Posted: April 27, 2016

6 ways to spend time on a layover
Long layovers can be terrible boring - here's how to make them more interesting.

In a perfect world, every flight would take you exactly where you're going. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world – since layovers exist, it's worthwhile to have a plan for how to deal with them. Usually layovers only last an hour or so, but what do you do if you have a longer pause between flights? Here are six ideas for making good use of your time while you're waiting for your connection:

1. Take a meeting

Depending on when your layover happens, you may be able to join a meeting. If you're going to be stuck in the airport for a few hours during a workday, consider letting your co-workers know they can reach you. Fill up this time with enough meetings, and you might not be bored at all! In addition to reducing the tedium, this will also give you the chance to stay on top of what's going on at the office.

2. Catch up on email

Some people like to keep their inbox clear, but others let messages pile up. If your inbox has gotten a little out of control, take advantage of this free time to sort through some of the emails you've been sent. Although you've probably responded to everything that needed urgent attention, the odds are good you'll find something worth your time. Even if every email you had was ignorable, at least you'll have cleared out your inbox. 

3. Read a book

Reading can make time fly. Reading can make time fly.

Reading a book is a classic way to kill time, and for good reason – if you have a suitably enthralling novel, hours can feel like they've gone by in an instant. Bring along something you know you can get totally lost in. Not confident that your friend's recommendation is going to be as entertaining as promised? Pack an old favorite just in case.

4. Exercise

Flying usually means you're doing a lot of sitting. This can get old, fast, but one way to burn through your excess energy is to exercise during your layover. Some airports have fitness centers or spare rooms where you can jog or stretch. Even if your airport doesn't, however, you can still get a good workout. Bring along a yoga mat, find an unoccupied corner and go through some simple poses. If you'd rather get your heart pumping a little bit, take a quick jog around the terminal. That said, only do this if your airport has shower stalls – no one wants to sit next to a smelly person on a flight.

5. Explore the airport

The good thing about layovers is they usually happen at larger airports that have plenty of shops and restaurants to explore. Spend some time roaming around to see what kind of things are for sale. Even if you're not interested in buying anything, window-shopping can be surprisingly entertaining. You can also take this opportunity to people watch – find a seat in one of the busier areas of the airport and just observe. You can even come up with games – for example, count how many times parents cave when their kids beg for a Cinnabon.

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