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How to Kill an Hour at the Airport

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Because you’re an amazing super-mom, you managed to get everyone packed, out the door, and to the airport in record time. The lines at security weren’t as long as you expected, so now you find yourself at the gate with excited, restless kids and over an hour before boarding. Not to worry – the Hilton Mom Voyage team has put together our best suggestions on what to do if you’ve got an hour to kill at the airport. Take a look at the list below and pull out the best tricks to suit your family.

At the gate:

  • Break out some new toys you bought just for the trip, or pack some old favorites.  Our team recommends bringing: a deck of cards, pick-up sticks, and pencils and paper for hangman, dots, drawing and other paper games.
  • Work off some of that energy by playing jump rope, red light/green light, or playing paper basketball into the nearest trashcan.
  • Look around you at the airplanes or play I Spy, the Alphabet Game, guess where other passengers are going or even find the person with the best (or worst) shoes.
  • Let technology distract the kids by breaking out a DVD, listening to audio books or a Playaway checked out from your local library. Take a virtual tour of a place you’re going on the trip, or simply let them play with your smart phone. GeoBee is one app we particularly recommend.
  • Sharpen your pencils and start planning your trip or reminiscing about where you’ve been. Plan your itinerary and write a list of things you want to do. Compose a letter to send to family or friends.  If you’re on your way home, have the kids write in a journal and describe the top 10 things they did on your vacation.
  • You can always take out a book that they can read on their own or you can cuddle up and read to them!

If you’re willing to let your kids roam the terminal or go with them, you can get even more adventurous in your effort to kill time before your flight:

  • Find the play area. Many airports have them. One of our team members got to the Buffalo airport an hour early and spent so much time with a toddler at the play area that her family almost missed their flight home!
  • Explore the shops. Go duty-free window shopping. Or, be extra-generous and give your kids $5 to pick out a souvenir or to buy a snack and a drink.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt in the terminal. Some things you can ask your kids to find are: a postcard, a piece of clothing, something electronic, the arrivals/departures board, the elevator, the escalator, and the bathroom.
  • While you’re at the bathroom, go ahead and use it if it’s close to your flight time.
  • Then examine the arrivals and departures board, discuss where you’ve been and dream about where you’ll go next!

We hope these air travel tips will save you when you find your family at the airport with nothing to do. Tell us which of these you’ve already done and share some tips of your own.

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Our Hilton Mom Voyage team members live throughout the U.S. and have traveled by air and car all over the world with their families!

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