12 Ways to Stay Productive at the Airport

Short line at security? Flight delay? Layover? Don’t let extra time you have at the airport or on the plane go to waste. Whether you want to sleep to regain energy, make new friends and contacts, catch up with your sister on the phone, or complete your work tasks, there are various things you can do to stay productive and still have an enjoyable flight. View traveling as a blessing in disguise to do things you wouldn’t normally have time for or to cross tasks off of your to-do list. Have safe and productive travels!

1. Read Magazines or Books

Catch up on magazines you have been wanting to read all month. Finally finish that last chapter. Reading on the plane or during a layover is a great way to escape the stress of traveling.

2. Journal

Always bring a notebook with you so you can jot down your thoughts, travel experiences, or the things you are grateful for.

3. Network

If you sense that the person sitting next to you at your gate or on the plane is willing to having a conversation, ask him or her how they are. You never know who you’ll meet on the plane, and it can be a fun way to get to know people from around the world.

4. Organize Files and Photos

If you brought your computer, organize files and photos on your computer. No WiFi necessary to complete this task!

5. Write Your To-Do List

Now that you have a lot of time to think, write your to-do list for the week or month. When you are out of your normal work element, you might have a better sense of what needs to be done. Better yet, use this time to get some of those tasks completed and crossed off!

6. Watch a Documentary

Pre-download a documentary on your laptop or see what movies the flight has to offer. Now is a good time to watch a movie you didn’t have the chance to see in theaters, or to learn about a cool new topic.

7. Call a Friend or Family Member

If you’re feeling chatty, call up a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Your mom might also enjoy hearing from you.

8. Take a Walk

Depending on the airport, there can be some pretty great stores or cafes and restaurants that you can browse. Walk around and see what you can find. It can even be entertaining to circle the newsstand kiosks to people watch or see what’s out there. If you really have a lot of time, you can walk the lengths of the terminal to get some cardio in before you have to sit for a long time.

9. Get Your Meal at the Airport 

If you have enough time, sit down for a meal or snack. Even if you need to grab your meal to go, it’s better than airplane food. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of H2O!

10. Write Letters

The art of the handwritten letter is making a comeback. Take 15 minutes to write a friend a letter.

11. Complete Your Work

Now’s a great time to focus on homework or work that you need to complete. Finish up a blog post, draft an email, or finalize that strategy you’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. These are all work items that don’t need WiFi.

12. Sleep

Sleep deprived? There’s no better time to catch up on your zzz’s. Tip: sleep on the plane and not in the waiting lounge. That way you don’t have to watch your stuff or worry about anyone snatching your backpack. Also, don’t forget your eye mask – it’s a life saver when people are walking past you or reading with the overhead light on!



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