10 Creative Ways To Pass Time At The Airport During A Layover

Whether you have 45 minutes or six hours to kill, these creative activities are sure to prevent you from getting bored during an airport layover.

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in an airport on a layover with nothing to do. Whether you have 45 minutes or six hours to kill, these creative activities are sure to prevent you from getting bored.

10. Take a walk

Traveling by airplane means spending hours stuck in a cramped seat with no opportunity to stretch your legs. Get some light exercise during your layover by going for a walk around the terminal. Since exercise releases endorphins, you’ll arrive at your final destination feeling happy and refreshed.

9. Listen to a podcast

Podcasts are free and can be downloaded to your smartphone in a matter of seconds. From politics to history to true crime, there’s a podcast topic for every interest. You might even find an interesting episode about the city your layover is in.

8. Browse the bookstore

An brewbooks

An airport is a great place to check out the latest book titles and even rediscover some old classics. Spend some time browsing the selection and looking for good deals on discounted books. If you find one you want to buy, you’ll have another activity to help pass the time even faster.

7. Make some pocket money

Most airports offer free Wi-Fi to passengers on layovers. Image credit: Donald Trung/

Most airports offer free Wi-Fi to passengers on layovers. Why not take advantage of the complimentary connection and make a few extra dollars for your trip? Kill time by filling out online surveys for companies that will pay you anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars for your opinion.

6. Phone a friend

Calling up friends and family is a great way to spend time at the airport. Image credit:

We all have distant friends and relatives we mean to keep in touch with, but never find time to pick up the phone and call. A long layover is the perfect time to dial a loved one and catch up.

5. Pet a therapy animal

What better way to brighten your layover than with furry cuddles? Los Angeles, Charlotte, Miami, and San Jose are among the U.S. cities with airports that offer access to therapy animals. You’ll mostly find dogs volunteering their services, although San Francisco’s airport also boasts a therapy pig.

4. Visit an airport lounge

Naples airport lounge in the early morning. Image credit: Angelo DeSantis/

Airport lounges require a fee for entry, and the cost depends on the airport. But some lounges are more than worth the price. For as little as $30, you can get access to unlimited food and beverages, comfortable seating, power outlets, and sometimes even showers. Factor in the sky-high cost of airport food and this could easily pay for itself.

3. Try local food

A samosa cafe at Nadi Airport, Fiji. Image credit: Maksym Kozlenko/

Most airports feature restaurants that specialize in local cuisine to help highlight the area’s culture. If you’re hungry, venture out of your comfort zone by opting for one of these local hotspots and trying something new.

2. Spend time meditating

A prayer room at the Heathrow Airport. Image credit: Tiia Monto/

Nearly every airport has a chapel or prayer room that is free for all passengers to use. Whether you consider yourself religious or not, this spiritual space is the perfect location to spend some quiet time in prayer, reflection, or meditation.

1. Make small talk

Talking with co-passengers is a great way to spend your time at the airport. Image credit: Shankar s./

You may be surprised to find out how many other travelers in the terminal are also trying to find ways to pass the time during a layover. Why not introduce yourself? Don’t be afraid to say a quick hello to others who appear to be looking for things to do. If they’re interested in chatting, they’ll quickly strike up a conversation. Who knows? You might just make a new friend.

About the Author

Lisa Melillo is a freelance writer and entrepreneur with a background in personal finance, tech, and business. Her multidisciplinary career has taken her around the globe; she has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, and holds two international degrees.


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