Day layovers are always far more flexible with what you can do to kill time including visiting airport shops, restaurants, airline lounges if you have access to them to even leaving the airport to explore the city if you have a longer layover but what happens when your layover is at night and these options aren’t available or feasible? I’ve compiled some of my sure fire ways to make the time pass by or at the very least not be so dreadful. Many of which I used for my 10 hour overnight layover in London Heathrow airport when I was enroute to Sofia in Bulgaria.
First and foremost, keep in mind your safety. Airports at night mean less people which translates to less eyes. Keep your items close to you at all times and be mindful of your surroundings. Stay near cameras, be mindful of whose around you, if possible stay near airport staff, etc.
Get your steps in – Walk around the airport and if you have the ability to go outside and get some fresh air definitely leverage this opportunity. This a great way to unwind from the trip and helps with getting a better lay of the land before your connecting flight. This will help you ensure you know where to go and when to go to make it to your connecting flight. You have the time after all so their is no excuse on missing your flight. Additionally, this works as a light exercise that will help with blood circulation after your flight and before the next one.
Sleep – It’s common for people to sleep in airports when they have overnight layovers. More accommodating airports have seats without arm rests specifically for this reason. Keep in mind that this will not be the most comfortable zzzz’s you will get but will have you feel more awake to take advantage of your destination city once you arrive or help you catch up on missed sleep which always tends to be my case. I always bring a lightweight blanket with me which can also double up as a pillow when folded. Reference the point in safety especially when sleeping. I always wrap my backpack straps in my legs. God forbid someone tries to yank it off me I will be instantly awake. It also makes you less appealing or a target for something like this to happen.
Play games – Bring cards and learn some cards games before your trip to help pass the time weather alone or with a group of people. Card games means you don’t waste your data or battery life on your phone.
Visit prayer lounge in airport – All airports have them and are not inclusive of one religion over the other. If you’re religious or not this can be a wonderful place to pray, thank your higher power for getting you safely to this point and get you safely to your final destination and beyond, mediate or get away from the airport sounds.
Make a game plan for your trip – This is the perfect downtime to do the following items.
- Check the weather of the destination you are going to
- Check the current time at the destination as their may be a time difference.
- Research local or ethnic cuisine
- Research places to visit
- Figure out how to get to the place you will be staying from the airport.
- Read up on current news in destination city, country and neighboring cities and countries
Freshen up in the bathroom – Bathrooms during this time are far less crowded and enable you to freshen up at your own pace. Additionally, they far cleaner then during the day as this is when the cleaning staff can really do a thorough cleaning of the bathroom facilities.
Hope the above ideas help pass the time to your next take off but should these fail or you’re still itching to do something you could also always consider writing a blog post 😉