Most airlines recommend that you arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international one. In many cases, that leaves you with plenty of time to kill in between going through security and getting on the plane. That’s without even mentioning layovers! So, how do you make the most of these hours? Here are some ideas to get you inspired.
Embrace the chance for productivity
The airport can be a surprisingly useful place to get some work done, especially if you’re traveling solo or heading out on a business trip. There’s usually free WiFi available, plus charging points where you can plug in a laptop. So stick on your noise canceling headphones and be productive! If you don’t have any work to do, why not brush up on the local language of the country you’re visiting? Alternatively, if you’re on a layover, it’s a good opportunity to message friends or family back home and let them know how the journey’s going.
Eat and drink
It’s no secret that airplane food isn’t the best! So if you have a long flight ahead of you, the airport is a good chance to enjoy a proper meal before you fly. There are generally plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from – including many popular high street chains – so you’re sure to find something that appeals to your tastebuds. It’s also a good idea to pick up some snacks to bring on board with you.
Plan the first day of your vacation
If you’re going on holiday rather than taking a business trip or flying home, the airport can be a great place to plan what to do when you arrive! Whether it’s making a list of the best bars and restaurants in NYC, checking out the facilities at the Kona resorts, or planning which of the sightseeing spots in LA to head for first, this is a great way to get even more excited about your trip.
Shop for souvenirs or travel items
Airport shops are often convenient places to pick up products to make your flight more enjoyable. For example, you could get a travel pillow to help you sleep on board, mini toiletries to freshen up before you arrive, or a book to help pass the time. Not only that, you can find some great bargains at the duty-free stores depending on where you’re flying to and from. If you’re on your way home, you could also pick up some last-minute souvenirs for you or a friend.
Remember, your time at the airport is part of your vacation, so make sure you treat it that way! Read a book in a coffee shop with a latte, have a beer in one of the bars, watch a TV show on your laptop, or maybe even splash out on a massage! Some airports also have proper entertainment facilities such as movie theaters, which are ideal if you have a long time to wait for your flight. Struggle to sleep on planes? There might be a place where you can nap for a few hours so you feel refreshed when you reach your destination.