Free Ways to Pass Time at the Airport During Long Layovers

Waiting at airport
Photo by Levon Vardanyan on Unsplash

We’ve all been there—you find a great deal on a flight to your dream destination, only to discover that the price is so low because it includes a ridiculously long layover. In some cases, you may be able to leave the airport and spend a few hours exploring the city, but most of the time, it’s just not worth the hassle. Fortunately, we’ve discovered a few ways to keep ourselves busy and make the time pass more quickly while waiting for our next flight to board. Read on for some of our go-tos. 

Research Your Destination

They say time flies when you’re having fun, so perhaps there’s something to be said for reading about having fun as well. Spending your layover researching your destination is a great way to keep yourself occupied and give yourself something to look forward to in the process. Search for restaurants, landmarks, and activities that interest you, and create a plan for the first thing you’ll do once you get there.


Not only does sleeping make time pass more quickly, but even a quick power nap will help you to feel more rested and alert when you arrive at your destination. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of nodding off at the gate, see if your airport has a dedicated lounge or Minute Suites available for travelers with long layovers. Either way, just be sure to set an alarm. 

Binge Watch

For better or worse, the human brain can only focus on so much at one time, and, as a result, tends to tune out the clock when we’re captivated by a movie or TV show. Who among us hasn’t started a series with the intention to watch one episode, only to end up completing the entire thing in one sitting? Connect to airport wifi, download a few seasons, and immerse yourself in the plot—it’ll be time to board before you know it.