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Surviving lay-overs at the airport

Written by Travel

Lay-Over. The dreaded final obstacle to your backpacking adventure, two weeks in the sun or summer field trip. Whilst a couple of hours in the airport is exciting (mainly due to the destination at the end), no one chooses a lay-over because they like spending time in airports, but because either it’s the only or the cheapest option.

Once you’ve wandered through the rows of over-sized Toblerone bars and tested every perfume in duty free, grabbed some ridiculously overpriced food and checked the departure board for the 100th time, what else is there to do? Fear not, having recently spent 12 hours in Lisbon airport, here are some top tips for surviving those endless hours in the no man’s land terrain we like to call airports.

The key to survival is to break the lay-over up into smaller chunks, hour by hour. Firstly, go off and explore, not just the usual spots, but everywhere as you’d be surprised at what you might find. In Lisbon, I found a room full of 20 vending machines that sold everything from nappies, to shower gel, playing cards to pot noodles. Safe to say I wasted an hour (and a hefty sum of money) in there. Some airports even have lay-over rooms where you can take a shower, however these can be pricey and often only available limited hours.

Once you’ve exhausted the exploration, find a seat, somewhere comfy (it’s usually impossible to sleep with those big, clumsy armrests blocking any attempt at lying down) and with a charging point, which often is a lengthy task. Next, download a book, Netflix or even Duolingo to swat up on your language skills for the holiday or research and plan what to do at your destination. Finally, get off twitter, complaining about how bored you are, and talk to people to find out where your fellow travellers are headed. A concept which may seem scary in today’s day and age, but you usually hear the best stories from people in airports and time passes much quicker. Besides, you haven’t got much else to do right, and who knows, you might even make a friend?

Feature Image Credits: JESHOOTS-com from Pixabay

Last modified: 11th November 2019

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