Have you ever been in the middle of a long layover and been bored to death? Well, you aren’t alone. Layovers can be dreadfully boring especially if you have many hours to kill without an actual plan. It can get frustrating for us, waiting for long hours stuck at the airport, so imagine how it may feel for kids. With quite a lot of experience in creatively killing time at the airport that too with a toddler, here are our top tip.

Shop and dine

Well, this is the most common thing we all do to pass time at the airport and it actually works when you have a shorter stop. While airport shopping can be a little expensive, the duty-free stores can be a shopper’s paradise.

Sightseeing & small city tours

If your passport and visa allow it, just get out there and explore the city or take a food tour. Many airports offer free city tours and it can be perfect to discover a new city. Even if you have not really planned it and your flight has got delayed, you could always hail a taxi or use public transport to visit nearby attractions.

Enjoy cool amenities at the airport

Some airports offer freebies to travelers to keep them entertained like San Francisco’s free yoga studio. Many other airports have seriously cool amenities like drinks on the go, brewery tour, golf, rooftop pool at a small fee. I love airports that focus on entertaining kids as well and Vancouver Aquarium’s major exhibit which includes a 30,000-gallon tank featuring 5,000 ocean animals is my personal favorite.

Catch up on a latest series or binge watch your favorite shows

With free wi-fi for a couple of hours or more, you can always stream your preferred entertainment on Netflix or some other content platform. You could also download stuff on your laptop or Ipad. We always have a bunch of downloaded cartoons and rhymes on our phones and Ipad. And for me, in the good old-fashioned way, it’s generally a book that saves the day.

Relax at the Airport Lounge

If you have a couple of hours in hand and don’t feel like moving around too much, you can always get a little more comfortable in an airport lounge. Most of them include more comfortable seating areas, free WiFi, and free snacks and drinks. If you are a frequent flyer, you could also get a priority pass that gives access to more than 1000 airport lounges around the world.

Book a hotel room

This is the best for families especially with young kids who need to wait for long hours for their connecting flights. You could book a hotel close by to the airport or even check-in into the airport hotel as many airports nowadays have an in-house hotel. Some airports also have sleeping booths and pods just incase you do not want to book a room.

Sometimes a long layover doesn’t have to be boring at all. We had once planned for a 42-hour long layover and really enjoyed it by checking into a luxury hotel and exploring the city. Read more about our trip to Melaka.

So if you are traveling to, say, New York and you are looking for cheap flights to New York, just check the time for a stopover and pick the flight with adequate hours in the connecting city. So, if you plan well, a layover can be a lot of fun.

Have you spent an interesting layover in an airport? We would love to hear about it…

37 COMMENTS

  1. Fortunately I’ve never had to deal with long layovers, and even if I did, I don’t have to worry about keeping kids entertained as I don’t have any (and usually travel solo anyway) – but these tips are certainly useful for travellers that do have little ones in tow x

  2. Convenient and comfortable airport lounge is the savior for those who hates long layover. NO wonder many airports like here in Asia incorporates entertainment inside their airports.

  3. These are some great tips. I normally carry my book when i travel and have long layovers. By the time i get lost in my book my layover is almost done

  4. This is very informative and great ideas to keep the kids busy during the wait.It could be very frustrating especially with kids so great ways to take their minds off the waiting period.Thanks for sharing .

  5. I am one traveller who cannot really relax whenever I have layovers. But these ideas are great and surely I am reminded that there are tons of things to do to keep one preoccupied while on a lay over. Thanks a whole lot.

  6. I think it would help to choose the airport where you will have the layover. The best of course is Singapore’s Changi airport. It surpassed all the airports in the world. I am not a fan of long layover because when you’re tired you just want to get over with it.

  7. I know one day I am going to have to deal with layovers so I am going to have to book mark this for a later date as the advice was great!

  8. I never really experienced a really long layer over. But just a few hours and I usually just dine at airplane have cocktails. But if I did I would definitely do the same check out a few tourist locations or get a hotel just to relax comfortably.

  9. I love your tips! Whenever I travel with my children I am prepared for the eventual delay or cancellation and bring activities, toys and stuff with us. Until now it never happen that we get stuck in an airport with the children! but it has happened to me and my husband alone!

  10. Such a great ways to survive long layovers especially when you have a kids. It is definitely a perfect idea while on the airport so you will still have time to relax.

  11. Such a great and informative post. It is such a pain to wait for too liong and this can be very helpful to survive a long layover.

  12. I actually just came back from a long trip, I wish I had read this prior. But I’m sure it will come in handy for future trips. Great tips for making go faster

  13. OMG! Thankyou for this! Hubby and I are travelling to Japan next month, and have a 14 hour layover where we can’t leave the airport! Will definitely be implementing every one of these tips!

  14. I have only been on a plane round trip once. My oldest was 6months old she is now almost 9. I never had the layover experience but just Incase I ever do I appreciate your tips.

  15. This is such a great idea, I haven’t thought about this. I’ve totally loved the idea of sightseeing a small city and having a great walk.

  16. Fantastic ideas to help with long layovers! I think exploring airports can be great – there’s usually lots to see and do (and a bit of retail therapy is never a bad thing!)

  17. Thank you for these great ideas while on that scenario. Can’t help not to get frustated but you have choices to enjoy things despite something occurs happened.

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