How to Survive an Airport Layover Without Spending Money

Particularly for those traveling on a budget, airport layovers can be costly, inconvenient and difficult to endure. While the airport lounges and expensive members clubs can offer a welcome respite, if you’re trying to keep your expenses to a minimum, it can be difficult to handle these timely waits.

Fortunately, there’s a plethora of activities you can fill your time with, if you’re willing to get a little creative. Here are just five of the many options available.

Survive an Airport Layover

Find Your Zen

Whether you’re an aspiring yogi or not, long haul flights can be stressful, cramped and frustrating. Because of this, taking your layover time to stretch out, chill and center yourself can be extremely beneficial.

There are many great phone yoga apps that are available for free download if you don’t already have your own practice, or you can simply find a quiet space and take some time to just sit, focus on your breathing and meditate away the stresses of your travels.

Research Your Destination 

One of the most difficult elements of surviving an airport layover is quelling the excitement of reaching your destination and putting it on pause for a few hours. Instead of wrestling with this excitement and trying to tone it down, why not indulge yourself and spend your time researching your destination.

Most airports have WiFi, and there are plenty of amazing documentaries and travel shows available on sites, such as Netflix, so long as you have the means to bypass geo-restrictions! Try the Departures series, which covers a whole range of destinations and is sure to get your wanderlust fired up!

Related: 5 Cities offering free layover tours

Take a Nap

While most people aim to sleep on the airplane itself, more often than not this is not a lucrative endeavor. Planes are notoriously loud, cramped and uncomfortable, and hardly fulfill the requirements for a good nights sleep.

However, your airport layover could hold the solution that you’re looking for. Particularly if you’re flying at unsociable hours, terminals often have many unused nooks and crannies where you can curl up and doze off. Just be sure to set an alarm so you don’t end up missing your connecting flight!

Learn a Craft

Whilst this may require a small investment before you set off on your trip, it will definitely save you loads on the costly lounge fees that’s you’d have to pay to survive your layover otherwise. There are many great crafts that you can learn relatively easily and can pick up for pretty cheap.

Why not try your hand at knitting or crocheting, or practice your drawing skills? As well as passing the time, hobbies like this can be extremely relaxing and even help you melt away the stresses of the journey. Plus, you might even have a new hat or scarf to show for it by the end!

Get Organized

When traveling, you often find that you spend a great deal of your time running around like a madman. With so much to fit in, and the inevitable constant change of plans, it’s hard to find the time to sit down and get yourself organized.

Fortunately, your airport layover could offer you exactly this. If you’re flying out, take this time to double check reservations, ensure you have all your important documents and maybe even spend a while looking for attractions and things to do when you get there. If you’re returning, it’s a great chance to catch up on work correspondences or to start to upload holiday pictures before you have to get back to the rat race.

Final word

Many travelers, no matter how experienced, dread airport layovers. They believe if they don’t have the money to splash out for fancy membership lounges then they’re doomed to while away the hours in complete boredom. However, this is not the case!

These five options are just a few tricks for filling your waiting time that won’t break the bank, but if you can think of anything else, then we’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

About the author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler who is no stranger to an airport layover. She hopes these ideas will help make your next one more enjoyable without having to dip into your travel fund! You can follow Jess at her blog: www.tripelio.com

By | 2016-12-12T09:52:05+00:00 May 25th, 2016|Budget Travel, Travel|

3 Comments

  1. karenswyszcz May 25, 2016 at 9:14 am - Reply

    After having done one too many layovers during my trip to Peru, I now try to book direct flights or just one stop if possible. I’ll usually read a book or listen to music. Sometimes I’ll even people watch for a bit. I’ve slept at the airport before during a layover. That was probably one of the worst sleeps of my life. 😛

    • Barry Choi May 25, 2016 at 9:29 am - Reply

      Karen,

      Yes, I try to avoid long layovers these days even if that means it’ll cost me more money. Every so often I’ll come across a really good deal but saving $400 and adding 10 hours of travel time is not worth it to me.

  2. jay June 9, 2016 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Most airports have spa’s $40 massage plus 3hr nap is a good deal ,also lay overs are good for networking ,you just need to setup the meetings before you leave …;-)

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