Long layovers are (mostly) a nightmare. If you are traveling with infants or toddlers (or both!) then easily multiply your upcoming stress at least 10 times over if not more. If you are dreading a long layover then perhaps these questions are coming to your mind –
What to pack for a long layover?
What to do during a 4-hour layover?
How to pass time during layover?
If yes then consider these airport layover tips for reducing your stress. Whether you are traveling solo or in a group; the following are some simple tips you can consider to reduce your stress.
Stretch and then stretch some more.
Sit and stretch; stand and stretch. Stretch left, right and center. And then stretch some more. It will improve blood flow to your entire body; a welcome relief after a long-haul flight.
You can remain seated in your chair and stretch your neck, arms, and even bend forward for relieving stress from your back muscles. Twist your spine in the same seating position; from left to right and vice versa. Then stand and bend sideways and front and back. Stand on your toes and stretch your arms up and remain in this position for as long as you comfortably can hold it. It is one of the easiest airport layover tips you can consider.
If you are traveling with children then perhaps, they too will join you in stretching their limbs. The family fun activity can further lower the stress of long layovers.
Try airport yoga.
Perhaps airport yoga is a tad much for you! Perhaps you are not comfortable twisting and turning your body in front of strangers or amidst a crowd. If you don’t mind it then go ahead. Try variations of Warrior or Dolphin Pose to squeeze out stress from your muscles.
If you are lucky enough to be in an airport with a yoga or meditation room; utilize it for a stress-free layover. Many airports in Europe and the US offer yoga rooms. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) was one of the first airports in the US to offer a separate room for yoga to passengers. If you are traveling with a long layover at SFO, don’t miss out on some airport yoga. This airport has multiple yoga rooms, which passengers can access after the security check is complete.
If you have a layover at London Heathrow; you can access the lounge at Terminal 4. It is available as a paid service only. For those with layovers in Frankfurt can access the airport’s two yoga rooms free of charge.
Also Read: Best Places and Retreats for a Rejuvenating Yoga Holiday in India
Which US airports offer yoga rooms? Many airports in the US offer yoga rooms. Some of these are San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Miami International Airport (MIA), Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW), Burlington International Airport (BTV), and Chicago Midway Airport (MDW).
Perhaps the sculpture depicting the 12 poses of the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) at Terminal 3 of the Delhi Airport is pointing passengers to the right direction!
Take really deep breaths.
Deep breathing can have an instantaneous effect on releasing both mental and physical fatigue. Try to breathe in for 3-5 counts, pause and then breathe out with a count of 3-5. Try it 5-10 times every hour or so of your layover.
Focus on the breath and try to ignore the chaos around you. You can take it a step further and do a mini meditation session. Either focus on an image while practicing deep breathing or put on some instrumental music and keep taking deep breaths until you feel relaxation coming over you.
Walk around the airport.
Physical movement can be deeply relaxing even if all your tired limbs scream ‘NO’ at first. If going out of the airport and spending time in the city is not a possibility for you during the layover then take a few laps around the airport.
Airports are nowadays fancy places. There are shops, restaurants, lounges, sculptures, gardens and whatnot at international airports these days. Your walk itself can be very interesting; giving your muscles a much-needed break from aches and fatigue. It can also give you something to do and keep weariness at bay. The mental chatter alone can augment stress. And if you have nothing to do even then the restlessness can add to it.
Try to sleep.
Yes, try because the actual scenario at airports can be markedly different (read: noisy and chaotic) and not really conducive for relaxing naps. Though try this: put on your alarm as per your next flight’s time. Use earplugs or listen to relaxing music and close your eyes. You can utilize the lounge area for a more comfortable nap. If not then simply be in your chair and try to get some shut-eye.
Even if you don’t fall asleep, closing your eyes and trying to keep the noise out of your mind can be deeply relaxing. For added effect; try to stretch and drink a good amount of water before your nap. This can be one of the best airport layover tips to utilize for long-haul flights or and also useful for those who are frequent flyers.
During layovers, you also need to prepare for the next leg of the journey. Your body and mind need to be relaxed for another long-haul flight. So, try these or any of the above tips the next time you are facing a long waiting time at the airport.
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