Airport Ennui? Try These Unique Time-Wasters

If you are reading this article then you are probably (okay definitely) looking for ways to kill boredom during your airport layover. And while it’s true that sitting around in an airport for hours can be some of the most trying times you’ll face, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead of endless hours of clock watching and thumb-twiddling, why not commit to making that layover a memorable part of your trip? With just a little imagination and some planning ahead, it’s easier than you think.

Get Fit


A great way to kill boredom during your airport layover is to work out. You could pack a yoga mat and then work on your positions in the airport. A few minutes of stretching and deep breathing is a great way to get your blood flowing after a flight.

Some airports even offer a fitness or yoga area where you can do a physical therapy one on one. Singapore’s Changi Airport actually has a gym where you can while away the hours, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has a meditation centre that is available free of charge. If the airport does not have an appropriate facility then you can still work out in the quiet corner of an airport lounge. If there is no gym in the airport itself then you could pack some sweats and go for a jog around the terminals. You might get some odd looks, but at least you’ll be entertained.

Get Fat

Some airport restaurants offer gourmet cuisine, so why not take advantage of it and eat like a king (or queen.) If you are stranded in JFK Airport then you could head to La Vie which is a great French café that provides sophisticated food such as sautéed prawns Provençal and sole meuniere. If you are stuck at Boston Logan Airport then the popular Legal Sea Foods eatery offers the same fresh fruits de la mer as those served at its downtown location.

Get Your Game On

Yahtzee dice game

Another unique way to keep your brood entertained is with board games. Bananagrams, Yahtzee To Go and Travel Scrabble are great (and portable) choices. You could get your travel companion and a few friendly strangers in the airport to join in the fun.

Get in Touch

Now’s about as good a time as any to make sure you stay in the good graces of your spouse, significant other, or whoever else you’ve been neglecting while you’ve been away. You’ve got no excuses for putting off making international calls to your loved ones. And maybe even your not-so-loved ones. You’ve also got plenty of time to track down cheap international calling rates ensuring you’ll have enough coin left over to for our next airport time-waster…

Get Out

Train to the airport

Ever thought of actually leaving the airport to see the sights? You could poke around some of the various airport hotels, or if your layover is long enough, you can actually head into town. Airports such as Sydney, Amsterdam, Chicago, London and Washington D.C. make it easy for travelers to take public transportation from the airport to the city center and spend a half-day exploring.

It is a good idea to plan out a rough itinerary ahead of time so that you will know what transportation you will need to take to and from the airport, you can also research some of the attractions you would like to visit.