Flight delays seem to be a part of air travel today, so you’ll need some innovative ways to fill your time. Here are 10 ideas to pass time at the airport (without having to pull your smartphone out of your pocket).

1. Explore the city

Depending on how long your delay is (and how close the airport is to town), you might be able to get out and have a quick look around. Many airports even offer free bus tours for passengers that will take them past all the major sites.

2. Or explore the airport

Airports aren’t what they used to be. In fact, many are practically cities in their own right! Have a look around and you will be amazed what you can find – movie theatres, spas, gardens, libraries, playgrounds and more.

3. Grab something to eat

Would you believe that celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and Wolfgang Puck now operate airport restaurants? The quality of food in airports has increased dramatically over recent years, so you can spend your time on a great meal.

4. Take a nap

This will depend on how comfortable you are with sleeping in public, but most airports have a lot of quiet hidey holes that you can seek out. Use your carry on or your coat as a pillow, set your alarm (you don’t want to miss your flight) and catch a few Zs.

5. Buy a new book

Airports reliably have great bookstores, so grab yourself the latest bestseller or a classic you’ve always wanted to read and settle in for the wait. We think that time spent reading is never time wasted.

6. Do some exercise

Plane travel means sitting still in a small space for hours at a time, so take this opportunity to get moving. This can be a simple walk around the terminal or outside, or you can find a quiet space and do some stretching. Some airports even have gyms, yoga rooms or jogging tracks for passengers to use.

7. Hit the shops

Frustrated at the delay? Retail therapy can do wonders for your mood. Airports are a great place to get new release makeup or perfumes, high tech electronics or fashion accessories like handbags and sunglasses at a great price.

8. Splurge on lounge access

At a number of airports you can pay a relatively small fee (usually less than $50) and access one of the exclusive priority lounges. Facilities will vary, but you can expect free food and drinks, wi-fi, televisions, books and magazines, and showers. Think of it as a little treat for having to put up with a delay.

9. Find the airport hotel

If your delay is going to be a long one, it might be worth checking into the airport hotel for a few hours. Many will offer special rates for a day or part thereof, so for a reasonable price you can have a shower, watch some TV and even have a nap in a proper bed.

10. Meet new people

Remember when we used to be able to strike up conversations with people in real life? Without the aid of a smartphone? Now’s a great time to bring it back. Others from your flight will be in the same position as you, so you’ve already got some common ground.

Image credit: Shutterstock

This article first appeared on Over60