5 Ways to Kill Time at the Airport

You made it! You’re here, your bags are packed and you’ve planned ahead for almost everything…except maybe a little extra time on your hands. Here’s our staff’s top five picks on how to keep yourself occupied at the airport.

  1. Plan Ahead

    Getting a jump on what to know before you actually go could end up paying off in the long run. This is especially true if you haven’t taken on a lot of big travel trips in the past. The whole process of arriving and adjusting to new places and countries can be exhausting or confusing if you’re not ready for it. To counteract this, open up in the Notes application in your phone (or something that doesn’t require a wi-fi connection to access) and be sure to write down and research some useful information like:

    • Currency exchange rates

    • Common sayings/phrases to help you interact with other people

    • Places to visit like restaurants, attractions and famous landmarks

      • PRO TIP #1: Use Google Maps to save these places and your accommodations to help make the most of your free time or to plan a day trip

      • PRO TIP #2: Let’s face it…you’re going to take a ton of photos and post them on social media, so you might as well map out the best spots to grab some iconic pictures too. You could even turn this into a day trip of its own

      • PRO TIP #3: Before departing download the app Maps.Me on your smartphone. Not everything goes according to plan, but by using this app you can adjust on the fly by downloading an offline map of the city you’re staying in to help you get around if your cell phone plan doesn’t cover the area/country you’re staying in. Speaking of cell phone coverage…

    • Does your cell phone plan include overseas coverage or not? if not, how much would it cost to pay for data/cell service for the time you’re traveling. these are things to look up while you’re waiting.

  2. Visit the Souvenir Shops or Just “Window Shop”

    This might be a better idea on your way back home, as you do not want to be carrying around extra items with you for the duration of your trip. Spend the extra time you have to make sure you’re getting any last-minute gifts for anyone. However, you should be warned that stores within airports often charge more for their items due to their convenient locations. So with this in mind, even if you don’t need to buy anything, simply browsing all the different things those stores have to offer, is still a great way to kill some time as well.

  3. Find Wi-Fi (but that’s not all…)

    If you’re lucky enough to have the holy traveler’s trinity of free wi-fi, an outlet, and Netflix you could drastically improve your experience while on the plane. Most video subscription streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime offer the option to download a majority of their content onto the app itself for future offline use (which you can then use to watch once you’re in the sky). This also goes for ebook platforms, like Audible, as well if reading is more to your liking.

    • PRO TIP #1: While downloading content, flip your phone into airplane mode in an effort to save battery and charge your phone faster

    • PRO TIP #2: To avoid running out of enough time to download a big video file, set a reminder in your phone to alert you on the day before you depart to download everything you’ll need ahead of time in the comfort of your own home & speedy wi-fi connection.

  4. Treat Yo Self

    This one might come as an obvious suggestion, but traveling can be taxing so make sure to take care of yourself if you need to eat or drink something, catch up on sleep or even decompress from a long flight during layovers. However, don’t wander too far away from your departure gate to get these things so you don’t miss your flight. Check your flight details again before you temporarily leave because they can change at a moments notice!

  5. Talk to People

    Get to know the people you’ll be traveling/trekking with. Sure it might be awkward meeting other students from a different university at first, but also remember you both already have a lot in common by taking on one of our trips. Talk about fundraising experiences, what you’re looking forward to most, your schools, etc.

    Not on one of our trips? Strike up a conversation with the person sitting right next to you at the departure gate if you’re up for it. You’ll be surprised at how far a simple “ Where are you off to?” will get you.