The holidays are a wonderful time full of family, food, celebration and sleeping in an airport because your flight got delayed for eight hours. Let’s face it, holiday travel sucks.
So while you’re stuck sitting in the food court of an airport, take a look at these apps, movies and activities to help you bust your travel boredom.
Why bother walking and socializing when you can sit on your phone and not interact with anyone? Here are three apps to help you kill time while huddled next to the wall outlet with all the other millennials.
Figure is a simple beat-and-loop-making app that is free and provides dozens of different drum, bass and synthesizer samples. A simple, streamlined interface lets you tap out drum beats with ease. You can distort the bass, or maybe add a little arpeggio to your composition without complication. The app’s simple interface is easy enough to understand that even someone without any musical ability can make something. This app provides a free way to waste time and maybe even beef up your Soundcloud.
Rhonna is a free app that lets anyone be creative. It’s a life-saver when you realize that you forgot to make Christmas cards, or when you just decide want a new phone background. The app lets you use tools like masking and cropping among editing tools, font packs and sample icons and images to layer into your image.
One of the hardest parts of being stuck somewhere is having no one to talk to. No one is responding on Groupme, Yik Yak at the airport is dead and you’ve already stalked through the Facebook profiles of everyone on your friends list. Yeti allows you to post to a collective campus story and see how much fun is going on everywhere you aren’t. Don’t worry though – they’ll be jealous when they see how much fun you’re having huddled against the wall because you only brought a 2-foot charger.
The Internet is an endless wealth of knowledge, but why learn anything when you can keep refreshing Tumblr? There’s only so much time you can waste before that three-second long spaghetti cat gif gets boring and the mental toll of clicking virtual icons drives you mad.
Watch a movie instead, you weary traveler.
“Trains, Planes, and Automobiles”
John Candy and Steve Martin travel together as an unlikely duo selling shower curtain rings for cash, nearly crashing their car and hitting all sorts of touching family movie moments as they attempt to race home for the holidays.
One of the best comedies of the ‘80s, a cast of characters attempt to pilot an airplane. All the while they are doing gags that “Family Guy” will be referencing for years.
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
You get to see Clark and the gang attempt to have a nice family dinner, but as always, things don’t go as planned. There’s a good chance the remake of this is going to fall flat, but the Griswolds’ original adventures are classic.
Okay so here’s a hypothetical situation: you forgot your charger in your bag, and there is not a charging station in sight. Now your phone just died and you know that Brad saw the message you sent him, and you’re sure he is replying right now – but to no avail.
This sucks for Brad, but not for you.
Whether you’re flying nationally or internationally, airports are full of interesting art, shopping and dining for you to enjoy while you pass the time.
Art and Culture
Every airport has a unique culture. The airport is a welcome sign to wherever you’re going, and it’s usually the first, and often only, glimpse visitors get of the city. As a result, they make a concerted effort to try to attract visitors by making it a mirror of the city’s art and culture. Chicago didn’t just put up a life-size replica dinosaur skeleton for laughs, and Houston didn’t put a cow statue in a spacesuit because we like cheese. The city did these things because they reflect their culture and they want you to know that. A layover in a new airport is always a great opportunity to catch a quick glimpse of a city.
Brands know that if you can pay to fly you can probably pay to buy. Nowadays, airports double as malls – and good ones, too. There’s always an opportunity to shop at large, brand-name stores and often pop-up displays, and in larger airports abroad they even go overboard. In Athens you can find a full Victoria’s Secret, a Sony store and a mythos sampling booth all within 20 feet of each other. You could easily waste an afternoon just window shopping in an airport. During the holidays, this can also be a lifesaver for getting last-minute gifts.
Airport food! Even Houston’s airport has everything from Buffalo Wild Wings to Chili’s, and there are so many fast food options. When traveling abroad it gets even crazier, with international delicacies and a myriad of snacks and alcohols — even Canada feels like it’s worlds away. It’s a safe bet that, at the very least, when you fly anywhere you have the choice of eating whatever you want. You just have to get off your phone and adventure a little bit.