The World's 13 Best Airports for De-Stressing

iStock.com/LightFieldStudios
iStock.com/LightFieldStudios

Airports are not places that are generally associated with wellness. Between long security lines, hard-backed chairs, and incessant announcements, many of the world's busiest airports seem like they were actually designed with traveler discomfort in mind. These transit hubs don’t have to be so anxiety-inducing, though.

Netflights, a website that finds travelers the best airfare deals, has gathered up some data to rank the best airports for wellness in the world, and a few of them are in U.S. cities. The travel company started out with 25 of the world’s busiest airports, then ranked them by the number and quality of wellness facilities they offer, including everything from running tracks to spas to meditation rooms.

Wellness is a rising trend in travel, and many airports around the world have been revamped to meet this consumer demand. “Along with incredible shopping and a wide choice of places to eat and drink, it’s natural that more of them should now also reflect the general impetus toward people maintaining a healthy lifestyle wherever they are, with an increasingly broad range of gyms, studios, or places of worship and reflection,” Andrew Shelton, Netflights's managing director, said in a statement.

Number one on the list is Germany’s Frankfurt Airport, which is the eighth busiest airport in the world—but also one of the most comfortable. Netflights gave the airport an overall score of 21 out of 23 possible points, thanks in part to its designated “Quiet Room” and its “silent chairs” (which have integrated speakers and jacks so you can play your own music and are located throughout the facility). The airport also offers massage services and has two yoga rooms with instruction videos, which can be used free of charge.

Since Netflights ranked 25 of the busiest airports, some of the ones at the bottom of the list are not ideal places for rest and relaxation (especially LAX, which received a score of zero). Below, we’ve listed a ranking of the airports with above-average wellness facilities that received a score of at least 12 from Netflights.

  1. Frankfurt Airport, Germany
  1. Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
  1. Dubai International Airport, UAE
  1. Changi Airport, Singapore
  1. Hong Kong International Airport, China
  1. (tied) Vancouver International Airport, Canada
  1. (tied) John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
  1. Haneda Airport, Tokyo
  1. (tied) San Francisco International Airport, California
  1. (tied) Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada
  1. (tied) Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
  1. (tied) O'Hare International Airport, Chicago
  1. (tied) Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, India

You can find Netflights's full rankings here.

This Convenient, Comfortable Travel Pillow Doesn’t Wrap Around Your Neck

Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images
Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images

If an angry bit of airplane turbulence has recently whammed your forehead into the window, you probably have the bruises to prove that sleeping on the go can be a dangerous game. Though neck pillows can offer some security, not everyone’s a fan—some people can’t sleep totally upright, some don’t think it provides enough support, and others simply don’t like the feeling of a plush toilet seat curled around their necks.

For those people, there’s the Ostrich Pillow Mini, a tiny, oblong pillow into which you slip your hand, forearm, or elbow, depending on what’s most comfortable for you. It will stay in place and protect your head from airplane turbulence in a way that no balled-up, threadbare hoodie ever could, but it’s not just for those lucky winners (or purchasers) of window seats. You can use the pillow wherever you might be inclined to rest your head on top of your arms, including plane or train trays, piles of library books, and office desks. One Amazon customer even used the pillows as elbow pads to protect himself from unforgivingly hard arm rests.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

Since the Ostrich Pillow Mini essentially works as an extension of your arm, you don’t have to stay stone-still while you sleep. As Travel + Leisure’s Claudia Fisher puts it, “Sometimes, I even wake up from a nap to discover I’ve shifted in my sleep but brought my little arm pillow with me to support my head in its new spot.”

In addition to its main opening, the pillow has two other holes. One is a small, finger-sized opening through which you slide your thumb if you’re keeping the pillow on your hand. The other is a larger hole at the other end, through which you slide your hand if you want the pillow to stay on your forearm or elbow.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

It’s compact enough that you can easily fit it into your carry-on bag, backpack, or briefcase, and understated enough that you can power nap in public without drawing attention to yourself. The outer layer is light gray, and the inner layer comes in Midnight Grey, Blue Reef, or Sleepy Blue. You can order it for $35 from Amazon.

Check out some other ways to make flying more comfortable here.

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How to Book Your Dream Vacation Now and Pay Later

grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images
grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images

Many websites make booking travel fast, cheap, and easy—but when it comes time to hit purchase, they still expect you to pay for your trip upfront. Outside of sweepstakes and dream jobs, paying for your ideal vacation is unavoidable, but a new feature from CheapAir.com makes it a little less painful. As Yahoo! reports, the online travel agency now lets customers book all the parts of their trip—including hotels and airfare—and pay for them in installments.

If you're fantasizing about a vacation you can't afford to take at this point in your life, you can take care of the logistics now and worry about paying for everything later. The new CheapAir.com feature works differently from most online booking services: Instead of paying for the components as you go, you set up a budget with the website at the start of the process. Once your budget is confirmed, you're given 21 days to plan your trip through the site. The cost of everything you book is subtracted from your budget, and CheapAir.com shows you what funds you have left so you don't pay more than you set out to spend.

After scheduling and booking your travel, CheapAir.com gives you up to a year to pay for your trip. You can break up the total cost of your bill into three, six, or 12 monthly installments at a 10 to 30 percent annual percentage rate. And before signing up for anything through the service, you must go through a quick credit approval process to qualify.

CheapAir.com is one of the latest travel websites that lets users book their trips now and pay for them later. Expedia also has a bill installment option if you're booking rooms and tickets that cost $200 or more, and some airlines, like American Airlines and British Airways, allow you to set up a payment plan through them directly.

[h/t Yahoo!]

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