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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

Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.

Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.

If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.

To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.

While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.

With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.

And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.

Taliesin West

As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.

Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.

It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.

Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.

With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?

Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.

Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone

Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer.  Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.

So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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Adventure Travel

The 4 Best US Cities for an Outdoor Adventure

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If you are looking for a destination that will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping, you will be spoilt for options in the US. Offering various landscapes and tough terrains to tackle, outdoor enthusiasts can find some of the biggest and best challenges in different states across the country.

If you want to enjoy an adrenaline fix in 2019, check out the following four best US cities for an outdoor adventure.

  • Los Angeles, California

There is more to Los Angeles than celebrity homes, high-end stores and boutiques, and fun Hollywood tours. Not only can you book charter jets Los Angeles to touch down in the city with ease, but there are many superb outdoor pursuits for adventure enthusiasts.

For example, you could try your hand at horseback riding at Griffith Park, or you could hike up Mount Baldy, which is the highest mountain point within Los Angeles County. Also, if you want to come face-to-face with various forms of marine life, you will be happy to learn you can snorkel in the stunning Lover’s Cove.

  • Seattle, Washington

As Seattle is surrounded by water, you can choose from a multitude of fun watersports during a visit in the Emerald City. For example, you can take to the city’s lakes and waterways to enjoy a spot of:

  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Sailing
  • Jet skiing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Kite boarding

While hikers, cyclists, and runners will love to tackle the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is an extensive trail located north of Ballard by Puget Sound.

  • Portland, Oregon

Offering more than 40 state parks and eight beautiful beaches, those looking for a fun outdoor adventure should look no further than Portland. Avid hikers should head straight to Forest Park once they arrive in the cool, laidback city, as it covers approximately 5,100 acres and is one of the largest urban forests in America.

Visitors can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Columbia River Gorge, which offers the largest concentration of waterfalls in the US, including the 620ft tall Multnomah Falls. It will offer a great hike for almost every age and can help visitors to reconnect with nature.

  • Aurora, Colorado

Offering more than 300 days of glorious sunshine throughout the year, it is easy to see why many people make their way to Aurora to enjoy its many outdoor pursuits. One destination you shouldn’t overlook is Aurora Reservoir, which allows visitors to enjoy a spot of fishing, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, and boating.

If, however, you are looking for a destination that offers superb horseback riding opportunities, don’t miss out on 12 Mile Stables, which has been serving both locals and tourists for many decades. It’s an experience you will not forget in a hurry, as you can enjoy 27 miles of riding trails across 3,300 acres at Cherry Creek State Park.

If you are considering an outdoor getaway in the United States, you can rest assured the above destinations will not let you down.

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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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