How To Pass The Time During Long Layovers
Most of the time I really hate flying. You spend hour after ear-popping hour crammed on a plane next to strangers with very little space or means to entertain yourself. And then if you have a layover, you get to look forward to being bored longer, but now in seats that face other strangers that are awkwardly stuck in travel limbo. Luckily for me, and since I now pass my wisdom on, luckily for you, I’m fairly good at killing time. So here are some ideas on things to do next time you’re languishing away in a long layover.
1) Progressive dinner- I don’t know if it’s the wear of travel or the smell of a different fast food place every five feet, but airports make me hungry. However, if making decisions isn’t your forte, the abundant options can make it impossible to choose just one place. Well with longer layovers you don’t have to. You’ve got time, so go a la carte and do a progressive dinner, each course from a different spot. Fries from McDonalds, a slice from Sbarro’s, minibon from Cinnabon. Mix and match and get creative. If you’re worried about the calories, pick places in the furthest terminal and don’t use the moving sidewalks to get there.
2) Airport Bingo- This one works best if you’re with a group. Everyone makes a five-by-five Bingo grid, but fills in the squares with airport sights: people speaking a different language, someone running to catch a plane, a pilot, a little kid with Disney princess themed luggage, etc. Then you sit back and people watch. Normal Bingo rules follow and you mark off your squares as you see the sights.
3) Check out the Art Scene- I was pleasantly surprised last time I was in the Atlanta airport and I stumbled upon a display of African sculptures. After wondering past cheesy “Come Fly With Us” Billboards, looking at art was a welcome break for my optics. Apparently quiet a few airports are beginning to exhibit various types of art within their security gates; Denver, Philadelphia, and Fort Myers all have permanent or temporary exhibits. Information on these and other forms of “airport art” can be found online. Just google your airport if you want to know if and where you can find some cultural distractions during your travels.
4) Last Man Standing- Again this one works best if you have someone beside yourself to play against. Most airports now are unbelievably huge. To help transport passengers from one terminal to the next they have some sort of tram system, which creates the perfect opportunity to play Last Man Standing. You and your opponent stand on the tram without holding on to anything. This includes, but is not limited to, seats, polls, roofs, and other people. As the tram starts and stops you both attempt to keep your balance and not move. First one to take a step or grab on for support, loses. Depending on factors such as other people entering and exiting the tram and the size and weight of your carry-on luggage, this can get interesting.
So these are just a few suggestions for bidding your time at the airport. But don’t be afraid to get creative and develop your own entertainment. Just be wary of airport security. They’ve got beeping carts, and they’re not afraid to track your ass down in them.
By Kristen Klempert