These days, traveling often means spending lots of time in an airport--to deal with security, make a connecting flight or wait out a delay. Instead of wasting money on calorie-laden snacks, tacky T-shirts and other tchotchkes, pack this guide for ideas on how to make the most of layovers at six of busiest hubs.
Since Vancoluver is a transfer point for East (and some West) Coast travelers en route to Pacific-region destinations, use layover time to referesh with a little spa relaxation. Work out those flight-induced kinks and knots at the Health Club at The Fairmont Vancouver Airport (day passes start at $10), which is located right inside the International Terminal. Here you'll find high-tech fitness equipment, a whirpool, saunas, and a full-service spa which offers luxurious treatments like hydrotherapy and body scrubs.
A jumping off point for many Asian destinations, Tokyo's Narita Airport will literally you to jump in bed! In this "hideaway," you can rent DVD players, video cameras and cellphones from various airport-approved vendors in the two international terminals. Those who want to relax can choose from dayrooms (with beds for serious nappage!), shower cubicles and day spas located throughout the busy hub. There's even a pet hotel, should you have brought along Fido--and now he's in need of a bath.
Paris layovers are the perfect opportunity for some tres chic shopping, non? There are some things that you can only score in this luxurious city--and scoring an exclusive perfume is one of them. The Aelia Parfums Cosmetiques stores located in both Terminals One and Two are the only places you can pick up Guerlain's Vol de Nuit Evasion. The spicy scent, specifically blended for travelers, features notes of bergamot, jasmine and peach with a top of tuberose and woody vanilla.
This bustling international airport feels oh-so-civilized. You can browse through the wallets, carryalls and hobo bags at the luxury leather specialist (and fashion fave) Mulberry. For brides who blew their budget on wedding decor rather than personal goodies, there's plenty of affordable finery at the ubiquitious Boots The Chemists. You'll want to see if they've restocked their perennially sold-out No. 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum, the antiaging serum that caused a major stir throughout Europe. Then toast your shopping savvy with a glass of champage and an ounce of Beluga at The Caviar House Seafood Bar--there's an outpost in every terminal.
If you're headed to Mexico or other points south of the U.S., it's a pretty good bet you'll pass through this modernist city within a city. This hub is the perfect his and hers spot. Workaholics can catch on up email via the airport-wide WiFi system, but if you want to disconnect, head to the XpresSpa in Terminal D. Try a stress-relieving head massage or get a foot and leg massage to help boost circulation and combat bloating traditionally caused by flying. You can also go for a dip to cool down at the Airport Marriot's pool, which has direct access from any of the airport's five terminals. You can also upgrade from usual food-court fare by sharing a romantic dinner (and a steak!) at the hotel's CK Revolving Restaurant.
Connections to Europe, Africa and the Middle East almost always happen here, and the airport knows how to keep its guests entertained. The stress of the wedding will feel far away as you and your new hubby recoup all the costs with some gambling. Try a hand of blackjack, place a bet on the roulette wheel or take a spin on the slots at the Airport Casino. The area itself has many monitors throughout to ensure you board promptly. Feeling hungry? Just hit the Tegut Supermarket grocery on Terminal One's lower level to pick up freshly-baked bread, warm soft pretzels and delicious deli meats, without the sky-high costs often associated with airport eateries.