airport layover

How to keep yourself entertained during long layovers

Airports are some of the most boring places in the world to be trapped in. The excitement of a vacation or concentration of a business trip will soon dissipate after a couple of hours layover. No matter how prepared you are for the impending boredom at some point you’re going to be looking around for something fun to distract yourself with.

If you’ve got a long layover coming up soon, here are a couple of suggestions beyond the latest bestsellers and binge-worthy Netflix releases to entertain yourself with.

Play games

Games are a tried and tested way to pass the time while traveling. You’ll probably get flashbacks to when you were a child crossing the country in the back of your parent’s car. They’re a great way to keep your brain engaged, get everyone involved and make those hours tick by a little faster.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of games you play by yourself or in a group. You could go down the video game route and all link up to tackle that level you’ve been struggling on as a group. You could play a couple of rounds of poker and earn some extra vacation spending money, courtesy of your friends (if you don’t know the rules to poker, you can use this guide). You can even come up with your own games like you used to with your siblings. For example, you could people watch and makeup backstories about them, or play a live-action game of Guess Who. Whatever helps you pass the time fastest and gets everyone involved.


Airports are big, sprawling complexes nowadays. With all these people traveling all over the world, there’s got to be something interesting to explore. If you’re trapped inside a building for hours, why wouldn’t you try and find a way to make it entertaining?

Take a look around the shopping options and see if you can pick up a duty-free bargain. Gift shops can be kind of generic, but each one should have something unique to the area that can make a great last-minute souvenir. Check out the food options. Sure, it’ll mostly be chain restaurants and fast food places, but if you find a local gem you can treat yourself to a delicious holiday meal. You can even make a game out of your exploration, seeing which one of your group can be the first to find an airport oddity or landmark. You might even find the best spot in the airport for a little power nap.

Load up your favorite podcast and take a wander around the terminal, you never know what you might stumble across.


When you think exercise, international airports aren’t usually the first thing that come to mind. In actuality, a lot of major airports around the world now have some kind of gym. Apparently a lot of people want to get their pump on before a flight. If you can’t go a day without working out, maybe your hobby is a great way to kill some time in the terminal.

Most airport gyms will have a good selection of free weights and machines for you to complete your regular routine in. If someone is hogging them, make use of the space around you in the airport. Yoga is a great form of exercise that can be performed anywhere, just roll out your mat and do some stretches overlooking the runway.

A good workout session can help you feel a lot better about the vacation you’re about to go on, as well as make sure you’re loose and worn out enough to sleep like a baby on the rest of the flight.

Get some work done

Yes, we said entertained, but if you really love your work it can be entertaining. The truth is when you’re bored in during a layover you’re not just looking for something fun, you’ll take anything to pass the time. Whether you’re a student, a freelancer or just on your way back from a business trip, you’ll have something to catch up on and sink your teeth into.

Everyone has their own way of staying occupied during long hours with nothing to do. If you’re a frequent enough traveler you’ll have found new ways to entertain yourself in airports across the world. These are some fun suggestions for when all your conventional methods run out and you find yourself trapped in the terminal for an extended stay.

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Founder of Turn It To Trvl. After being made redundant from my digital marketing job, in the UK, I decided I no longer wanted to work the traditional 9-5. I found a volunteer opportunity in Malawi in 2015 and am now freelancing from the warm heart of Africa. Curently building a portfolio of clients and trying to inspire more people to live a life of travel.
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