Lengthy layovers often are considered one of the biggest pain points of travel. Instead of wasting time scrolling Facebook or browsing the magazine rack at the bookstore, make your layover an enjoyable part of your trip.

Exercise on the fly.

A long layover is the perfect time to burn off the calories from those in-flight peanuts and pretzels. Many airports are offering designated spaces for health-conscious travelers to move and unwind. Airport Gyms provides an online listing of fitness facilities in and around major airports across the United States and Canada. Each listing includes details on the facility’s location, hours of operation, cost and amenities. 

Airport yoga rooms also are becoming increasingly popular as travelers look for ways to reduce stress. Most rooms are free and open to the public for self-reflection and practicing yoga. The Yoga Studio at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DWF) offers complimentary practice mats, exercise balls and stretch bands to use, along with 20-minute instructional videos for beginners and advanced yogis. San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Midway Airport (MDW) and Miami International Airport (MIA) also have designated areas at which to find your post-TSA Zen.

Make it a destination.

Layovers can leave you smack in the middle of some of the greatest cities on earth. Use your downtime at the airport to discover a new city or attraction. Plan out a rough itinerary in advance and find out what kind of transportation you’ll need to take to and from the airport. Many airports offer fast and affordable transportation around the cities in which they serve. Focus on a single attraction or neighborhood, and allow plenty of time for traffic. Thrillist published a list of the 14 best U.S. airports for getting into the city.

If you’re traveling abroad, WOW air offers a stopover option in Iceland to give travelers the chance to break up long-haul journeys across the Atlantic. There’s no additional charge, and you can cover a lot of ground in 24 hours. Tokyo also offers free tours run by local guides who get you safely to and from the airport during stopovers or long layovers. The three-hour tour stops in Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple, one of Japan’s most famous tourist destinations.

Sweet dreams.

Flights cancellations and weather delays can turn travel plans upside-down. Whether you’re facing an unplanned overnight in the airport, recovering from an early-morning flight or planning to catch up on some sleep during your long layover, SleepinginAirports.com is a valuable resource for drowsy travelers. Read traveler reviews, discover airport sleeping tips and explore airport guides to find out what services and facilities are available. Just don’t expect a king-size bed.

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