They say that life is a journey, not a destination, but that can be hard to keep in mind when you’ve just deboarded your flight and are staring down an hours’ long layover. Whether you want to stay sharp for your arrival home or be alert for a full first day of vacation, keeping productive while your trip is on pause is a surefire way to ensure that your trip doesn’t wear you down any more than it has to.
Catch up on a good book
Depending on the length of your flight, you may have brought a book or two to read while you are in transit. If you’re having a hard time putting down that best-seller, layovers and delays provide a great opportunity to stay immersed in whatever time or place you are exploring in your imagination. If you’re not well-equipped in terms of reading material, most airports offer multiple bookstores stocked with the latest magazines, newspapers and periodicals as well as popular books spanning a wide range of genres.
If you’d rather not lug around a paperback or hardcover, your smartphone or other devices give you the ability to read without adding onto your cargo. You can download the Amazon Kindle app for free and use it to download and read as many e-books as you wish. If you want to brush up on some classic literature, several must-read books are available for free or as little as 99 cents. Just be sure to give your eyes a break after long periods of reading so as to avoid any unwanted headaches.
Even massive airports with the most modern amenities can feel oppressive if you’ve just spent hours on an airplane. If you have a long enough layover or delay on the horizon, don’t feel compelled to wait it out at the airport if you don’t have to. Travel and Leisure notes that major transportation hubs like Incheon International Airport in South Korea and Narita International Airport in Japan provide compact city tours to keep you occupied while you wait. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll want to keep in mind that leaving the airport means having to pass through security again, which will cut into the amount of time you have to see the sights.
If you’re feeling at a loss for energy after a long flight but want to get your second wind back, you can see if your airport has its own gym or fitness center or if there is one within driving distance. According to Airport Gyms, which compiles an up-to-date list of gyms and fitness centers in or near airports, major airports like Dallas-Fort Worth International, Los Angeles International and O’Hare International have places to exercise within the terminal. Roam Fitness, currently operating out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport, offers a full-scale gym experience for guests. It includes professional cardio equipment and weights, private showers and complimentary workout gear. Roam Fitness anticipates expansion into as many as 20 airports by 2023.
Reading, exploring and working out are just some of the ways you can be productive during your wait. You can visit restaurants or bars for something to eat and drink, strike up a friendly conversation with a perfect stranger or grab some rest. However you choose to spend your layover, make sure that it doesn’t put a damper on your plans by making the most of it.