10 Ways to Beat Airport Boredom

As soon as the rush of anxiety leaves me at the security check, the excitement rolls in. I’m not sure why the airport excites me so much, but my inner child always comes out. It may be that I’m in a building with people from all over the world, or about to take off on one of the coolest adventures of a lifetime. I have always loved airports, and I practically grew up in one as a kid. When I was younger, my mom worked at the airport for years. She used to take me all around, and the place was magical to me. I still get that exciting feeling when I’m there.

I have traveled a lot in the past couple of years, and I’ve seen a lot of not-so-fun airport moments too. There is nothing worse than having your flight canceled in a connection city, getting stuck on a plane next to someone who has no respect for your personal space or having your flight delayed by hours. Those are the moments you have to plan ahead for just in case.

I can’t help you out with the personal space problem, but I can totally share some of my ideas for how to beat the airport boredom when your flight is delayed or when you get there early. And you should ALWAYS BE early. These are also some tips you can use while you’re on the aircraft heading to your destination!
Download Your Favorite Music & Movies
Never assume the internet is fast enough at the airport for downloads. I’ve made that mistake several times. Before you head out on your trip, take the time to download some new albums, episodes you need to catch up on, and a couple of movies you’ve been wanting to see. I love to download mine on Itunes because you can watch them without the internet connection. I like to download documentaries during flights. They always inspire me. 
Reading Material

Before you get to the airport, stop and grab some magazines and a book to throw in your carry on. Do not get sucked into the airport gift stores. There have been many times where I’ve forgotten something to read, and bought expensive books and magazines at the bookstore. I ended up reading the Sky magazine as entertainment a couple of times. I like to bring the Food Network Magazine, Shape Magazine, and Runners World. If you don’t want to carry all the reading material, you can download the App Texture. It has all the magazines you’ve ever hoped for and more. You can read them on your Ipad or Iphone (so don’t forget your chargers.)
Download Games on Your Devices
I play games at night before bed, when I’m waiting in a doctor’s office, and they pretty much consume all of my flight time. I love to set level goals for flights. I like playing Blackjack, doing word searches, and puzzle adventures. One of my favorite puzzle adventures right now is Best Fiends. This game is therapeutic to me because you get to match the same colored objects to defeat the slugs. The slug noises are hilarious. I love strategically coming up with ways to match the colors. So far I’m on level 19, and I just started playing a couple of days ago. I get sucked into the in-game events and challenges too. Best Fiends is a perfect game for the airport and flight because you can play without wifi. It’s totally free and the first 100 readers to download the game will get $4.99 worth of gold and diamonds once they reach level ten! See if you can beat me 🙂You can download Best Fiends for free with this link

Bring your Work

One of my favorite parts about having extra time at the airport is working. I’ll get to the airport extra early so that I can work. I use this time to edit photos for the blog, write posts, or check all my emails. I sometimes spend hours cleaning out my inboxes. There are coffee shops everywhere in the airport. Find yourself a spot, open up your work and go at it. It helps to put earbuds in; otherwise, you’ll be distracted by the airport surroundings. There are also a lot of charge stations around. I like to find a little spot on the floor to park myself and work. Whenever I leave a press trip, I get most of my recap done while I’m at the airport or on the flight.

Burn Some Calories

This may sound crazy, but I love to track miles at the airport. If I don’t have the right mindset to sit down and work, I’ll pack my backpack, start my mile tracker, and just go for a long walk around the airport. I try to walk as fast as the people running late for their flights. This also helps me release any travel anxiety. Some airports have gyms and yoga studios! You could look in advance to see if your airport has anything like that. When I’m done walking, I’ll find an open spot in my terminal and do some deep stretches. Now, I don’t do this during really busy hours. I usually do it when the airport is empty on a night flight or early morning flight. One time, I walked 6 miles on a three-hour layover. 
Try out Signature Restaurants, Coffees, or Wines.
Some cities love to show off what they are known for at the airports. I love stopping through Chicago because I always get Garrett’s Popcorn or Nuts on Clark. And if I’m really hungry, I’ll snag one of their deep dish pizzas. You can try a taste of a city without even stepping foot out the door. Explore the city’s airport and try a signature! You can do some research online before flying into the airports.

Adult Coloring Books
Thank goodness this trend is back. You can find adult coloring books everywhere now! Coloring books are not just for kids. Sometimes it’s used as therapy for adults. Totally bring your Crayolas and coloring books for the trip! You can do this on the flight and in the terminal. If you don’t feel like buying any books, you can print free coloring pages online.

Write Short Stories
This is something my mom used to have us do when we were little kids. It involves a little people watching, but you write little short stories using individuals in the airport as your characters. You can describe what they are wearing, give them a name, a job, and write a story with them. It does sound a bit creepy, but it’s all for entertainment. It allows the mind to imagine and create. One time I turned a man sitting in my terminal into a serial killer, and he just happened to be sitting next to me on the four-hour plane ride. I think I scared myself.

Non-Electronic Games
Sometimes my eyes get tired after spending too much time staring at the computer screen. It’s important to give your eyes a break. Bring non-electric entertainment like a Rubik’s cube, crossword puzzles, a deck of cards, checkers (assuming you’re not alone) or easy portable board games. Just don’t smuggle government secrets in with your Rubik’s cube like Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Plan, Organize, & Set. 
I get inspired to travel while I’m traveling. I usually search AirBnB‘s, hotels, or destinations I’d like to visit. I plan the dates, purchase flights, and set everything up for my next adventure. Sometimes I find myself exploring AirBnB’s for hours. It then leads to binge pinning on Pinterest. You can never go wrong with Pinteresting at the airport. This is also a great place to make and set goals for yourself.

Questions for you!
How do you beat your airport boredom?
Where will your next flight take you?
Have you played Best Fiends before?

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Best Fiends! All opinions are my own! 🙂



  • Tara H.

    Taralynn are you going to add any new items to your shop for spring?!

    Reply to Tara H.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Tara!

      I am not going to run the shop for a couple months. I’m taking a break and just focussing on writing, making videos and my house:) THe half marathon and some upcoming travels has me too busy to focus on it.


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Casandra

    I downloaded best friends last night and got to level 19 before I realized it was almost 1 am and I needed to go to bed lol ?

    Reply to Casandra
  • Kelsey

    Great post! I love that game. I started playing Candy crush five years ago too

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Anonymous

    Is it like candy crush

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Elijah

    I love how fun this post is! It makes me want to book a flight.

    Reply to Elijah
  • Lindsey

    Is that game free to play? I spend way too much on Candy crush!

    Reply to Lindsey
  • Anonymous

    Some airports even have showers!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Melanie

    I travel so much and I love that they are putting gyms in airports!!

    Reply to Melanie
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    Great ideas! I’m the same way with the airport–to me its signifies the beginning of an adventure! I always like to be at least 2-3 hours early otherwise I’m an anxious wreck hoping I’ll make it! I love getting some food and/or coffee and finding a place near a large window to watch the planes as I wait for my own boarding time. I wish my city had a yoga studio in their airport–thats awesome!

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
    • Taralynn McNitt


      I was actually only 30 mins early today, but that is because Charlotte rush hour is unpredictable!

      You do the same as me! Coffee, my window, and I’m set!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amanda

    You are so fun to read!

    Reply to Amanda
  • Tammy

    I am going to download that game now! Thanks!

    Reply to Tammy
  • Lauren

    My next flight is going home which is delayed 3 hours! More time to catch up on my reading! Flying on United, they have a nice handful of free movies or tv shows on their app and you can watch them inflight!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Anonymous

    Great post!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    I did one of your circuits at the airport gym once!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Molly

    Now I want to get on a plane and travel somewhere tomorrow! 😉 I love airports too! I love to people watch and there’s truly no better place than an airport to do so!

    Reply to Molly
  • Kendra

    I am currently looking to book a flight for a wedding this summer. Any suggestions on who you book with? I’m about ready to tear my hair out looking at all of these flights!

    Reply to Kendra
  • Christina

    All of these suggestions are great! I travel often and I had no idea that some airports offer gyms.

    Reply to Christina
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Hopefully m next flight will take me all the way to somewhere in the states of Europe. I’ve been dying to travel 🙂

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Carrie this fit chick

    Coloring books are my go-to! I can plug in some music, color and the time flies by. I also love the Netflix app on my phone and then I can watch some shows via the airport wifi!!

    Reply to Carrie this fit chick
  • Kallie

    I love downloading music for the flight!

    Reply to Kallie
  • Cassandra

    My next flight will bring me to ROME! I’m so excited! It consumes my brain-space, and let me tell you, the to-do lists and the Amazon wish lists are real AF! Would you, could you PLEASE to a recommendation list of shoes, clothes, packing essentials for someone who is about to go on a summer walking tour?

    Reply to Cassandra
    • Taralynn McNitt

      WOW! That’ll be exciting. That would be a fun post!! yes ill add it to my list for sure !When are you taking off?

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Cassandra

        Luckily we don’t leave until next June. So I’ll have plenty of time to shop and get myself organized!

        Reply to Cassandra
  • Kyra

    My next flight will be to Barbados for my honeymoon! ?

    Reply to Kyra
  • Michelle

    Great ideas! I am not setting a foot into an airport for a long time, probably…(saving up for my semester abroad), but I am on the train a lot commuting to work/Uni/everywhere, and I feel like train stations and airports are pretty much the same when it comes to waiting.
    So I love reading, people-watching in general (though the short stories idea is awesome!), working for Uni, writing to-do lists..I also like going through the book store for inspiration (then not buying anything bc money…and space)! 🙂

    Reply to Michelle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      A semester abroad will be so much fun! Trains can be even more boring (if you don’t have a good view) because you are so confined. So yes, this list is perfect for you too! I am excited for your studies!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenny

    I love this post! I spend a lot of time at the airport, and it’s where I get most of my work done.

    Reply to Jenny
  • Jenny

    I love your suggestions. I used to work at an airport and I secretly love them. Each airport is like a small city, with the bustling crowds, the local food and art shop, and the TSA and airport staff that joke around. I also get to airports early, mostly so I can get work done and watch planes come in and out.

    This is a very timely list of travel ideas, I’ll be traveling this next week and spending a lot of time in airports waiting for layovers! I hope you have a great trip. 🙂

    Reply to Jenny
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love them too:)

      Watching the airplanes come in and out is so therapeutic. I love watching them get smaller and smaller as they go up into the sky. I also always wonder where they are going and who is on that plane.

      I hope you have a good trip too!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    This is the perfect post to read today as I am currently debating on Canada or San Francisco for my next holiday, I cannot make my mind up!! I haven’t had a proper overseas holiday in 18 months plus!! When I get Airport boredom I like to make sure my camera is charged and if there is any photos on my card to back them up, finish any outstanding work off and submit it to work, then it is magazines/books and Pinterest, or if I am traveling with friends/family you will find us at the bar.. I haven’t played best friends before but going to have a look. Thanks for the great tips !!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      What part of Canada would you be traveling to? That is on my next list!

      I love your ideas for airport boredom. It’s where I like to clean out my memory cards/space on my computer too! lol

      Have a great weekend!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Liz | Flour de Liz

    Thanks for sharing these great suggestions! I love the Netflix download option too! I’m planning to catch up on the most recent season of How to Get Away With Murder on my flight this week!

    Reply to Liz | Flour de Liz
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You’re welcome!

      Netflix has a download option?! wuuuut? I haven’t seen HTGAWM yet! I think it’ll be my next show!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Liz | Flour de Liz

        Yes! If you go to the menu, one of the options is “Available for Download”. Not everything on Netflix is available, but there’s more than enough to get through a long travel day! (especially one with no or limited internet!!!) And I highly recommend HTGAWM! Everything Shonda does is AMAZING!

        Reply to Liz | Flour de Liz
  • Jennifer

    I’m definitely a magazine and book girl when it comes to airports. Airports (usually) mean vacation and for me that involves doing things I usually don’t take the time to do–like reading! On a flight to San Fran a few summers ago I was reading 50 shades of grey and that was the fastest flight I was ever on haha

    Charlotte in September! I’m hoping to make it to either Maryland or Austin to see friends before then.. but we’ll see!

    I have not! But I’ll have to give it a shot. The last game I was obsessed with was Sims Freeplay… I loved the original sims when I was younger… probably still my favorite “computer” game to this day!

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes, I love that as well 🙂 Omg funny you mentioned that. When I was flying home from Arizona one year, I was reading 50 Shades of Grey. I made a REAL AWKWARD convo when the guy next to me asked “oh, you into that stuff?” hahaha

      Oh that’ll be a fun trip coming up!!

      Lol that was my favorite too!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jennifer

        Bahaha that is super awkward. Luckily I had an empty seat next to me and the lady in the aisle seat was clearly on a business trip and wasn’t paying attention to anything I was doing!

        Also… bouncing off the comment above mint— You HAVE to watch How To Get Away With Murder next! You’ll be super sad that there are only a couple seasons on netflix but it’s SO GOOD. Also… watching Shameless right now and it’s super dirty but so addicting too!

        Reply to Jennifer
  • Tara @ Run and Live Happy

    I love people watching at the airport. It’s entertaining to try and imagine where they are from or where they’re going. I also get work done at the airport! It’s the best way to kill time while you’re waiting. I’ll take a notebook and also make lists of things I need to do when I get home too! My next flight is taking me to the Bahamas!! I can’t wait!

    Reply to Tara @ Run and Live Happy
  • Brooklyn

    I love going to the airport. My favorite thing to do is explore all of the shops! I’m a sucker for a good souvenir store.


    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Izzy | pinch of delight

    I love this idea of going for a really long walk!
    – Izzy

    Reply to Izzy | pinch of delight
  • Shelby

    Such great advice! I travel a lot for work, and it can be so boring when I experience unexpected delays. I love the idea of doing some research before you arrive at an airport to know if you could have the option to practice yoga or shop around.

    Reply to Shelby
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you! Yes, that unexpected extra time can seem like forever, especially if you get anxiety from travels. If you have a long layover, it’s a GREAT idea to see if they have a yoga studio! I actually found a yoga studio for my layover to HI!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Siobhan

    I always have my tablet and/or laptop with me when I travel so I watch movies or read ebooks. I also love listening to podcasts because they make the time go by so much quicker. I always have a few Stuff You Should Know episodes saved onto my phone before I travel. If I have a lot of time to kill, I like to walk around as much as possible because I know I’ll be stuck sitting for the next few hours on the plane. I love your idea of writing short stories about the people you see! That sounds like so much fun.
    I just downloaded Best Fiends and I can’t wait to start playing it haha.
    I don’t have any trips planned right now but I really want to go to Costa Rica! I also want to visit the East Coast because I have never been there before.

    Reply to Siobhan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I need to download some podcasts for my next flight!

      Try writing a short story, it seems so lame, but it ends up being really fun!!

      LOL Let me know how you like the game!!

      Definitely plan some trips to the EC!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Siobhan

        I am obsessed with the game already haha. I think I’m on level 26 and it’s only been a little bit over 24 hours. I’m getting so antsy to travel somewhere! Best Fiends would definitely be a great airport/airplane game.

        Reply to Siobhan
  • Diana

    Writing anything, even in my journal and letters to friends always make time fly by. Having good reading material on a flight is also so important. Love the tips, have a wonderful weekend!


    Reply to Diana
  • Abby

    I always bring my coloring stuff, my book, and my journal to beat airport boredom. I’m flying from Colorado to NY on May 11th. Then I’m going to Boston, Cape Cod, then flying to DC, and then back to Denver! My boyfriend and I are going for a celebratory post-graduation trip. I’m super excited because I have never been to Bos, Cape Cod, or DC.

    Do you have any recommendations for any of those places? I know you go to DC a decent amount and I plan on going to Georgetown because of your pics! Thanks!


    Reply to Abby
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You def prepare for the airport boredom!

      Sounds like you have fun travels ahead of you! It’ll be well deserved. You will have a blast in all those places.

      If you’ve never been to D.C., definitely walk around all the monuments, check out the Arlington cemetery and watch the changing of the guards (happens on the top of every hour) Founding Farmers for lunch or dinner, check out Alexandria, ESP Coffee, and walk around Georgetown! I have a lot of places on the blog, if you just type in “d.c.” you will find some of my posts 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Abby

        Thank you! And thanks for the awesome suggestions. I will definitely look into those and get some yummy coffee to power our monument walking! 🙂

        Reply to Abby
  • Hillary Danielle

    I actually leave in 2 weeks for Charlotte for my best friend’s baby shower. It’s only my second time flying and I’m nervous as anything, even though it’s a direct, hour and a half flight. My first time flying was 2 years ago and my flight was supposed to take off at 8:00pm and it got delayed so we didn’t end up taking off until 1:30am. During that time I just played games on my phone, though I wish I was a little more prepared with things to do. My flight to Charlotte is first thing in the morning so I’m hoping it won’t be delayed.

    Reply to Hillary Danielle
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I always make lists of what I need to do or do laptop work. I need to be productive!
    Flying to Vietnam ON my birthday in April – wasn’t planned haha, just happened to find cheap tickets there on that day!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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