How To Keep Yourself Alive When You're At the Airport
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6 Things To Do if You're Stuck at the Airport

When people-watching just isn't stimulating anymore.

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6 Things To Do if You're Stuck at the Airport

Whether it's from overestimating how long TSA would take or a long layover (maybe ten hours long if you're like me), I've had to pass quite a bit of time at a variety of airports. Sometimes it's not so bad, but it's particularly difficult when I have a very late or very early flight that requires me to stay awake despite how bored I might be.

Through my time waiting for flights to board, I've learned how to occupy myself to not only stay awake when I have to but simply keep myself from falling into an existential crisis. When the mind wanders in an airport, it doesn't always wander to the best places.

1. Find a Cute Cafe

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This is an essential step for someone who needs to hype themselves up for an early morning flight. There have been many occasions in the airport where I've quickly resorted to scoping out a coffee shop for a caffeine fix. Usually, I end up just walking to the nearest Starbucks, but it's also fun to explore what other options and fancy drinks some of the "high-class" airport coffee shops have. Even if I inevitably end up getting my regular chai latte from Starbucks in the end, at least the trip to walk there killed some time.

2. Grab Some Snacks

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People often complain about airplane food, but from what I've experienced, airport food itself isn't half bad. You're most likely going to be bored on your flight, so grabbing a snack or two for if you decide to watch a movie on the plane could be a fun way to waste a half-hour. Since everyone knows airport food is overpriced, maybe consider trying something different that strays from your comfort zone. If you're going to be spending the money anyway, might as well be a little adventurous.

3. Download Something to Watch

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A big part of my journey before boarding involves scrolling through Netflix and finding something good to download. I have to find the balance between entertaining but still light-hearted, since I always struggle to stay focused on flights. I'm busy planning what I'm going to do when I get to my destination and how I'm going to avoid hitting anyone in the face when I grab my luggage from the overhead bins. So, I need a movie that is fun and doesn't require a lot of attention to enjoy, which takes me a little while to find.

4. Do Some Shopping

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If you're just at the airport for a layover, it's sometimes fun to walk around and see what kind of cooky souvenirs they have available. Whether it's just a cute keychain or a t-shirt that represents the city you're in, it's nice to buy something small and hold onto the memories of that one time you thought you would die of boredom at the airport.

5. Get Work Done

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It's hard to force yourself to be productive before a flight, but responding to some emails or finishing up an assignment could make the time go by. A lot of my flights have been to go visit family, and I know I don't want to be distracted with all of my looming deadlines when I'm trying to spend time with them. I'm not particularly good at this task, but it's good to at least plan, even if the end result will still be cramming everything into the day before I return home.

6. Take a Nap

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If you're traveling with another person, there's always an option of just going to sleep. Don't do this if you're going alone since you probably want your luggage to still be there when you wake up. However, when worst comes to worst, there's no shame in taking a quick power nap to prepare yourself for the long journey ahead. Traveling is sometimes exhausting, so it can be beneficial to get a little bit of sleep in while you can.

I don't think there are many people in the world who genuinely like airports, but they are usually unavoidable in the grand scheme of life. The most you can do is make the best out of the situation, keep yourself sane before you land at your desired destination.

And if all else fails, you can always resort to Buzzfeed quizzes to find out what kind of bread you are based on your clothing preferences (disclaimer: I'm sourdough).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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