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The ten best ways to pass time at the airport

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<b>Terminal waiting game</b><br/> That waiting-at-the-airport-for-a-plane-that-never-arrives feeling is decidedly unpleasant. Repeatedly peering up at departures boards flashing "Delayed" as hope of ever getting anywhere fades, is assuaged only by the knowledge that you're not the only one starting to think Airport Terminal is a bit too appropriate a name. But if you're travelling in a group it's amazing how simple and old fashioned games can greatly improve the situation. Why not try playing a game of I Spy? Ok, I realise if you're reading this you're probably not three-years-old, but I tried it again recently and you can actually get very creative: "V is for...volcanic ash etc." Memory games are great too. Try looking round the room at the other passengers, shutting your eyes and going around in a circle calling out items of their clothing (not too loudly, "Bright orange bum bag" might offend) and then repeating what each person has said until you all lose it entirely. Another option is Wink Murder, which is great if one of your group fancies a few minutes of shut-eye while the rest of you solve the mystery. Unlock your inner children's party to help pass the time!

<b>Terminal waiting game</b><br/> That waiting-at-the-airport-for-a-plane-that-never-arrives feeling is decidedly unpleasant. Repeatedly peering up at departures boards flashing "Delayed" as hope of ever getting anywhere fades, is assuaged only by the knowledge that you're not the only one starting to think Airport Terminal is a bit too appropriate a name. But if you're travelling in a group it's amazing how simple and old fashioned games can greatly improve the situation. Why not try playing a game of I Spy? Ok, I realise if you're reading this you're probably not three-years-old, but I tried it again recently and you can actually get very creative: "V is for...volcanic ash etc." Memory games are great too. Try looking round the room at the other passengers, shutting your eyes and going around in a circle calling out items of their clothing (not too loudly, "Bright orange bum bag" might offend) and then repeating what each person has said until you all lose it entirely. Another option is Wink Murder, which is great if one of your group fancies a few minutes of shut-eye while the rest of you solve the mystery. Unlock your inner children's party to help pass the time!

&lt;b&gt;Book in early&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
A good book can transport you where you want to go a lot quicker than the average airline. This week's news has been full of pictures of poor stranded travellers uncomfortably stretched out on airport floors immersed in the latest bestseller. There are usually plenty of foreign language book and newspaper stalls in airports, so go on have a read. We recommend 'English Passengers,' by Matthew Kneale, 'Airport' by Arthur Hailey or 'Under the Volcano' by Malcolm Lowry.

<b>Book in early</b><br/> A good book can transport you where you want to go a lot quicker than the average airline. This week's news has been full of pictures of poor stranded travellers uncomfortably stretched out on airport floors immersed in the latest bestseller. There are usually plenty of foreign language book and newspaper stalls in airports, so go on have a read. We recommend 'English Passengers,' by Matthew Kneale, 'Airport' by Arthur Hailey or 'Under the Volcano' by Malcolm Lowry.

&lt;b&gt;An exercise in relaxation&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
It's horrible when you've been sitting on a cold, metallic seat for ages (or worse, cold floor!) until you feel yourself melding into it and your backside protesting. If you're sat around waiting to fly then why not give yourself a bit of a break by having a good stretch, taking a walk round the terminal, or even (if you're not self conscious) doing a bit of yoga or Pilates. Excercising will help keep your body on top form, and will minimise stress build up and help you relax.

<b>An exercise in relaxation</b><br/> It's horrible when you've been sitting on a cold, metallic seat for ages (or worse, cold floor!) until you feel yourself melding into it and your backside protesting. If you're sat around waiting to fly then why not give yourself a bit of a break by having a good stretch, taking a walk round the terminal, or even (if you're not self conscious) doing a bit of yoga or Pilates. Excercising will help keep your body on top form, and will minimise stress build up and help you relax.

&lt;b&gt;Plane spotting&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
Plane spotting is an activity stereotypically undertaken by middle-aged men in anoraks. But given the recent flying ban across much of Europe, this pasttime could become much more literal. While you don't have to be an expert at jotting down the registration numbers of aircraft and marvelling at the differences in their vapour trails, you are likely to feel encouraged by spending half an hour peeking out of the airport windows and making sure that planes are actually taking off and landing successfully. See if you can spot them before the next volcanic belch and blanket flying ban.

<b>Plane spotting</b><br/> Plane spotting is an activity stereotypically undertaken by middle-aged men in anoraks. But given the recent flying ban across much of Europe, this pasttime could become much more literal. While you don't have to be an expert at jotting down the registration numbers of aircraft and marvelling at the differences in their vapour trails, you are likely to feel encouraged by spending half an hour peeking out of the airport windows and making sure that planes are actually taking off and landing successfully. See if you can spot them before the next volcanic belch and blanket flying ban.

&lt;b&gt;Guess the destination of the traveller&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
Guess the destination of the traveller is a great game to play either in a group or on your own. It should really be called guess where the traveller has just come from, as often you'll be waiting at an airport gate with &quot;Gatwick&quot; flashing up in orange lights, which renders the destination bit rather redundant. It requires a degree of detective work. Look out for sun tans, winter coats, telltale luggage tags and unusual footwear. And if you really can't hazard a guess, why not go up and ask.

<b>Guess the destination of the traveller</b><br/> Guess the destination of the traveller is a great game to play either in a group or on your own. It should really be called guess where the traveller has just come from, as often you'll be waiting at an airport gate with "Gatwick" flashing up in orange lights, which renders the destination bit rather redundant. It requires a degree of detective work. Look out for sun tans, winter coats, telltale luggage tags and unusual footwear. And if you really can't hazard a guess, why not go up and ask.

&lt;b&gt;Brain training&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
If you're on your own a bit of technology can work wonders to help while away those boring hours. If you've got a Nintendo DS a bit of brain training can help keep your mind in shape. with mathematical puzzles, guessing games and memory teasers. For those smartphone or iPad users, a quick game of X-Plane, a kind of high tech flight simulation software, can get you in the mood for your journey.

<b>Brain training</b><br/> If you're on your own a bit of technology can work wonders to help while away those boring hours. If you've got a Nintendo DS a bit of brain training can help keep your mind in shape. with mathematical puzzles, guessing games and memory teasers. For those smartphone or iPad users, a quick game of X-Plane, a kind of high tech flight simulation software, can get you in the mood for your journey.

&lt;b&gt;Whiling away online&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
The brilliant thing about most modern airports today is that they've got free or cheap wireless internet access. The few that don't, usually have computer clusters somewhere so you can check your emails. If you've got a laptop or PDA which has survived the long journey and still has battery than you can sit in the airport lounge and surf away, emailing loved ones with updates and checking out the news and online departures boards.

<b>Whiling away online</b><br/> The brilliant thing about most modern airports today is that they've got free or cheap wireless internet access. The few that don't, usually have computer clusters somewhere so you can check your emails. If you've got a laptop or PDA which has survived the long journey and still has battery than you can sit in the airport lounge and surf away, emailing loved ones with updates and checking out the news and online departures boards.

&lt;b&gt;Start a conversation&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
One of the worst things about travelling alone is that when faced with delays, disorder and a sky full of volcanic ash, there's nobody there to grumble and gripe with. The best way to counter this is to turn to your neighbour with a friendly grin and engage them in scintillating conversation about the travel horrors you both face. Chances are they'll be grateful to let rip.

<b>Start a conversation</b><br/> One of the worst things about travelling alone is that when faced with delays, disorder and a sky full of volcanic ash, there's nobody there to grumble and gripe with. The best way to counter this is to turn to your neighbour with a friendly grin and engage them in scintillating conversation about the travel horrors you both face. Chances are they'll be grateful to let rip.

&lt;b&gt;Have a sing-song&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
Ok, ok stop cringing a minute to think about this. Remember those car journeys when you were a kid when you sang the entire repertoire from 'The Sound of Music' or 'The Lion King'? Remember how cheery it made you feel. While bursting into song might earn you a few sideways glances if you're alone, if you're in a group you can turn a bad situation into a merry throng. Especially if you all know the words to your favourite pop songs, Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals or campfire ditties. It'll definitely help pass the time, even if your fellow passengers resort to putting cotton wool in their ears.

<b>Have a sing-song</b><br/> Ok, ok stop cringing a minute to think about this. Remember those car journeys when you were a kid when you sang the entire repertoire from 'The Sound of Music' or 'The Lion King'? Remember how cheery it made you feel. While bursting into song might earn you a few sideways glances if you're alone, if you're in a group you can turn a bad situation into a merry throng. Especially if you all know the words to your favourite pop songs, Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals or campfire ditties. It'll definitely help pass the time, even if your fellow passengers resort to putting cotton wool in their ears.

&lt;b&gt;Stock up&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
One of the dangerous things about airports is the close proximity to brightly lit shops containing all manner of booze, cigarettes and cosmetics at what profess to be knock down prices, but which, given the weakness of the pound, hardly amount to a bargain. But even if you've spent all your holiday money on emergency accommodation to ride out the volcanic ash disaster, it can be amusing to window shop through these gilded halls, spritzing perfume, trying out tasters and deciding if ?30 for a bottle of Tanqueray gin is any less expensive than it is in the UK. And if you do have some money left, then stock up!

<b>Stock up</b><br/> One of the dangerous things about airports is the close proximity to brightly lit shops containing all manner of booze, cigarettes and cosmetics at what profess to be knock down prices, but which, given the weakness of the pound, hardly amount to a bargain. But even if you've spent all your holiday money on emergency accommodation to ride out the volcanic ash disaster, it can be amusing to window shop through these gilded halls, spritzing perfume, trying out tasters and deciding if ?30 for a bottle of Tanqueray gin is any less expensive than it is in the UK. And if you do have some money left, then stock up!

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<b>Terminal waiting game</b><br/> That waiting-at-the-airport-for-a-plane-that-never-arrives feeling is decidedly unpleasant. Repeatedly peering up at departures boards flashing "Delayed" as hope of ever getting anywhere fades, is assuaged only by the knowledge that you're not the only one starting to think Airport Terminal is a bit too appropriate a name. But if you're travelling in a group it's amazing how simple and old fashioned games can greatly improve the situation. Why not try playing a game of I Spy? Ok, I realise if you're reading this you're probably not three-years-old, but I tried it again recently and you can actually get very creative: "V is for...volcanic ash etc." Memory games are great too. Try looking round the room at the other passengers, shutting your eyes and going around in a circle calling out items of their clothing (not too loudly, "Bright orange bum bag" might offend) and then repeating what each person has said until you all lose it entirely. Another option is Wink Murder, which is great if one of your group fancies a few minutes of shut-eye while the rest of you solve the mystery. Unlock your inner children's party to help pass the time!

Are you stuck in an airport due to the Icelandic volcano delays? Here are ten ways to help while away the time until you get your flight.

>>Click on the image to launch the ten best ways to pass the time at the airport

Source: Independent


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