After a decade of on-again-off-again world travel, I racked up a pretty high count in my tally of “how many airports have I been in?


The amazing thing is, I always enjoy my experience. Sure, there were a few horror stories here and there, but there’s something special about being in an airport.

The place is alive. Moving. Full of hope, opportunity, diversity, excitement, joy … and a few darker emotions too.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. Here’s my buddy Stephen with his recommendations for the best airports to get stuck at.

Along with his article are photos of my son, Bodhi, experiencing it all through the wonder of a child. 

 

bodhi-carrie-skytran-sfo
Sometimes, when you’ve got a long delay and a toddler, all there is to do is ride the SkyTran for a loop or two

 

Being stuck at an airport waiting for a connection to your final destination is pretty much the worst thing that can happen while traveling the world. After all, airports are known for being not only expensive as hell but also pretty boring, built not to entertain tired travelers but to ensure they can reach their destination quickly and efficiently. And no matter if it’s one of the most celebrated airports of the year, an airport is just an airport. Except this is not always true. Some airports come with extras that can make being stuck there a pretty enjoyable experience.

. . .

Changi Airport in Singapore

If you get stuck at the Changi Airport in Singapore, you will have the chance to relax your mind hurt by hours of being stuck in a metal box in the sky by getting out in nature and still be within the reach of your terminal.

Bodhi's first flight: SFO to JFK - 6 hours long
Bodhi’s first flight: SFO to JFK – 6 hours long

Among the Changi’s terminals, you’ll find pockets of nature accessible through the airport’s Sky Trains: a Cactus Garden near Terminal 1, and a Sunflower Garden along with an Orchid Garden near Terminal 2. Not to mention the airport’s Butterfly Garden, a beautiful and educational experience for adults and children alike.

. . .

Zurich Airport

If all your extremities are numb after spending hours upon hours flying, you’ll be relieved to arrive at the Zurich Airport. The airport has a vast recreational area around it where you can bike, skate and walk – the latter must be something of a challenge, too, as you can rent Nordic walking poles right at the airport. Not everyone (or, I guess, pretty much nobody) travels with a bike in the cargo hold, so you can rent one (or an inline skate) right at the airport. And the prices are very friendly, too – renting a bike for a day, complete with a helmet and other protective gear will only cost you around $30 for a day.

. . .

SFO

Last but not least, here is one set of amenities for those in love with yoga. The San Francisco International Airport has thought of many things the travelers might need while there, from animal relief areas (basically places where pets and service animals can ease themselves without having to leave the facility) to a Reflection Room where passengers can take some time to meditate to DVD and DVD player rentals, nap rooms, showers, spas, workstations for busy travelers, therapy animals, and two yoga rooms complete with mirrors and mats so that those willing to stretch good after a few long hours spent on board a flying metal box. With all these amenities, the SFIA seems to be one of the best airports to be stuck at for a few hours.

Bodhi looks out at San Francisco International Airport
Bodhi looks out at San Francisco International Airport