International travelling involves a lot of waiting at the airports for connecting flights. But you needn’t waste all those hours sauntering around the airport. There’s a lot you can do and create some great memories too. Travel search company, Skyscanner, has some tips on how to best spend your transit time:
Transit time: Six hours
* If you feel the need to unwind and loosen those muscles, a two-hour workout can be your potential fix. Research the airport’s website to see if it offers a yoga or fitness area. For instance, San Francisco International Airport has free yoga rooms at Terminal 21, while travellers hanging around Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport can visit the meditation centre that’s located near the F gate 2.
* Catch a fancy meal within the airport premises. Many international airports sport an impressive repertoire of restaurants and mini branches of famous local eateries. For instance, try a luxurious meal at Gordon Ramsay Plane Food if you happen to be at Terminal 5 of London Heathrow Airport or the decadent brownies from Theobroma at Terminal 2 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai.
* A sound sleep in a comfortable lounge or in the sleep pods available at Terminal 2 of Helsinki Airport 5 should be just the trick.
Transit time: 12 hours
* An emerging trend in airports is gallery viewing at airports. A spurt of airports around the globe has created some wondrous art galleries as part of their space. Many airports create an art programme that provides a useful means to spend some time during the long-haul layovers.
* Shopping is the most loved activity of travellers. The lure of duty free often leads to unplanned purchases during a layover. Most airports now resemble a shopping mall rather than transit lounge and offer just about everything from designer brands to high-street favourites. Dubai Airport even has gold ‘islands’ selling chains, necklaces, earrings and bangles at fixed rates.
* Catch a movie at the airport’s in-house cinemas often airing classic favourites and new releases, it’s a good way to pass a couple of hours.
* Nothing beats a good massage to revitalise the dulled senses and mind. Opt for a thorough spa and sauna session at the airport, almost all international airports have great salons and one can easily drift away in the 25th hour!
Transit time: 24 hours
* Play a sport of your choice. For instance, try out the Al Ghazal Golf Course, which is open to passengers near the Abu Dhabi International Airport 7. It makes for a good activity, as the sport is slow and not too physically exerting.
* Keep your spirits high by trying the local offerings at the airport brewery, accompanying them with some great food. Munich Airport 8 offers an unlimited range of brews for beer lovers.
* If you want to try your luck, head to a casino. Sin city’s Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport 9 has slot machines for all those feeling lucky.
* You will need some shut-eye to get by the layover and in comes the many short-term lodging solutions now available at many airports. London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Paris Charles de Gaulle10 and Amsterdam Schiphol airports all have YOTEL facilities, which are accommodations within the airport terminals inspired by Japanese capsule hotels.
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