because you’re stuck in an airport doesn’t mean you have to miss your daily workout. If you’re lucky, your layover will be at an airport like Chicago O’Hare where you can buy a day pass to the airport Hilton’s fitness room. The Dallas airport also features a free yoga studio. If the airport doesn’t have a designated fitness area, grab a corner and do some plyometrics, or strap on your trainers and go for a power walk. You’ll get a good sense of what the airport has to offer and burn some calories at the same time.
5. Eat Well
If you’re going to eat at the airport, you’re going to overpay for food. So why not spend your money on something delicious? Instead of grabbing warmed over fast food, find a sit-down restaurant and have a proper meal. At Boston’s Logan Airport, you can eat truly great seafood at Legal Sea Foods.