• Coping with an extended layover

    2013-02-13

    Even if you have your Europe or United States travel details planned down to the second, sometimes you can't avoid having to kill time during an extended layover. Mechanical problems, poor weather, or even just routine delays can have you struggling to find ways to occupy yourself over the course of several hours. It can be difficult to stay positive while you're seemingly stuck  in the airport, but there are a few things you can do to help make your time on the ground easier to manage.

    Don't limit yourself to the airport
    Depending on how long you have between flights, you should consider leaving the airport, suggests the Travel Channel. Chances are the surrounding city has plenty of attractions located in the immediate area, so you don't have to spend hours sitting in an uncomfortable chair reading magazine after magazine. For instance, the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is just a short train ride to the world famous Mall of America. What better way to pass the time than visiting one of the largest shopping centers in the world?

    Take advantage of what's around you
    Given that layovers are a regular part of flying, most airports will have planned accordingly. In fact, many of them have museums and art displays you can peruse while you're waiting to catch your next flight. San Francisco's airport regularly has interesting art displays thanks to its well-maintained rotating set of exhibits, notes the Travel Channel. It is also home to an aviation museum located in its international terminal. 

    Get in a workout
    It may seem like exercising at an airport isn't possible, but depending on how long your layover or delay is, some travel hubs have hotels that offer the chance to break a sweat. According to Forbes, Chicago's O'Hare is home to a fitness facilities center and spa. Other airports, including Boston's Logan and Detroit's Metropolitan Wayne County Airport both have new facilities that can be taken advantage of if you're in for a longer wait than you were originally anticipating. 

    Plan ahead
    While you may be surprised to find you have several hours to kill before your next flight, if you took steps ahead of time, it may not be that bad. For example, preparing with plenty of books, some good music and a contingency plan will help you improve your layover experience. 

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