Overnight Airport Layover – How To Kill Time

Long layover activities

Day layovers are always far more flexible with what you can do to kill time. This includes visiting airport shops, restaurants, airline lounges if you have access to them. (I recommend signing up for Priority Pass which gives you access to multiple lounges throughout the world. Find the perfect membership for you HERE.) During day layovers you may even have the luxury of leaving the airport and do a bit of layover city sightseeing. I’ve done this in Bilbao and show you how in my “Conquering Bilbao In 8 Hours“. But what happens when you have an overnight airport layover. Many of the options mentioned above aren’t available or feasible?

I’ve compiled some of my sure fire ways to make the time pass during an overnight airport layover so that this may be less dreadful. These 7 ways to kill time in an overnight airport layover I’ve used for multiple 10+ hour overnight layovers. Including London Heathrow airport in the UK, Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia and Miami international airport in the USA.

Table Of Contents:

Take a peek at what you will find in this blog post on how to spend an overnight layover below.

Disclaimer: This layover travel guide may contain affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. By making a purchase using these links, you are directly supporting and allowing me to continue providing you with free high-quality travel guides. Thank you!

Important Overnight Airport Layover Tip

As a Latina traveler, female traveler and solo traveler, I can’t stress this enough if you are doing a long layover at night.

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.

Overnight Airport Layover

7 Ways To Kill Time In An Overnight Airport Layover

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. 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.


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 next destination. I always bring a lightweight blanket with me. It also doubles up as a pillow when folded.

Reference the point in safety above, especially when sleeping. I wrap my backpack straps in my legs. God forbid someone tries to yank it off me. I will be instantly awoken. It also makes you less appealing or a target if someone is trying to take advantage of those doing long layovers at the airport.

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. My go-to is Tripadvisor.
  • Research places to visit – Be sure to start by checking out my free destination guides to tons of cities HERE.
  • 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

Play Games

Bring cards and learn some cards games before your trip. A wonderful way to pass the time weather alone or with a group of people. Best part, card games mean that you won’t waste your data or battery life on your phone.

Here are some cards games

Freshen Up

Bathrooms during overnights in an airport 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.

Visit Prayer Lounge

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.

Consider A Hotel Stay

Sometimes you just need to lie flat and feel the comforts of a hotel room, a cosy bed and a refreshing shower. It’s a great way to press restart before your next destination. There will plenty of hotel options available near an airport. Also, many offer shuttle service to and from the airport, which makes it easy to get to your booked accommodation. Select your layover accommodation option below:

Long Day Layover?

There are more options of how to occupy your time during the day, check out this article that covers the best airport layover activities for layovers during the day.

Daytime Airport Layover Ideas

More Airport Related Resources

Check out this additional article related to staying healthy on the road so you can prevent sick days on vacation below.

Explore more useful resources related to travel below.

Disclaimer: This overnight airport layover article may contain affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. By making a purchase using these links, you are directly supporting and allowing me, a Latina travel blogger to continue providing you with free high-quality travel guides. Thank you!

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