Things to keep you occupied while you wait in an airport:
So you are at the airport, either you arrived too early or you are on a massively long layover and it's your turn on watch duty while your friend sleeps...what do you do to occupy your time?
Step 1: Read a book
If you do not have a book this may pose as a problem...move on to the next step.
Step 2: People watch.
I actually find this very cathartic and it is only 80% creepy...unless you get caught...then it's just awkward. You'd be surprised at what you can learn from sitting in the lobby of an airport for hours upon end.
Take this for example:
9:20pm: Boy sits on the edge of his seat impatiently twiddling his fingers, kicking the invisible dirt on the floor and checking his phone every 2 minutes. He is wearing a blue cotton button down and crisp beige trousers, which means that he is clearly waiting for someone important; someone he wants to impress.
9:40pm: He is now standing up and pacing back and forth; never standing in the same place for too long...I suspect that his arrival is coming soon.
9:45pm: The next bunch of arrivals comes through the gate and the two lock eyes. She comes running up to him and they hold on like they need eachother to breathe. She is wearing comfortable clothes and her blonde hair is tied up in a loose ponytail at the top of her head. I give her silent appreciation as she is appropriately dressed for a flight as opposed to hoochie heels coming up right behind her. She is effortlessly 'making an effort' with just a slight hint of makeup that gives the impression of "hey, I am actually trying to look nice for you but I was also on a flight for god knows how long so I wasn't going all out". Okay, now they are participating in a serious PDA session, averting my eyes.
You will find that making up stories about the people you see can really pass the time and it is only insanely creepy if you get caught, so be stealthy!
Step 3: Nurse a cup of coffee and read a pamphlet or flyer or newspaper.
The benefit of this is that you can use the comfy sofas in the cafe while you drink your coffee. The downside is that it gets cold after a while and you can only nurse it for so long.
Step 4: Write a letter.
People love receiving handwritten letters and it leaves a lasting impression! Also, it is a good habit to get into especially in this day and age where every form of communication is sent through the interweb and we lose the sense of personal connection.
Step 5: Try your knack at becoming a writer.
This is where people watching can be a huge help! How do you think great writers got their inspiration for characters to begin with? PEOPLE WATCHING! Plus even if it sucks, you can most likely get it published. People will read anything these days, even blatantly misogynistic hunks of crappola like Fifty Shades of Crap-I mean-Grey.
Step 6: Use the Free Wifi
Now this really depends on the airport that you are at. For example, the Southampton Airport only allows for 30 minutes of free internet, while others allow unlimited access. But if you have 3G and you aren't roaming, then you have nothing to worry about!
Step 7: Flirt with the employee at the coffee counter
This works until you realize that your 'Gaydar' was waaay off this time around. You are now free to hang your head in shame.
Step 8: Pretend you are someone important or rich and famous, and you have a purpose in life.
...Until you remember that you have a crappy walmart backpack, are wearing your grungy clothing, sleeping in an airport and have £1 juice carton by your side...also you look like the bride of Frankenstein (and that is being generous).
Step 9: Look at the time to realize that only 10 minutes has passed.
I don't even know how that is possible.
Step 10: Try to meditate.
The trick is to do this with your eyes open because you know that if you close them you will fall asleep.
Step 11: Stretch.
It is important to relax your muscles and not over exert yourself! Why are you wearing jeans you idiot?!
Step 12: Practice your yoga poses.
You then realize just how unflexible you have become after eating absolute rubbish the past two months and no physical activity unless you count chasing kids. This poses as a problem when you get stuck in the lotus position and an airport employee asks you if you are alright. True Story.
Step 13: Day Dream.
1 sheep, 2 sheep, 3 sheep, 4 shzzzzzzzzzzz....NOT ACTUAL DREAMING! Wake up you idiot, you are on watch duty!
Step 14: Impatiently fiddle with your fingers.
...until you break another nail.
Step 15: Check the time.
Step 16: Lock eyes with the Ben and Jerry's Machine to your left.
It is taunting you and you are weak. Out of order! Okay someone is seriously doing this to screw with you.
Step 17: Look around the lobby to find the suspect of your torture.
The janitor looks incriminating...
Step 18: Try to stretch your legs out once more.
Step 19: Realize that there is no way to hide your hole while you go through customs and hope you don't get chosen for random search once again.
Figure that you are going to have to change. You cannot bare another awkward situation and knowing your luck, you are bound to find yourself in one soon enough.
Step 20: Listen to a message on loudspeaker informing you that there will now be a fire alarm test in progress.
Feel free to roll your eyes, tutt and smirk a little to yourself because while you are annoyed, let's face it, you did not see this one coming.
Step 21: Wait patiently for the fire alarm to go off...
...even though you know that when it does, there is nothing stopping you from jumping three metres in the air from shock even though you anticipated it coming.
Step 22: Fire alarm sounds.
Scares the bejesus out of you as predicted.
Step 23: Have the airport manager walk up to you and notify you that the airport is in fact closing so you can't stay there.
You don't understand how this is possible and didn't realize that there was such a thing as an airport that closed...apparently not all airports are 24 hours.
Step 24: Take a few moments while the reality of the situation dawns on you and you realize that you are without a doubt, screwed.
Go through lists of hotels and your tiny list of connections to find out that it is a saturday night so everything within a 10 mile radius (not actual measurements...just a brief estimate) is completely booked and you start to picture yourself finding a nice patch of grass to crash on outside.
Step 26: As you ponder your unfortunate fate, a beacon of hope comes to you in the form of another airport manager.
He takes pity on you and allows you to stay in the airport overnight whilst reminding you that you will have night duty watching your every move. While this information is a bit unsettling, you are now free to celebrate the fact that you are not homeless and can sleep in peace now that you don't need to stay on watch duty.
Step 27: Change out of your ripped jeans and into your pajamas.
It is about time. Oh and don't forget to brush your teeth! Hygiene is still important in this case.
Step 28: Take your pick of the many uncomfortable benches you now have the honour of sleeping on.
Marvel in the fact that this is so much better than a 5 star hotel. Okay it's obviously not, but you did save a crap ton of money sleeping here so stop complaining!
Step 29: Write a list of what to do when you are bored at an airport...
...Thus realizing that you are now even more bored than you were to begin with.
Step 30: What are you still doing? GO TO SLEEP!
For further information about sleeping in airports, check out This Site. It has everything you need to know about how you can make the best out of your experience, which airports host the best (and worst) amenities and reviews to the comfort and quality of various airports across the globe. It's worth taking a look!