Thought Catalog
October 15, 2014

8 Ways To Win At Airports

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Nobody likes the airport. But, if you’re traveling- and not yet officially part of Drake’s entourage, even though you’d be perfect for it – you’re likely at the airport.

Flying is a pain. It’s some of the longest, most expensive public transportation you could possibly experience, and it’s packed with small indignities and frustrations, like delays, over-priced food, and sitting next to the guy who won’t shut up about his career as a competitive Boggle player.

Fortunately, as an airport citizen myself, I have some tips.

1. Spend Time Well

I’m writing this article in an airport for synergy and efficiency, because one of the most frustrating things about airports is how they can siphon your time away from you. Nobody goes to the airport to just chill. They’re waiting, and waiting is annoying. So, so annoying.

So change the script. Don’t just wait your time out- add some urgency and purpose to your sitting around and do something. Write, watch, read, talk- do what you’re supposed to do and savor the extra moments the airport has forced you to set aside.

Write an email to your parents or something. Do something you wouldn’t normally but that you’d be glad you got done.

2. Walk Around

Even if there’s nothing to do, walk. Stand. Stretch.

Look: you’re going to be sitting soon on a plane. And even though that Hudson Bookstore isn’t interesting now, pacing around it five or six times is a better use of your time than sitting, listening to the music you’re going to be playing on the plane anyhow.

Do what you have to do here, and…

3. Treat Yourself

I’m talking about seasonal Starbucks drink, dude. I’m talking crummy paperback novels you buy for the plane Hell, go crazy and get one of those airplane pillows. The airport is like a sad, mandatory mall you live in. You may as well take advantage of our rapacious capitalism and ball out a little.

4. Show Up Stupid Early

Cut out the anxiety and the stress that makes airports so unfun. Yes, it’ll be lame to be there so early. But at least this way you’ll be able to be calm. Follow the above steps and the airport will just be a weirder office full of stores you’re chilling at, not a “who knows?” game of almost missing flights, unexpected lines, and overpriced, terrible sandwiches you can’t seem to stop buying even when you know better.

I know, I know. Me too.

5. Play Drake

Note: this is something you should do all the time, everywhere, for any reason.

6. Have Some Gratitude For Living In An Insane Future World Of Planes

It helps keep annoying waits in perspective, and also can help serve as a fantastic zoning-out thought. Remember, after all, that zoning out is basically meditation, and daydreaming about the future and past is essentially lazing around into philosophy and thought. Go for it.

7. Rotate Your Distractions

Intersperse walking with sitting. Split music up with reading, so your ears and eyes both have chances to recover. Mix a smart book with dumb TV so your brain isn’t over or under-worked as you wait for the plane.

Balance is important in life, and even in the airport- where real life feels so distant- it rings true.

8. Make Friends

“Airplane food, am I right?”

Congratulations. You’ve made life-long pals. You can reunite at every airport for the rest of your life. Sit on each other’s laps on the plane. You’ve made it. TC mark