While traveling and going overseas can be a great adventure, long layovers in airports can be one of the most tiring, frustrating and boring ways to spend a few hours. International travel can already be a long journey, but include the time spent waiting in airports and it quickly adds up. But the time you spend in airports doesn’t have to be laborious — airports are now being filled with entertainment, food, shopping and recreational options that will make time fly while you wait for your next plane. Airports are in competition to offer the best services for waiting passengers and there are constant improvements being seen across the globe. Here are just a few things that you can enjoy when waiting for your next connection:
Sample the Finest Cuisine
Gone are the days of indigestible airport food — now you can eat and drink at some quality restaurants while you wait for your next flight. According to an article in the Daily Mail, top chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey have been employed in London’s Heathrow to create fantastic airport dining experiences. At many airports, you can eat great local cuisine before you leave the country.
Shop ‘til You Drop
Most airports offer a wide range of duty-free shopping options, which can keep you and your wallet entertained for hours. Dubai airport is well known for its duty-free shopping experience with high-end fashion, jewelry and electronics to accomodate every preference.
Many airports offer free or subscription-based Internet access so you can take the opportunity to do some work, surf the Web or download games online. Downloading games is a fun way to keep the young (and old!) entertained, and you could even stream or download a movie to watch while you wait.
Get Some Exercise
This is particularly important for people undertaking long voyages or for those who travel frequently and don’t have time to get some healthy exercise. Use the opportunity to do some stretches and get your blood flowing. Exercise at the airport by doing laps around the terminal or light stretches to avoid deep vein thrombosis. Get a more intense workout by climbing the many sets of staircases you often find in terminal buildings. Some airports even have a gymnasium that you can use in the case of a long lay over. Prepare in advance by packing your gym shoes and some work out gear, and you could burn away time and calories on the treadmill.
Some airports offer sleeping and shower facilities where you can have a nap and take a refreshing shower. This is perfect for passengers on long haul flights who can’t fall asleep on uncomfortable planes.
Head Into Town
For the really long layovers it is sometimes possible to leave the airport, head into the nearest city and take a tour of the local sights. Just make sure you have enough time to return in time for your next flight.