It is a sad fact that when you travel by air these days, flight delays and cancelations seem to happen more frequently than they used to. This sucks especially for business travellers, who spend more time in airports than the majority of the population. Being stuck in an airport can be a total bore, but there are ways to elevate the experience and kill time at the airport. Here’s how to make the most of the time you spend stranded in terminals.

Go for a great meal. While, admittedly, many airports have terrible dining options, this isn’t always the case. At Vancouver International Airport (YVR) you’ll find the standard chain restaurants that fill airports across North America, but there’s also an outpost of locals favourite Vera’s Burger Shack at gate C46, and located inside the Fairmont Vancouver Airport (before security) you’ll find award winning upscale dining at Globe@YVR. There’s a bunch of decent restaurants at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. At London’s Gatwick Airport, Jamie Oliver has a restaurant, whereas at Heathrow Gordon Ramsay has his. Not sure whether there’s anywhere worth eating where you’re stranded? Ask a flight attendant or staff member if there’s anywhere better on-site to grab a bite. 

Work out. Getting some physical exercise is a great way to kill time and boost your mood (as well as your heart rate). Gyms having satellite locations in airports is a cool new trend, and most of these offer gear and shoe rental for a very reasonable fee. This blog has a great listing of airports with gyms, yoga rooms, running tracks, and more, both in Canada and in other locations around the world.

Buy cool gifts. Depending on where you are, you might be able to knock a bunch of people off your holiday gift list through shopping at the airport. Some airports, such as Halifax International (YVR) or Calgary (YYC) have carts showcasing local artisans if you’re looking for something unique, and plenty of bigger airports sport a range of designer boutiques.

Indulge yourself with a spa treatment. For the uninitiated, it might seem strange to have a massage or manicure right there on the concourse, but once the treatment starts, you won’t care where you are. Bonus: You’ll arrive at your destination looking relaxed and refreshed, unlike the dweebs who just waited at the gate checking their phones incessantly.

Work on yourself. Instead of aimlessly surfing the net, walk over to the bookstore and pick up a business or life improvement book and read it. We could all do with being smarter, more effective at what we do, and happier, so why not invest a little time into that process?

Aim for inbox zero. When you’re stuck somewhere incredibly dull, with no amenities to take advantage of, set yourself the goal of either dealing with, or deleting, all those emails that have been cluttering up your inbox. And while you’re at it, unsubscribe from all those newsletters and e-blasts that you never read too (but not ours obviously, our newsletter is awesome).