7 Travel Tips To Make Airport Layovers More Productive

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, using your layover to tackle some work can help reduce to-do-list-induced stress whenever you finally
 arrive at your destination.

Let’s face it: layovers can be stressful. Whenever possible, most prefer nonstop flights, even if they’re a little more expensive. But when you can’t book a non-stop flight you can make time spent at the airport more palatable by putting it to good use.

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, using your layover to tackle some work can help reduce to-do-list-induced stress whenever you finally
 arrive at your destination. But being productive at the airport is easier said than done. Here’s a look at must-read travel tips to make work happen—no matter where in the world you’re waiting to
 board.

 

1. Leave the noise and crowds behind

Some airport lounges can make a layover worthwhile. Once you leave the long security lines behind you, you can escape the noise, crowds and chaos too. Airport lounges transform the airport experience from an endurance test into a moment of indulgence.

Companies like Priority Pass offer membership access to over 900 airport lounges worldwide and a choice of three membership plans to suit your particular traveling needs. If you’re a frequent jet setter having access to independent airport lounge access worldwide is a no-brainer.

 

2. Create a workflow game plan

You wouldn’t show up to a four-hour investor meeting with no sense of the agenda. Likewise, if you’re planning to work during a
 layover, don’t just show up without a game plan.

 

Photo: © SolisImages, YFS Magazine
Photo: © SolisImages, YFS Magazine

Instead, decide what tasks you want to complete. Then consider whether
 you’ll actually have the time and mental energy to give your work the attention it requires (and adjust your task list if necessary). Preparing a workflow
 action plan before you take off will help ensure you can be truly productive whenever you touch back down.

 

3. Pack the right productivity gear

If you want to get more work done during your layover, make sure to pack the appropriate tech (e.g., WiFi backup, chargers, etc.) as well as any backup files or documents that are critical to
 the work you’re hoping to get done. Refer to your action plan in order to decide what to bring, and be sure to back up critical files to the cloud using apps like Dropbox so you
 can access them from anywhere.

Next, double-check that you have a charger or power cord for each of your devices, an extension cord in case airport outlets are hard to find, and
 noise-cancelling headphones if you’re prone to getting distracted.

 

Photo: © mimagephotos, YFS Magazine
Photo: © mimagephotos, YFS Magazine

Pack these essentials in your carry-on, then confirm that you’re not packing oversized
 or overweight luggage—to avoid having your precious work materials
 unexpectedly checked at the check-in counter.

 

4. Knockout busy work first

You know those tasks that you really should do, but have continually de-prioritized as more pressing issues arise? Layovers are a great time to take care of them—especially if you don’t have
 the time or mental energy to tackle more complex work.

Do some data entry, organize files on your laptop, try to hit inbox zero, write up a client report,
 or take care of any phone calls that have been lingering on your to-do list.

 

5. Get organized

Speaking of to-do lists: The airport is a great place to identify and prioritize upcoming tasks and projects. Take the time to write out a to-do list for the week, month, and quarter
 ahead of you. That way, whenever you’re back to the daily grind, you’ll know exactly what to take care of when—and you won’t lose valuable brain space to
 trying to sort out what matters most.

 

Photo: © Tiramisu Studio, YFS Magazine
Photo: © Tiramisu Studio, YFS Magazine

 

6. Prioritize personal development

Is there an e-book you downloaded to your laptop months ago, but have yet to read? New market research to review? A TED Talk you’ve been meaning to watch? Layovers are a great time to explore low-key professional development opportunities. Another option? Try
 striking up a conversation with travelers around you in order to do some networking.

 

7. Neaten up

If you’ll be heading into a business meeting or connecting with a colleague immediately after touching down at your destination, take the time
 to make sure your appearance is on point. Head to the airport or lounge bathroom to comb your hair, brush your teeth, change your shirt, or whatever you need
 to do in order to look presentable.

 

If all else fails? Just relax and let your mind wander. Boredom and down time can actually enhance creative thinking—so you may find
 that the solution to a big challenge at work comes when you’re not actively trying to solve it.

 

This article has been edited and condensed.

Kenny Kline is the owner of JAKK Solutions, a NYC-based SEO company. He is a digital marketing expert, MBA, and serial entrepreneurial. When not in front of his computer, he can be found beekeeping, knitting, and being as Brooklyn as humanly possible. Connect with @thisbekenny on Twitter.

 

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