No matter how much you love flying and traveling, heading to the airport can be one of the most stressful things that families can go through. There’s always something that someone forgets in the car or at home, or your flight can get delayed, or a long list of other problems. With all of the hubbubs that can cause stress at the airport, many of us are looking for ways to turn that stress into a positive experience.
If you have an airport trip coming up and want to have a contingency plan in case things get stressful, we’ve got you covered. Here are five great tips for turning stressful airport trips into fun adventures whether you’re alone, with family, or with colleagues.
Go On A Walking Tour
One of the worst things about flying is how cramped we can all feel on an airplane, even if you’re a petite person. With that in mind, it’s best to stretch out your legs as much as you can before getting on an airplane, and most airports offer a lot of opportunities to do just that. Instead of simply sitting at your gate waiting to board your flight, try and walk around as much as you can.
A majority of airports know that people are going to be waiting quite some time before they fly, and make the walking experience a fun one. These airports include a lot of artwork such as sculptures, paintings, and even light shows that you can experience. Some of the largest airports in the United States that feature some great walking experiences include Phoenix Sky Harbor, Portland International, and Harry Reid International (Las Vegas).
Bring The Games
Whenever you go on a road trip, you’re likely to bring a lot of things with you that can pass the time, and that includes games. A trip to the airport should be no different, especially with the downtime compared to a road trip where you can at least see different signs and cars passing you by. With that said, try to pack as many games as you can in your carry-on or personal item, including cards, word games, or video games.
While you won’t be able to bring in an entire PlayStation or Xbox, Nintendo does offer a lot of handheld options for gamers. Even if you want to just play I Spy with your family, you won’t need to take up valuable luggage space. Everything can be turned into a game in some form or fashion, and it will help the time go a lot faster while putting people at ease.
Draw What You See
There are a lot of activities that can help you alleviate stress, and we already touched on one of them with exercise. If you don’t feel like possibly getting sweaty by walking several miles through an airport, you can still destress while at your gate. Bring a sketch pad and pencils with you to the airport and start drawing either what you see at the airport, or really anything else that comes to mind.
Studies have shown that drawing boosts your mood through increasing dopamine levels that come with using the creative and imaginative parts of your brain. People who suffer from depression or stress are encouraged by mental health professionals to draw, and you don’t have to be an expert to get the full benefits of picking up a pencil.
Sample The Food
If there’s one reason why people don’t mind getting stuck in an airport for a couple of hours at a time is that there are a lot of food options in all of the major airports around the world. Back in the days of the shopping mall, the food courts used to be packed with a wide range of restaurants to choose from ranging from something local to a McDonald’s where you can get something familiar.
These days, you can get that same shopping mall food court feel when you head to an airport. If you have some time to kill, why not try something more local that could be available, or at least a chain restaurant that isn’t in your area? Some of the best restaurant options for United States airports include San Francisco, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Detroit just to name a few.
Learn The Airport’s History
Whenever you visit an airport, there should at the very least be a plaque that talks about the history of said airport. Other airports have an entire museum dedicated to the history of the building, so why not check in on the history of where you’re visiting while you’ve got some free time?
Some of the top airports that have a museum dedicated to their history include Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Harry Reid International in Las Vegas, and Milwaukee Mitchell International. You’ll see some cool memorabilia such including replicas planes and authentic gear that the original pilots wore in the early 20th century.