After a week long trip to the Middle East I am here in Dulles International Airport as I make my way back home to Jacksonville, Florida.

I of course have everything I need to manage this lengthy (5 1/2 hours) layover including my netbook, wireless Internet access and even my Blackjack II with a full data plan to read my email and send tweets.

That got me thinking back to the days when we did not have wireless Internet and cell phones and so I posed this question to the Twitter Community:


Within minutes I had a couple of replies from @sboots, @Area224 and @vb508 who mentioned some old stalwarts such as magazines, newspapers, pay phones and yes even your token airport bar or lounge. I remember standing in line for a payphone to make that quick call home – now the banks of phones just sit empty most of the time.

Everyone of those things were right on the mark.  Many are still around today but I am not sure which is winning out.  Walk into an airport with free WiFi and it seems as if every person with a laptop has it open and connected.  If the airport has WiFi but it is a pay service then you will likely see less folks connected and that will depend on their layover time.  Is it worth $7 to connect for 30 minutes and a better deal for a 2, 3 or 4 hour layover?  Actually neither should be considered a good deal because that price is normally good for 24 hours of being connected.

Books, magazines and papers must still be a very viable option for travelers as well otherwise all of these bookstores in airport terminals would need a bail out.  They have even got creative to encourage book purchases by offering a trade in program that gives you credit towards a new book and they in turn have a slightly used book to mark down and sell again to a new set of eyes.

Ultimately I does not really matter how you chose to pass your travel time – everyone will do what they do no matter what I write or what anyone else thinks.  That is the beauty isn’t it? Our choices have increased to provide options for every person who travels.

Pick what suits you and do your thing.