Airport layovers really are the worst things about travelling - there really is nothing worse than having to add a few more hours onto what was already a long journey. Unfortunately, flights with layovers are often a lot cheaper than direct flights so when we're looking at getting the best deal, the six-hour layover doesn't sound so bad.
Luckily, layovers don't have to mean empty hours ticking by whilst you're waiting for your travel adventure to begin (or end - by the time you're in an airport with a six hour layover, your adventure may be already over). There's loads of stuff you can do whilst you're waiting!
We're not talking about starting a high-intensity cardio class in the middle of Terminal 2, but if you're conscious about exercise, then an airport is often a good place to do it. Dubai's International Airport has 21 million square foot of room to use. If you're not really shy, you can get out your yoga stuff and start practicing downward dog in duty-free, should you want to. Some airports also have health clubs and fitness centres, so it's worth researching what's available at your layover airport before you arrive.
See the sights
Airports that offer their customers both fast and affordable transportation into the cities that they serve are often best for an intrepid traveller. Washington, Sydney, Chicago and Amsterdam are all examples of airports where travellers can easily get public transport from the airport to the city centre for some exploring.
Loads of people sleep whilst at the airport, however others may have issues with sleeping on the public terminal benches. Many modern airports have designated sleeping areas or special sleeping chairs which make catching forty winks easy and hassle-free. Sleeping on airplanes seems to be impossible, so why not get some shut-eye whilst you can? If you're adverse to what the airport is offering, and your layover is long enough, you can always rent a room at an airport hotel for a couple of hours sleep.
Travel can be stressful, so finding somewhere where you can read a book, listen to music, watch a film, catch up on TV or just read the news in somewhere quiet can be bliss. Take some time out to relax and treat yourself.
Take advantage of the duty-free and stock up on stuff that you were planning to buy at Christmas, or for people's birthdays. It'll cost less and it'll make you feel super organised. Make sure you only get loads of stuff on the way home though - if you get everything on your way out, you could end up breaking baggage allowances for the return trip home.
The perfect time to catch up on some last minute work, or even get a head start, airports generally offer their passengers the comfort of a café or restaurant to whip out their laptop and get cracking in their free time. If you haven't already, why not purchase a ticket for an airport lounge? These come with free WiFi, complimentary TV, food and beverages and even cleaner bathrooms.
There is no better way to spend your time at an airport than by observing your surroundings. Spot celebrities, see which families are on the verge of breakdown - people-watching is the new spectator sport and airports are the best places to watch!
Although an airport layover may seem to be the most annoying, obstructive thing in the world, sometimes it can be exactly what the doctor ordered. Travelling can be about seeing new sights and trying new things, and it can be difficult to find time to just chill out and relax. With a couple of the hours at the airport, you'll have no choice but to kick back and self-indulge.
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