8 Things to Do When You're Stranded in the Airport

 Given the weather conditions of late, you could very well find yourself stranded in an airport. If you’re thinking, “Ugh!” I want you to reconsider. The inside of the airport, past security, is really just a shopping mall that happens to have airplanes coming and going around it. Think of it as an adventure! Here’s a list of things that you can do while you’re living large at LAX, or JFK or Heathrow, or…well, you get it.

  1. Get your shoes polished. I’m serious. Not only is it good for the care of your shoes, but you’ll also be able to watch a real master at work from a bird’s eye view. Shoe shiners are a special breed; they take incredible pride in their work, they are usually local and know everything about said city, and because they work with people all day they are usually characters. Sit back and relax and enjoy the show.
  2. Get a massage. From a five-minute shoulder massage to a full spa treatment (usually only in large airports, don’t accept one from a weirdo loitering near the men’s room,) a massage can help relieve the stress of watching the boards spin to “canceled.”
  3. Get your nails done. Men and women can enjoy a mani-pedi in the ‘port. They’re usually super fast so you make your flight, but let yourself enjoy the experience and just go with the flow.
  4. Shop. Excuse me, but some of the best shopping I’ve ever done on trips was in the airports. No longer are these shops for traveling businessmen to grab a cheesy stuffed animal for a child waiting at home. High end shopping is the new trend. (I’m such a loser about it that I look up maps of the airports I’m visiting so I know what shops are in my terminal.) You can buy just about anything; designer bags, whiskey, scarves, toys, you name it. Airports like Paris and Rome are loaded with really cute souvenirs that you probably won’t find in the cities themselves. The best part is that since you’re already through security, they have to let you wrestle onto the plane with your loot; it’s too late to check it.
  5. Get your hair done. I don’t know about you, but I love, love, love having someone else shampoo my hair. It’s so relaxing. You don’t even need to get a cut. A shampoo and blow dry will do a lot to uplift your stranded spirits. Not only will you look fantastic now, but you’ll also look great at your arrival.
  6. Be one of those people who hog the outlets. Set up camp. You don’t even need to stay in your own gate because no one is moving. Find a quiet one and hog up all the space before anyone else thinks to do the same thing. Plug in your phone, arrange your bags into a little fort and just embrace being THAT jerk. (You’ll never see these people again anyway.)
  7. Eat, drink and be merry. Airports are catching onto the “Eat and Drink Local” craze. Try local beers and delicacies. Of course you can always go to your favorite chain restaurant, but it might be more fun to see the inside of that crazy bar in the airport at Montreal.
  8. Get a book. Not an e-book. Buy yourself a good old-fashioned book and enjoy curling up in a storm. So what you’re in an airport? If you pick out a good one, you’ll be transported somewhere else.