I feel like I’ve spent most of this year at airports – which of course isn’t true – but time seems to pass extra slowly until take-off, right? Well, except for this one time in Frankfurt when I read what must have been a fantastic book and missed the gate change announcement… and the flight. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the book title but man, that was an expensive read.

Anyway, I’ve collected a couple of suggestions from the whole team for your next wait or layover (and ours!) at an airport of your choice. You might think the number of options is limited but all it takes is a bit of creativity… and maybe some energy to get off your butt. Airports are the perfect place to get stuff done that you’ve been avoiding for too long and have some fun on the way (to your gate). Try these next time you’re stuck in the departure lounge with nothing to do!

1. Buy a magazine in a language you don’t understand and read it by just looking at the pictures.

2. Smile at and then talk to strangers, especially the ones you wouldn’t normally cross paths with.

3. Clean up your phone’s photo gallery and delete files you don’t need.

4. Skype with your parents or grandparents and send long voice notes to friends you haven’t spoken to in a while.

5. Work through your unread emails. Seriously, nothing speeds up your productivity like knowing you only have 60 minutes to get stuff done.

6. Right, this is an uncomfortable one: Make an appointment with your dentist and gynecologist in case you anything like me and love to ignore that stuff.

7. Have an overpriced freshly pressed orange juice. Yum.

8. Look around the waiting room and start writing down what you see. This is one of the best exercises and it helps train you to pay more attention to people around you. So much more exciting than your phone screen!

9. Buy funny tourist postcards in a shop and post them to your family and friends.

10. If you find a plug, recharge all batteries.

11. Come up with three things you’re grateful for. If these “things” are people, tell them right now.

12. Ask whoever’s next to you for their current favourite band or podcast and have a listen right away.

13. Try out the latest Snapchat filters.

14. Ask a waiter or flight attendant how their day was. Trust me, they usually have some secrets to spill!

15. If you’ve crossed off everything on this list, here’s your reward: Head to the bar and get a gin tonic. Or two.

What are you favourite activities for that state of airport limbo? Let us know in the comments below!

All photographs taken by Caroline Schmitt