When you travel a lot, it is inevitable that you will spend many hours hanging out in airports… more than you want anyway. We wanted to share some of the tools we use when trying to figure out how to kill time or trying to make the best use of our time during a layover.
1. Finding WiFi in airports
Finding the best WiFi option in an airport can be frustrating. It is also helpful to know before you travel whether or not you will have access to the internet while you have to kill several hours. This guy created a map that shows the wireless passwords from more than 130 airports around the world. This can be a cool tool to plan before you go.
This article is updated regularly… https://foxnomad.com/2016/04/26/map-wireless-passwords-airports-lounges-around-world-updated-regularly/
2. Sleeping in airports
Nic is always trying to figure out the best places to sleep in an airport when she has a long wait. She found this website which she checks whenever we know we will have a wait. She also looks at it when we are unexpectedly delayed in an airport. It has paid off for us in the past. https://www.sleepinginairports.net/
3. Finding airport lounges
There are many ways to access an airport lounge. We won’t go into that here except to say it is definitely worth investigating before you travel. For us, we use a credit card that gives us each four free visits to airport lounges in a year. That may not be enough for people who travel all year, but it is a start. Investigate the lounges in the airport you will be laying over in. Be careful that some lounges are in different terminals than you will be in. Also be careful that if you have free passes that it includes the lounge you will go to. This website has a good searchable list of lounges by airport: http://www.loungeguide.net/
4. Research tours from the airport
Some airports and some countries offer free tours or free stopovers when you are there. When we have a long layover we have in some cases booked a tour from the airport. For example, we had a 13 hour layover during the day in Panama. We searched online and found a company who came and picked us up and took us out for the day. While it was not free, it was a great way to explore. We have not found a good compiled list of these, there are many travel bloggers who have compiled some lists. A quick online search could reveal your options. BE CAREFUL though!!! Make sure you are allowed to enter the country (ie. no visa required); you have enough time (ie. make sure you have enough time to get through security); and you are not carrying duty-free liquids that you will have to give up when you go back through security. Here is a sample blog about free tours from the airport: https://thriftynomads.com/6-airports-with-free-tours/
5. Check out the airport website
Many airports have good websites that list all of the services, retailers, restaurants, etc. Search the airport’s website for ideas on what you can do to pass the time. A good meal can take up a lot of time. This website has a searchable list of the airports around the world including links to their websites: https://www.world-airport-codes.com/
6. Investigate baggage storage
If you travel with carry-on and have a long layover, you may want to consider leaving your bags somewhere. Especially if you are leaving the airport on public transportation, you might not want to be hauling your bag around the city. While we have not really found a great collection of baggage storage facilities for all airports, the airport website will likely have some information. This website has options for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and USA but note that this is a company website: https://baggagestorage.com.au/