Man stretching in airport

There are few people in the world who aim to include a layover in their plans—more times than not, it is a financial move rather than an intentional choice. Many people will pay more so they can avoid spending extra time in the airport. It's hard to blame them, especially when your holiday is waiting for you on the other end of it all.

The thought of sitting in an airport for any extended period of time isn't a happy thought—but that can change! You can be one of the people who have figured out the secret to making layovers not only manageable, but even enjoyable. You don't have to spend your time staring at a clock on the wall, waiting for your holiday to begin. Instead, try one of these alternative options to keep your mind off the time and on the fun and adventure to come.

Work Out

If you are comfortable with it, a layover is a perfect time to squeeze in a short workout. Find a quiet corner or terminal that isn't being used and go for it. Even if you don't have equipment, you can get a solid workout in. Try a combination of sit-ups, push-ups, wall sits, lunges and planks. Or if you prefer to walk for your exercise, you couldn't ask for a better location! Take a stroll around the airport and see what the other parts of the place look like. Use the walk as a scouting expedition to see where you may want to eat later or to see if there are any stores or common areas that interest you.

Maybe yoga is more your thing. Use a sweatshirt as your impromptu mat and run through the Sun Salutation or a combination of your favourite poses. On top of being a great workout, you are also stretching your body, which will help prevent soreness and stiffness after a long day of travelling.

Catch up On Reading

Use your downtime to catch up on reading that you've never had time to get to. Whether it is a physical book or a novel on your tech gadget, reading is an easy way to get distracted from where you are and to get sucked into an alternate world with new characters and plot lines to focus on. The more you read, the less likely you are to notice the time passing. Before you know it, you'll be boarding the plane and moving on to the next leg of your journey.

If you don't have a book to read, most airports will have a multitude of stores that offer the most popular books and magazines at the time. They may be a little pricier than you'd find elsewhere, but it's worth it if you can pass the time more quickly.

Play a Game

Don't want to use up the battery on your phone, tablet or laptop? Bring a travel version of your favourite board game or deck of cards with you and you'll have hours of fun on hand. If you are feeling bored or unengaged, it's likely your travel companions are in the same boat. Strike up a game and play a round (or five!) of the board game to create a little friendly competition.

No one else wants to play? Solitaire is a classic single-player game that is engaging and will have you working with the cards towards an end goal instead of staring at a clock on the wall.

Eat like Royalty

While it's clear that some airports are in dire need of an upgrade to their restaurant option, many airports have heard the grumblings and are adjusting their food and entertainment options to satisfy the stranded travellers who find themselves with a stretch of time in their airports. Take a walk through the terminals to see what options are available to you, and then treat yourself to a sit-down dinner in a restaurant instead of eating fast food out of a bag on your lap. Not only will it take longer, but you will likely have healthier and fresher options for a meal that will leave you full and happy.

Try to turn the negative stereotype about layovers on its head with these fun and easy-to-do suggestions. You can use your time to think about all the great fun you will have once you reach your destination and how comforting it is to be protected from the unexpected with your online travel insurance plan from Cover-More Australia. Though you may not hope for a layover, with these tips you'll certainly dread it less!

Image courtesy of Flickr user David Lytle