Traveling, in general, isn’t fun. Sure, if you’re going on vacation, the journey is part of the trip so you may be able to concentrate on the good parts of the travel, rather than the rushing and delays and being squashed in a tin can like sardines for hours on end. And some airports have made the “airport experience” more interesting (and profitable) with enhanced shopping, dining and even personal services like massages available.
But there are a few airports around the world that have added some VERY different experiences…
Where: Changi Airport, Singapore
What: Butterfly Garden
We’ve written about Changi Airport before and it sounds like the ultimate place for unusual airport experiences. So there should be no surprise that Changi has the world’s first butterfly garden inside an airport – with over ONE THOUSAND butterflies, no less!
Where: Helsinki Airport, Finland
What: Go to a sauna
Saunas are a way of life in Finland, so having a co-ed sauna at the airport makes perfect sense. It’s intended for guests of Finnair’s business class lounge but you can also get a 3-hour pass for 48 Euros.
Where: Vancouver International Airport, Canada
What: Stare at Jellyfish
The Vancouver International Airport actually has two aquariums – a 114,000-litre main aquarium and a smaller 1,800-litre jellyfish aquarium. Jellyfish can oftentimes be dangerous…but not from the safety of looking at them from outside their tank ;-).
Where: Haneda Airport, Japan
What: Use an autonomous wheelchair
Airport travelers with limited mobility don’t have to rely on their travel mates or even porters to wheel them around at Haneda Airport. Panasonic has created an autonomous wheelchair system where they can put in their gate destination through a smartphone and the electric wheelchair will figure out the best route to get them there.
Where: San Francisco International Airport, USA
What: Hang out with a pig
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Grab some popcorn! 🍿It's movie time!!! My #wagbrigade buddy @tobythesfdoodle is showing off his slick moves too 😍💕🐽Thank you @intheknowbyaol and @aol for creating such a cute video! 🐽💕 – – – #sfpig #lilouthepig #lilou #therapypig @flysfo @sanfranciscospca #petpig #petstagram #petsofinstagram #pigstagram #pigsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #workingdog #stylishgirl #fashionmodel #airportfashion #airportstyle #traveldame #traveldiary @thedodo @buzzfeedanimals @reddit @theellenshow @abc7newsbayarea @ktvu2 #buzzfeedanimals #huffpostgram #smileambassador #pigambassador #therapyanimal #piglife #pigsarefriends #AnimalAssistedTherapy #travelblogger #travelbug
Several airports have therapy animals to help people chill when they’re stuck there for hours on end. But not all can boast having a therapy pig! Lilou is a Juliana breed of pig and she’s been making people at SFO feel better since 2013. She even has her own Instagram account! Anyway, you’ll find her trotting around with a PET ME sign.
Where: Munich Airport
What: Go surfing
Munich Airport Centre has put out a stationary wave pool every summer since 2011. There are classes for kids and adult beginner surfing lessons each day and then open sessions where the experts carve up the 1.5-metre wall of water. Besides annual competitions, each summer about 4000 people try their hand at surfing.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary