You've got a 5-hour airport layover. What do you do when you're trapped in an airport for hours on end? As it happens, you have plenty of options!
Many airports are looking beyond bookstores and coffee shops to find things to do during an airport layover.
Airports all over the world are adding amenities to make visitors more comfortable while waiting for a flight. Most are available at larger airports at this time; but keep an eye out for variations to appear in regional airports, as well.
- Visit an airport spa! (I think this is one of our best airport tips!) JFK and other large airports have spa services available - get a massage or a manicure while you wait.
There are spas in Boston, Denver, Cancun - some airports actually have more than one.
Visit Spa Index to find a list of airports with spa facilities.
(They do NOT let you know when your flight is about to board, however, so make sure you have adequate time for any of these activities).
- I you happen to be traveling through Dubai, you can work out or have a swim at the 24-hour gym. The airport also has open-air gardens, and, of course, some of the best shopping on the planet!
- Some airports, such as Hong Kong's, have showers available - a nice treat if you have a layover on a 20 hour flight!
Amsterdam, Sydney, London (Heathrow and Gatwick), Munich and Singapore are others that have shower facilities.
- If you have a very long layover, you can sleep at the airport. Amsterdam is also one of many airports with sleeping modules, like one-person "pods", to let you rest during a layover.
Look for these in Honolulu and Singapore as well. (You can also check out http://sleepinginairports.com for reviews of airport comfort and safety if you need to spend the night).
- Casinos are available in Cologne and Copenhagen.
- Vancouver has a number of amenities, including medical services, a pharmacy, and a very nice museum. London's Heathrow also has medical facilities.
- Singapore also has indoor waterfalls, "nature" trails, and a butterfly garden (as well as free movies, if you haven't had enough of that onboard the plane). There's also a rooftop swimming pool!
- Hong Kong has a 9-hole golf course, illuminated for 24-hour play, along with Playstation gaming areas, in Terminal 2. There is a separate fee for access to this entertainment area.
- Most airports have internet and wifi access, but look for those that offer wifi for free.
Phoenix and Ft. Lauderdale are two that have free wifi.
- If you have a very long layover (at least 4 hours), consider going into the city and having a look around.
Atlanta and Chicago are two airports with mass transit to the city, and you can check out a museum or go shopping for an hour or so. Honolulu is one of the best places to explore if you have a few hours; it's easy to get around, and you can hit the beach!
Check with your airline, however, if you have luggage checked through to your next flight. Leaving your luggage may be a security issue.
Air travel isn't easy any more, but an airport layover can be made more pleasurable with a little planning.
Take a Look at Some Really Great Airport Lounges!
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