Time to kill? Top things to keep you occupied at the airport
Many of us dread the inevitability of spending time at the airport, kicking our heels while waiting for our aircraft. Waiting can make you feel much more exhausted than the flight itself.
Waiting to fly out is usually exciting and less stressful than waiting to fly home. Either way, here are some exciting ways to keep you amused while waiting for a flight, but first things first, track down the free wifi.
Get online with free airport Wi-Fi
Why not make use of the free internet available at most airports? It could be the ideal time to finish off any last-minute activities, such as putting an 'Out of Office' notice on your work email, doing more research on your location, or simply catching up on emails.
Call up a relative who likes a chat, and you know who we mean - that aunt who is lovely but chat for hours without drawing breath. These days most call providers give away free minutes as part of their telephone packages.
Play online games
Prepare yourself by downloading games to your phone or tablet to keep you entertained. There is a lot to choose from playing online games such as Lost Island or Aloha! Cluster Pays will make time fly and get you in the holiday mood.
Travel Scrabble is available online, and it's always a good idea to bring along a deck of cards or look around and play "guess the destination" with other travelers.
Refresh your geographical knowledge
Examine the departures board and try to identify the country for each of the cities you see listed. Get points if you guess the most obscure destination and deduct points if you miss obvious ones. Guessing the country is also a fun and educational activity to do with children.
Did you know that there's a city called Boring in Oregon and a town called Fart in Virginia? Luckily these towns are too small to have airports, but you get the idea.
Access to airport lounges is a must-have for travelers
Some airports provide day access to airport lounges where you may rest and take advantage of all of the facilities they have to offer, so check to see what's available at yours.
If you have frequent flyer/elite travel status with your airline, or if you have a benefit on specific credit cards, you may be able to use it - We hear some lounges have free food and even some free champagne!
Read for pleasure
So often, our hectic daily schedule prevents us from enjoying a leisurely read. So grab a book, a Kindle, a magazine, or a newspaper and relax. If you can't read in a hectic atmosphere, audiobooks might be a good option.
Certain websites offer free books, yes! Free reading material. Try Google eBookstore who has more than 25 titles you can download without charge. How about the Open Library?
More than one million free e-books are available through the Open Library. This internet archive library catalog is an open web initiative that allows people to donate books, allowing for a diverse range of authors ranging from Ronald Dahl to John Grisham.
From this point on, you can never say you have nothing to read!
Think outside the box
If you didn't find the right thing in the free downloadable book section, why not start your first novel? Write anything on a topic about which you are enthusiastic, or make a bucket list of things you want to accomplish or must do when you return home!
Time to think is rare in modern-day life. Don't forget to write those creative thoughts down; it's no good coming up with a best seller to find you have lost the plot later on.
Learn about new places and meet new people
The airport is a one-of-a-kind venue that brings people from all over the world together. You never know. The travelers around you may be bored and eager to talk, so strike up a discussion, and you might learn something new and interesting about your destination.
If you believe Instagram, many people have met their life partners in the queue for the plane. There's even a hashtag for it #metinthequeue. While we think an airport romance is unlikely, a few famous romcoms feature a gripping airport scene.
How about Casablanca? Without Casablanca, no list of romantic airport moments would be complete. The classic film concludes with a scene at the airport between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman's characters. There are tears and memorable dialogue in this film.
Are you not convinced? There's always retail therapy to keep you amused.
Window shop...or go shopping
Airports have never had as much retail therapy as they have now. You may get practically anything you might have forgotten, toothbrush and toothpaste (just us then), suncream, as it is always much cheaper at home than abroad, headphones to drown out the crying babies as well as a lot more!
On the way back from your vacation, you can spend any leftover foreign currency for last-minute gifts, souvenirs, or snacks to help prolong the memories of your vacation. At the very least, make sure that you smell lovely for your journey by sampling some of the perfumes available in Duty-Free!