Killing Time in Airports: From I Spy to Travel Diaries

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Travelling by plane is great fun but sitting around in airports is rather less entertaining, isn’t it? If you have ever endured a long wait for a delayed flight or for an awkward connecting flight then you will know the utter misery which this can inflict on even the cheeriest traveller.

The next time you are in airport take a look around the waiting areas and you will see rows of broken spirited people sitting around wondering whether they will live to see the day their flight finally departs. To avoid falling into the same category here a few ways to kill some time and feel good the next time you are stuck in an airport.

Write or Draw Something Creative

Maybe your creative side will come to the fore while you are sitting around waiting. Have you wanted to start a diary for some time but not got round to it yet? If you are heading off on a long trip then this could be the first entry in your travel diary, although it will probably be the least exciting of them all. Another option is to sketch some of the things you see in the airport while you are waiting around there, which is a great excuse for people watching as well.

Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow

People will tell you that eating just before a long flight is a bad idea. They are probably right but filling up on food is one of the best ways to pass some time in an enjoyable way. You could easily kill half an hour on a meal if you are slow with it and the service isn’t overly fast. Ordering a coffee at the end is also a way of making it last longer. You’ll just need to hope that your flight isn’t called unexpectedly while you are still waiting or while you are sitting there with a full stomach straining at your waist band.

Get Some Exercise

Something which is definitely a good idea on every level is to get some exercise instead of just sitting around. This is a fantastic thing to do before flying and will help you kill some time very easily. This can range from simply walking about the airport to doing some more complex exercises in a quiet area.

Play an Old Fashioned Game

You might have a smartphone, a tablet of a laptop with you. However, the modern games on these devices can get tiresome very quickly when you are stuck in a departure lounge. Instead, you could indulge in some classic, old fashioned games to while away the minutes and the hours. If you have someone with you then a lo-tech game of I Spy can be good fun. If you played car snooker as a child on long road trips then you could adapt this game and make into luggage snooker. This just involves spotting different colours of luggage in the right sequence.

Listen to Music

One thing your modern gadgets could come in handy for is listening to music. Maybe you have a lot of songs on them which you have never really had the chance to listen to before now. This is the perfect moment to find a quiet spot, put on your headphones and lose yourself in some songs.

See Some Local Sights

If you know that your flight is going to take a while before it takes off then you could hop out of the airport to see some of the local sights. Many of the UK’s airports are close to great things to do which are easy to get to. For example, if you jump in an airport taxi Heathrow is within easy distance of the likes of Windsor, Eton, Legoland and Hampton Court. If you have travelled a long way to get to the airport then this is a fine way of seeing a part of the country you might normally not spend time in.

Do Some Reading

Ideally you will have gone prepared for the worst and already have some reading material with you. A lot of travellers find that they are too nervous and fidgety to concentrate on reading a book in the airport, so magazines and newspapers could be a better idea. If you didn’t take anything with you then hopefully some of the local shops inside the airport offer the chance to buy some reading material. Magazines or newspapers with quizzes and crossword puzzles can be especially good for helping the minutes fly by while you wait for that long awaited departure call.

Max Wheeler is a frequent flier who has had plenty of opportunities to work out what the best ways are to kill time in airports.

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5 thoughts on “Killing Time in Airports: From I Spy to Travel Diaries

  1. Ane

    Great suggestions to pass the time more quickly! 🙂

    Reading and People watching or taking photos are my fave activities to pass the time. 😛 Sometimes eating and playing a game too. 😛

  2. Adin Blankenship

    I can remember our first flight with our kid (two-yr old then) to Florida and my heavens, it was kind of stressful. He is the kind of boy that would not sit in one spot for too long let alone for two some hours. Oh dear! I had to prepare lots of toys, coloring books and what not. Wew! iPad would have been useful then. LOL!

  3. jheylo

    I hear you! Waiting is what’s killing us huh? I remember when I went home for vacation I had to wait 5 hours for my domestic flight. 5 hrs of waiting sucks especially when you’ve already traveled 17 hours from international flight.


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