While traveling is one of the most exciting things you can do in your life, waiting for your next flight at the airport can be really boring. There are no two ways about it: airports are dull. Often busy, sometimes soulless, and expensive, and a few hours at an airport can feel like it lasted for a lifetime. So what can you do to kill time while you are waiting for your next flight? Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are five really fun ways travelers can kill time in the airport:
#1 – Play card and casino games
If you want to kill time at the airport, one of the most fun ways that you can do this is by playing games like cards and casino games. If the airport you are in has a casino and games section, then you can always head there to kill a bit of time. Some airports like Heathrow only have slots/fruit machines (if you want to learn how to win on fruit machines then check out Online Casino’s guide on ‘How To Play (And Win) Fruit Machines’). But some – like Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport – have entire casinos where you can spend a few hours of gaming.
Failing that, you can always play card games on your phone or iPad, simply by downloading an app or heading online. You could also go old-school and bring a pack of cards with you. If you’re traveling with a friend or partner then you can play against each other, and if you are a solo traveler, you can always learn the rules of Solitaire to keep yourself occupied. Playing card games will help the time pass quickly and it’s a fantastic activity for your brain too.
#2 – Read a thrilling book
If you think reading isn’t fun, then you probably just haven’t picked up the right book yet. Reading is amazing. Pick up a book and you can be transported into a thrilling new world that is far, far more exciting than the boring airport lounge you have been cooped up in for the last two hours. Almost all airports in the world – big or small, have a bookshop with all the latest reads and classic collections to pick from.
If you’re going on a traveling adventure, then there are some brilliant backpacker classics that you should read. Rusty Young’s Marching Powder is one such book – a fascinating look at the notorious Bolivian San Pedro prison and the corruption, cocaine, and bizarre world inside. Another is Shantaram – the autobiographical tale of one man’s journey to begin a new life in India. If India is on your bucket list, you will love this vibrant, rich and emotional read. There are tons of great books out there – you just need to find the right one for you.
#3 – Get planning your next adventure
If you want to kill time at the airport, what better way than planning some of the adventures you’ll have when you finally get to your destination? If you’re anything like us, then you probably won’t have a minute-by-minute itinerary of what you’re going to do throughout your traveling adventure. Yes, you will have some stuff planned, but a lot of it you will leave up to fate and fun.
This is amazing, and one of the best ways of traveling; it means that you’re not tied into any specific plans, and you can change direction at a moment’s notice – heading off to that cool beach with new friends, or planning a rainforest trek at the drop of a hat.
While that is great, it’s still a good idea to learn a little more about the region you’re heading to and bookmark some fun activities to do or attractions to see. Airport time is dead time that would otherwise be wasted. So, put it to good use: read up on useful travel advice and fun tips on travel blogs. You could even go analog and pick up a travel guide!
#4 – Treat yourself to a delicious meal
I have always enjoyed eating at the airport! Not one if you’re traveling on a budget, but if you feel like treating yourself while you’re waiting for your flight, then why not splash out on a nice meal when you are at the airport? Most airports now have a huge variety of eateries, from fast food options to hipster cafes to celebrity chef restaurants with great reputations. That’s right – gone are the days where you had to sit in a busy food court among screaming children, trying to ignore how dirty your table is while you eat your disappointing Big Mac.
And here is a little video that can totally assure you how fun airport eating can be!
Now, you can eat in style, sampling delicious cuisines from all over the world or enjoying tasty regional dishes before you board your flight. You could even treat yourself to the full three-course experience so that you can settle down content and full on your plane. Let’s face it, it’s a much more appealing option than unpacking those squished sandwiches, or waiting for your tasteless airplane food once you’ve boarded your flight.
#5 – Listen to podcasts
For anyone who travels regularly, listening to podcasts can be a lifesaver. Unlike watching something on your iPad, sticking your headphones in and listening to a podcast means you can pass the time enjoyably without straining your eyes or missing out on important flight information. Plus, you also get to people-watch while you’re listening, and trust us – people are fascinating, especially at airports.
There are all sorts of different podcasts that you could listen to while you wait for your flight; these days, pretty much every genre is covered. So if you want to stimulate your brain while you wait, then plug into a science or educational podcasts such as No Such Thing As A Fish, or TED Talks Daily.
If you’re into your food, then Off Menu – hosted by comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble – is hilarious and fascinating. Each episode sees a new guest visit an imaginary restaurant and pick their perfect meal. What would be yours? And, if you want to belly-laugh and blush at the same time, then you should definitely listen to My Dad Wrote A Porno – the smash-hit comedy podcast that will have you crying with laughter.
Everyone has their own way of passing the hours while they’re waiting for their next flight. If you’re getting bored with your usual time-passing techniques, then try one of the five fun suggestions above to kill time in the airport and most of all, have some fun!