A Business Traveler’s Guide to Maximizing an Airport Layover

A Business Traveler’s Guide to Maximizing an Airport Layover

It seems like you’ve encountered another layover during your business trip. During these quiet periods between flights, it can often feel like time is being wasted, especially when you would rather be getting settled in your destination. But with a slight shift in perspective, you can view this downtime as an opportunity to be productive. Let’s look at 15 ways to survive and maximize your or your team’s layover, whether it be 1 hour or 4+ hours.

Roundtrip Blog
36
7 minutes read

Best practices for short layovers (1-3 hours)

When you have a shorter layover, it can be tempting to sit around and scroll on your phone. But a layover, even as short as 1 hour, can be a great time and place to refresh, recharge, and even get ahead of your work schedule. Here are 5 practices you can implement into your or your team’s layover routine to maximize this time:

Strive for a productive power hour

Use this time to plow through your emails, practice pitches or speeches, or complete small portions of ongoing projects. Even a brief, focused 1-hour work session can help you stay on top of your tasks and reduce the load for later. 

Use airport lounges

Access business lounges for a quiet workspace with amenities like Wi-Fi, power outlets, and refreshments. These lounges offer a conducive environment for concentration and efficiency, allowing you to work uninterrupted. Just keep in mind that many times these lounges require exclusive access, such as requested by your place of work or if you have access to a business credit card. 

Access business lounges for a quiet workspace with amenities like Wi-Fi, power outlets, and refreshments.
Photo: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV /Shutterstock.com

Refresh and recharge

Getting ready for a flight by taking brief walks, staying hydrated, and opting for healthy snacks during a layover can help make your travel experience more pleasant. Don’t use the entire time between flights working, remember to also stroll around the terminal, stretch your legs, and find a nutritious snack or meal.

Take advantage of the airport amenities

Many airports have amenities designed to make your layover more comfortable. Sleeping pods, food courts, and quiet spaces can provide a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle. Use these facilities to rest, grab a meal, or simply relax in a quiet corner, ensuring you’re refreshed for the next leg of your journey.

Keep tabs on any flight changes

During your downtime, don’t forget to keep tabs on any changes that may occur to your flight. Be sure to use a reliable flight tracker or itinerary platform to check in on your flight. One tool that can help you with this is Roundtrip’s travel management tools. With Roundtrip, you can easily review and adjust your travel plans, manage your itineraries, and ensure that all your bookings are in order.

Be sure to use a reliable flight tracker or itinerary platform to check in on your flight.
Photo: Tonktiti/ Shutterstock.com

Best practices for long layovers (4+ hours)

Longer layovers offer more time for larger projects or a mix of various small activities. However, knowing you have a long layover can also be your demise when it comes to productivity. This is because many folks find themselves procrastinating and putting off their work until after they have relaxed. Here are a few best practices to avoid this and have a more fulfilling layover:

Set up a temporary office

Find a quiet spot or business lounge to set up your laptop and work comfortably. Many airports offer designated workspaces with ample power outlets and high-speed internet.

Setting up a mobile office allows you to continue working on important projects without interruptions, keeping you productive during the layover.

 Schedule meetings

Believe it or not, layovers can be the perfect time for a quick one-on-one meeting (as long as it is virtual). With a workspace, such as those found in the lounges, and a pair of noise-canceling headphones, you have the perfect place for a quick meeting. 

With a workspace, such as those found in the lounges, and a pair of noise-canceling headphones, you have the perfect place for a quick meeting
Photo: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/ Shutterstock.com

Catch up on work

Use this time to clear your inbox, review reports, or prepare presentations using tools like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace. These platforms enable quick access to documents; the uninterrupted time can help you stay ahead of your workload. By powering through some of the smaller tasks that just seem to keep piling up, you can cut down on the work you will have to do when you finally reach your final destination. Believe us, you will thank yourself later!

 Explore the airport

Take breaks from work to explore the airport’s amenities, such as museums, art installations, or unique shops. Exploring the terminal can also offer some much-needed physical activity.

Many airports feature interesting attractions and services that can provide a refreshing mental break.

Stay active

There is no better way to kill time than with a quick workout. Consider using airport gyms or walking paths to stay active and reduce stress during your layover. Physical exercise can also boost your energy levels and improve focus, making you more productive when you return to work. You’d be surprised how much even a 10-minute walk can benefit you. 

There is no better way to kill time than with a quick workout. Consider using airport gyms or walking paths to stay active and reduce stress during your layover. 
Photo: NDAB Creativity/ Shutterstock.com

Catch up on rest

It’s not all about work, your rest is just as important and makes you just as productive! During your layover, consider visiting spas, sleep pods, or relaxation zones. Consider meditation or deep-breathing exercises to reduce stress. Long layovers can be exhausting, so taking time to relax and recharge is essential. 

Keep an eye out for networking opportunities

 Engage in conversations while in lounges and business cafes. Networking in a relaxed setting like an airport lounge can provide unique opportunities to meet professionals from various industries.

You never know when you can find yourself in the same room as a new contact or potential client.

Prepare for upcoming meetings

If you are on your way to present a pitch or meet with a potential client, you will want to be prepared. A layover can act as an ideal time to squeeze in one more practice session before the real show. This bit of extra practice can boost your confidence and success during important business discussions.

A layover can act as an ideal time to squeeze in one more practice session before the real show.
Photo: Gorgev/ Shutterstock.com

Catch up on reading

If you find yourself with too much free time during your layover, why not finally dive into that business book or industry magazine you’ve been meaning to read? Whether it’s a physical book or an e-reader, use this time to gain new insights and ideas that can benefit your work.

Remember: knowledge is power.

Update your professional profile

During a layover on a business trip, take advantage of the time to update your LinkedIn profile or resume. While in a lounge or quiet space, use the opportunity to reflect on recent accomplishments and newly acquired skills. This will ensure that your professional online presence remains current and impressive.

4 things to avoid during layovers at airports

Overindulgence in unhealthy foods

 It’s easy to give in to the allure of fast food and sugary snacks at airports, but these choices can lead to sluggishness and reduced focus. Instead, opt for healthy options like salads, fruits, and nuts, which can help maintain your energy levels and mental clarity. Sticking to nutritious foods will keep you feeling alert and ready for the next leg of your journey.

Sticking to nutritious foods will keep you feeling alert and ready for the next leg of your journey.
Photo: sianstock/ Shutterstock.com

Ignoring security threats

Airports can be busy places, so it’s important to stay alert and keep an eye on your belongings. Make sure to follow security protocols and consider using TSA-approved locks. Keeping valuables like your laptop or phone within sight can help prevent theft and loss, making your trip go smoothly.

Procrastinating on work

It is important not to fall into the trap of procrastination. We should strive to use our layover time wisely by tackling important tasks instead of delaying them.

A well-structured to-do list can help you stay organized and focused.

Whether it’s catching up on work, preparing for a meeting, or even learning something new, making the most of your time can significantly enhance your productivity.

Overlooking rest

Balancing work with adequate rest is crucial to avoid burnout. Long layovers can be exhausting, so take advantage of opportunities to rest. Quick power naps, relaxation exercises, or simply finding a quiet corner to unwind can significantly affect your performance and mood. Just keep in mind that the recommended timeframe for an effective nap is 20-30 minutes. Oversleeping can cause grogginess, leaving you worse off than you were before; it is all about balance. 

Long layovers can be exhausting, so take advantage of opportunities to rest.
Photo: Adamov_d/ Shutterstock.com

Find efficiency and comfort with Roundtrip

Learning to be productive during your airport layovers can greatly impact the success of your business trips. The next time you or your team find yourself in the midst of an airport layover, try to implement the practices we shared with you today. Remember, being prepared and taking advantage of the available resources can turn what might have been wasted time into valuable moments of productivity and relaxation.

Ready to improve your business travel further? Explore Roundtrip, a leading provider of efficient travel management solutions. Roundtrip’s user-friendly platform offers attractive corporate travel discounts and seamless booking processes for flights, hotels, and transportation.


Learn more about Roundtrip and discover how our services can enhance your corporate travel experience. Make the most of your business travel with Roundtrip’s tailored solutions, ensuring cost savings and a smoother travel process. Until teleportation becomes a reality, let Roundtrip elevate your business travel journey!

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