How to Entertain Yourself During an Airport Layover

The view of a blue sky with white clouds out of an airplane window with the words 'How to entertain yourself during an airport layover.'

Have you ever been stuck at an airport for an uncomfortably long layover?  I have and I can tell you that it royally sucks. So what should you do next time you find yourself in this situation?

Recently in my way to Budapest I was gifted with an almost 10 hour layover in Perth. Let me give you some context on this situation: Perth airport is. So. Boring. In the domestic terminal there is only one main restaurant and shopping area and the international terminal is not much better with only a couple of fast food restaurants and a small duty free shopping mall.

“Why didn’t you just leave the airport Emma?” I hear you ask. Well, I arrived in Perth on a Sunday afternoon so was restricted by the reality that I wouldn’t get much time to explore as things tend to close relatively early there. I also refused to pay $50 for a one way taxi into the city centre or out to Freemantle. I was much more interested in saving my money for Europe rather than just blowing it all in Australia.

Ultimately this left me with a bit of a dilemma: how do I entertain myself for at least 9 hours? Well, never fear! For if you find yourself in the same situation here are a few tried and tested methods of entertaining yourself when you are stuck at an airport without resorting to binging that Netflix series you specifically downloaded for the flight.

1) People watch…and eavesdrop

What do I require immediately post-disembarking from the plane? A coffee! (After a quick dah to the restrooms of course). While I was chilling out at a café charging my many electronics, a group of security personnel sat nearby, and my goodness! The gossip they had! During the hour or so they sat their gossiping I learnt of all their complaints with their work and heard of at least one affair!

2) Go window shopping

This one is obvious, and unfortunately for Perth Airport, was over pretty quickly. Look at all the books you want to buy but know you will never read; consider trying on that nice top until turning over the tag and dropping it like a hot potato in your shock at the price; and make yourself sick imagining buying all of those chocolate bars.

3) Airport scavenger hunt

This idea came to me in a flash of genius. Get your phone out right now and Google ‘airport scavenger hunt’ and you will find hundreds of Insta story sized scavenger hunts. I confess that most of these are aimed at children, but who doesn’t have an inner child? I feel like I should also warn you than unless you’re carful you might also look a bit suspicious as you wander around the airport. But as long as you’re careful and not ridiculous this is hella fun. =]

4) Go outside

One of the worst things about having to spend any significant time in an airport is that you don’t have easy access to the great outdoors. I knew that I needed some fresh air after I started getting a headache despite my high water consumption. The only annoying thing with this is that you have to go back through security when you’re ready to go back inside.

5) Buy a trashy magazine…

…and have a glass of wine while you read it. I confess that this probably wasn’t one of my best ideas since I am a total light weight and I did this without eating anything substantial, but the entertainment value was worth it. I chose to purchase a magazine called “Crime and Puzzles” (my two favourite things) and giggled over an article about a crime fighting parrot and struggled through the crossword.

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