A good activity to start with is to mediate. Find a quiet area within the airport and just clear your mind. Let your mind relax and refresh it just in time for your actual work to begin once you step out of the airport. Remember, you're there to work, not see the sites and experience the culture (well, you can still do this, but just on your free time). What you'll be doing here might make or break your entire career. So it pays to mediate to ensure that your mind is clear and ready for the tasks ahead!
Once you've mediated, you can actually begin working. In fact, whether you're still at the airport in your home country or already in the airport in your destination, it never hurts to work. Open up your laptop or phone and do what you can while you wait here. You might be surprised at how much you accomplish while passing time in the airport. Before you know it, you would have already finished a good chunk of your tasks here!
Getting stuck at the airport for a couple of hours (or maybe even just an hour) can be the perfect time to update your loved ones on where you are. Call or text your parents, siblings, friends, and significant other while you're still at the airport. Let them know if you're still in your home country waiting to board your flight or if you've arrived at your destination. This will keep them at peace knowing you're still safe even though they're not with you.
There positively no end to how much you can learn bout the place you're visiting for work. In fact, when you're preparing for a business trip, more often than not, you're more focused on the tasks at hand. You probably did little research about the city, let alone the country, that you're visiting. Well, spending a few hours at the airport gives you ample time to brush up one hat you need to know, from the local culture to current important issues.
Even if it's just the basics, it always pays to know a little of the local language of the country you're visiting for work. This can come extremely handy when talking to your clients too. And during your free time, you can easily find things you need and ensure you're safe if you're able to utter common and basic phrases in the locals' vernacular. Fortunately, many souvenir shops in airports sell translation booklets. And you can always learn the basics online too!
It never hurts to make a new friend wherever you are. And even on business trips, you never know how kindness can return to you when you're just at an airport. A good rule of thumb is to befriend locals, especially ones that can guide you in exploring the city in your free time. And you don't have to just meet the ones that are in the airport too. With the help of social media, you can meet up with friendly locals who can help you better navigate the city you're in.
Are you 100% sure about your itinerary? Did you include all of what you need to do to accomplish your tasks? Did you insert some must-do and must-see touristy things to balance your trip out? Before stepping one foot outside of the airport, it won't hurt to check your itinerary again to make sure you've covered all the bases. Sure, you're bound not to follow it 100% anyways, but since you have some free time in the airport, why not take one last look at it?
If you have a couple of hours right before you need to board the plane, go to all the nearby convenience stores, novelty shops, cafes, restaurants, and the like and stock up on your snacks. Most especially if you're facing a long-haul flight ahead. Airplane food can only sustain you so far, and there's still the possibility that you might not like what the airline will serve. When you have your own snacks, you're sure to keep full up until you land.
Similarly, shop for things you think you might need for your flight or for your trip. Are you sure you have enough clothes for the whole trip? Forgot to bring your neck pillow? Maybe that perfume or cologne that you saw in the airport store might leave a lasting impression on your clients abroad. It's never wrong to invest in yourself, especially when you're going to place miles away from your home. You'll need all of what you can get during your business trip!
Finally, perhaps one of the best things to do when you're stuck in the airport for hours: sleep! If you woke up super early to ensure that you checked-in on time and you still have an hour or so to spare, catch up on some Zs! During business trips, especially when your itinerary is packed, you'll need to rest as much as you can beforehand. You'll never know how scarce your free time might be once you land in your destination! But also, if you do fall asleep, schedule your alarm to wake you up for when it's time to board the plane!
Let's face it, business travel doesn't just mean going to major cities. It also means spending hours in an airport. But you don't have to waste it wallowing away wishing you were someplace else. There are loads of what you can do to pass the time in the airport productively!