The Best Ways You Can Kill Time During a Long Layover at the Airport

Long layovers at the airport can be tough to manage when all you want to do is get to your destination. Nevertheless, you’re stuck at the airport with time to kill. Below, check out our list of things you can do at the airport during a long layover.

Walk around the airport

travelers walk in Miami International Airport

Stretch your legs before you fly. | typhoonski/iStock/Getty Images

Airports are similar to malls in that they make for great places to walk. Become familiar with the airport you’re in and get some exercise in between flights by walking through terminals and gates. Kill time and exercise for a win-win situation.

Hint: Make money doing this at the airport.

Make money returning luggage carts

family pushing luggage at the airport

You might as well make a little extra cash. | Deklofenak/iStock/Getty Images

Return loose luggage carts while waiting for your flight to make a little extra money. You’ll get exercise, get paid, and avoid going stir crazy sitting at your gate. A quarter may be all you’ll receive for returning a luggage cart but after an hour’s work, you’ll be able to buy a cup of coffee.

Hint: Embrace your inner child.

Play hide and seek

TSA x-ray security check in airport

Just don’t get TSA involved. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Play the ultimate game of hide and seek at the airport. Made even harder wheeling around a carry-on bag, the game will kill time during a layover without costing money. We suggest limiting the game to a specific area of the airport. Time each other to see who finds the other fastest. Whoever loses has to buy the winner a snack.

Hint: Research free activities.

Enjoy free airport activities

woman does yoga in an airport terminal

Find a zen spot. | michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Believe it or not, some airports offer free activities to travelers at the airport. Everything from live music in airport bars to yoga classes are available. Spend time during your layover taking part in one of these activities.

Hint: This activity costs money.

Go shopping

airport shopping

Just browsing is fun, too. | InnaFelker/iStock/Getty Images

One activity that is much harder on the wallet is shopping. Airports have their fair share of stores. And most of them don’t offer competitive prices. For those with longer layovers, spend time sifting through the sale or clearance sections.

Hint: Be adventurous with food.

Try a new restaurant

Sandwich and coffee

Don’t get too adventurous though. | willcao911/iStock/Getty Images

In a new place, try a restaurant or item on the menu you’ve never had before. But first, word of caution. Don’t get so adventurous you’ll be worried about your stomach reacting poorly to the different food.

Hint: Doing this is practically second-nature.

Find Wi-Fi

female passenger on smartphone at gate waiting in terminal

Don’t miss out on free access. | VladTeodor/iStock/Getty Images

One of the first things to do during a long layover is find Wi-Fi. Most airports offer travelers free access to Wi-Fi. If you’re unsure of the password, ask the nearest airport employee who has probably had their phone connected to the airport’s Wi-Fi since their first day of work.

Hint: Play with animals.

Pet airport therapy animals

young boy pets a therapy dog

They’ll help to reduce your stress. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Spend time during a long layover playing with the airport therapy animals. Dogs may be most common type of therapy animal but there are others too. Dogs help to reduce stress. So, go ahead, and pet a dog at the airport. Just make sure their owner gives you a green light.

Hint: Make connections.

Talk to people

boy and his father waiting at the airport for plane departure

Chat away the time until your flight. |

The airport is a great place to meet new people from all different places. Take advantage of the networking opportunity and strike up a conversation with the person next to you. See someone wearing a shirt emblazoned with your hometown’s basketball team? Go talk to them.

Hint: You’re never too old for games.

Respond to emails

Smart phone with new message

Clear your inbox, so you don’t have to worry about it on your trip. | CarmenMurillo/iStock/Getty Images

While this may not be the most enjoyable activity during a layover, keeping your inbox at zero will keep your mind at ease. Plus, you’ll be a step ahead when you land. You don’t have to spend your entire layover sifting through emails. Spend 30 minutes tidying up your mail then call it quits.

Hint: Tour the city.

Take a city tour

Learn about the city, or just tour the airport. | Tupungato/iStock/Getty Images

Tour the city you’re in without leaving the airport. Doing so is possible with tours offered at some airports across the globe. Learn interesting facts about the city before it’s time to embark on another flight.

Hint: Not up for a tour? Do this instead.

Read about the city

San Francisco,

Learn something about where you are. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

If taking a more in-depth look at the city you’re in doesn’t sound appealing, research some interesting facts on your phone. You may be surprised at what you find.

Hint: Reflect on your trip.

Keep a journal

hand singing a paper

Take notes about your trip. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Take notes of what you did and when while traveling. No matter if it’s work or play, the days tend to blend together making it difficult to differentiate one day from the next. Take short notes on what you remember doing — the good and the bad — so you can relay the information to your family and friends who will ask about the trip. Better yet, it’ll serve a reminder if you ever visit the same city again.

Hint: Do some smartphone house cleaning.

Organize your camera roll

little girl using tablet pc with parents at airport

You have the time, so get organized. | michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Delete the blurry photos on your phone’s camera roll. If you have extra time, organize your photos into folders. Doing so may be a chore but you’ll never be scrolling for a picture again.

Hint: Do something you’ve been meaning to do.

Make a phone call

Young female passenger on smart phone at airport

Check in with family and friends. | petrenkod/iStock/Getty Images

Call a family member or a friend who you’ve been meaning to get in touch with but haven’t. Get comfortable in a chair at an empty gate and catch up. You’ll be happy you finally got around to making the call.

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Read more: The Most Unbelievable Airport Amenities You Can Enjoy on a Layover