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Stuck at the Airport? Our Top 6 Alternative Airport Boredom Busters

Every been stuck at the airport hours before your flight leaves with nothing to do? Try out our top 6 airport boredom busters to kill the time.

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Airplane taking off

4 hours to go until your flight leaves you are rushing around the house grabbing those last minute items to squeeze in to your overflowing suitcase. Out the door to the waiting taxi with a jacket hanging off one arm and all your gear in the other. A moment of panic as you re-check your pockets for your passport only to find it had mysteriously slipped into another bag.

Airplane taking off

All that stress washes away as you hand over your luggage and receive your shiny boarding pass. You give yourself a mental high five and a pat on the back. You don’t even mind that the beefy security guard has just given you a rub-down that you would usually pay for in Thailand.

Then the reality hits you like a wet fish in the face. What was it all for?

Arrived 3 hours early for my flight and I still have 2 hours 45 minutes to go. Frick!

If you have ever travelled on a plane then you definitely know how much time is wasted at airports. More so if you are in transit. Our most recent long haul journey from Auckland to Edinburgh was a touch over 37 hours with stops in Melbourne, Brunei (10 hours!), Paris and London. Spent more time at airports than in the air.

Not to mention that once you have seen one airport you have seen them all. Sure some airports are on a different scale. Singapore versus Paris comes to mind. But generally most are similar.

Waiting lounges with butt numbing plastic seats, queues that Apple groupies waiting for the next iPod would hate and everything is ridiculously overpriced. How can a McDonald’s burger be more expensive at an airport?

To beat the boredom and turn your airport frown upside down here are a few tips to keep you amused:

Blogging

If you need to kill time why not catch up on all those posts you have been meaning to write? I have at least 20 different posts that needed to be finished off and we hardly ever get 2 hours to do nothing. In fact this post started at the airport while I actually thought up fun ways to pass my time.

Guerilla Marketing by Four Jandals at the airport

Guerilla Marketing

I can’t take the credit for this because I borrowed the idea off Keith at Velvet Escape. If you have a website or travel blog then head over to the bright lights of the gadget store. Use the laptops which generally have free WiFi to connect with us on Twitter and Facebook before changing the preferences to set your website as the homepage.

Perfume and nice smellies

Before taking-off make sure that you are not one of those nose-curdling travellers that makes your fellow passengers breathe through their mouth. You know all those expensive perfumes you see with exotic names being paraded around by ridiculously good looking models? Well now it’s time to smell like them. Just don’t use the roll-on…

Free alcohol testers

Unless you are flying at an ungodly hour, most of the duty free stores will have free alcohol taste testing. Usually it will only be a small shot but remember that over-packed suitcase you are wheeling around? Just change your outfit and go nuts.

Magazine reading

Love your goss? Then turn into one of those really annoying people that shopkeepers loathe by sticking your nose into a good old magazine. Or pick up some travel photography tips from one of the technical mags.

People watching

Our last airport boredom buster and my personal favourite is just watching those around you. Who are they? Where are they going? Who are they travelling with? I love making up stories about them. Is that guy and girl (who is young enough to be his daughter) related or are they running away on a “business” trip together?

Failing all that just watch the raw emotions at the arrival or departure gates because they really are heart warming. Tears of joy as passengers arrive into the arms of missed loved ones or sorrow as they wave goodbye through the glass panels.

See you at the airport (just don’t delete our blog off the homepage)!

What are your favourite boredom busters?

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Jesse

    December 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    My own Boredom Busters:
    Taking random photos of everything that caught my eye.
    Definitely Music or Music Videos On my Phone
    Imagining about things or coming up stories in my head.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      Love the idea of coming up with stories in your head haha. Thanks for the other tips, we just brought a new camera so I have been taking loads of photos. Some of the best ones are random but work well. Cheers

  2. bronwen burmester

    December 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    People watching is my fave thing to do at airports – and I admit to plastering my face with anti wrinkle cream and smelling like a walking pharmacy!

  3. Nomadic Samuel

    December 10, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    LOL, I thought I was the only one who bummed free samples all the time 😛

  4. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    December 10, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    I am SO using that guerilla marketing technique!! 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 10, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      Just don’t delete our page if it is on there first. Every blogger will be doing it now haha 🙂

  5. Amanda Kendle

    December 17, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    I love the guerilla marketing technique too! Kind of like an author who puts their books in the best spot on the shelf. I must remember it 🙂
    I also haunt the samples/freebies and generally moisturise both hands and face from samples (great when you’re about to get on a dry plane).

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      The moisturizing is a good idea. Adela is always using the perfumes to smell nice. Good luck with the guerrilla marketing next time you travel!

  6. Tawny- Captain and Clark

    December 19, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    Hahaha the guerrilla marketing is awesome. We’ve done that before in an electronics store in Korea. We are also guilty of “freshening up” with perfume samples. It’s always nice to smell fancy when you’ve been traveling for hours!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      Thanks Tawny! Would love to know if anyone ever saw our site on the airport computers and became a fan.

  7. Anji

    January 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I find the guerrilla marketing tactic quite hillarious! It actually would be an interesting way connecting to travelers! People observing is definitely something I quite enjoy to do… but recently I’ve tried talking to as many people as possible! People are a bit startled at first, but its fun!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      January 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      Thanks for the input Anji. Haha I think we would be a be put off as well if someone random talked to us but would quickly warm to them 🙂

  8. Ed Rex

    January 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Haha! Love the guerilla marketing technique. Perhaps there should eb a page where people can say where they’ve spot another person’s blog?

    Other boredom busters:

    1) Massage chairs!
    2) Play the ‘who do I want to sit next to’ game at the gate
    3) Look at the departures board and imagine which flight you would spontanteously love to get on to.
    4) People watching – if you are with a friend, talk in stupid voices to convey what the people might be thinking.
    5) Bring a laptop and read FOUR JANDALS! ( 😛 )

    • Cole

      January 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      World domination from bloggers at airports. I like it! Have always wanted to just show up at an airport and take the next flight. Not sure that it would be very cost effective though.

  9. Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush

    April 12, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Guerilla marketing + free alcohol sampling = GENIUS! You two ever considered ruling the world? Great post!!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 12, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      Haha we are working on taking it over one jandal at a time!

  10. Simon

    August 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Guerrilla marketing is a genius idea! Wish I had thought of that during my 8-hour stop over in Singapore’s Changi Airport; then again no-one could ever get bored at that airport…

    • Cole Burmester

      August 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Singapore airport is brilliant! So much going on.

  11. Drew

    September 16, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    This will come in handy, as I’m going from Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) to Auckland via Addis Ababa and Bangkok in November. It’s going to be a crusher of a trip, and I’m trying to figure out how to make it more interesting. Perhaps you could suggest some “challenges” to do…how many people I can talk to, how much free stuff I can get, etc. Maybe I could pretend to be doing interviews.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 17, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Might see you in Auckland. I am headed back for a few weeks in November as well. Not sure of what “challenges” I could set. But let us know if you come up with any other boredom busters!

  12. George

    November 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Who knew that watching films was so old fashioned. Love the tips 🙂

  13. True Nomads

    April 19, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Guerrilla marketing! Why didn’t I think of that?? I use to do that at my university, but now I have a new mission! Before now, I would sleep until the last second… But no more!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      I struggle to sleep at airports so this is a great time waster 😀

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Adventure Travel

Your Top Destinations For No-Contact Water Sports

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While it can be hard to stay cooped up inside throughout a beautiful summer, there are plenty of other places you head to for some fun in the sun before colder temperatures set in. The best news? If you’re an American, you don’t have to leave the continental US or mess with self-quarantining.

Lake Tahoe, California

A classic vacation spot, Lake Tahoe has it all for visitors. Great climate, little rain, a background of mountains, and one of the largest, most serene lakes in the US. This makes Tahoe not just a great place for spring break partying, but also for some amount of isolation, or at least a bit of peace and quiet. You can find yourself reflected on the water and reflect upon the world around you while out on the lake. Because of the still waters there, it is also a wonderful place for paddle boarding. In case you are looking for quality gear for water sports, you can look into Gili Sports.

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are another classic vacation destination, especially for anyone who loves water sports. The weather remains mild in North Carolina all year round (with the notable exception of hurricane season), so it makes for an outstanding destination through any season. Kitty Hawk, famous for the Wright Brothers first flight, is an outstanding destination, as well as smaller towns like Currituck. You will find slightly rougher currents out in the Atlantic Ocean. However, paddle boarding is also popular here, as is windsurfing.

New Braunfels, Texas

The city of New Braunfels has a river entirely within its limits, the Comal River. This allows for many water sports activities, with tubing as one of the most popular choices. In these times, tubing is a popular choice, as it is a great activity for families that doesn’t involve a lot of contact with strangers. New Braunfels has a huge German influence, with its largest water park named the Schlitterbahn.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Although there is a city in Florida named Venice, the city of Fort Lauderdale is often referred to confusingly as the “Venice of Florida.” This nickname was won because Fort Lauderdale has nearly as many canals as its famous Italian counterpart. Fort Lauderdale boasts 23 miles of beach coastline, but if you add in all the city’s canals and lakes, that puts it at 300 miles of coastline. Fort Lauderdale is also a magnet for yachts, so you can paddle board or kayak past boats in the harbor you’ve only dreamed of. Summers in South Florida can swelter, but there’s also a reason that old folks go down in the winter.

Seattle, Washington

Although it is a huge metropolis, Seattle also offers some of the most pristine coastline in the country. Although it gets colder in the PNW than it might get anywhere in the southeast, the climate in Seattle stays relatively mild. One advantage of Seattle over more southern spots is its glacial lakes, which offer a beauty that few islands can replicate.

Even as the summer wanes, there are so many places in the continental US that you can get out and enjoy the water.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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