Vacation is something we all look forward to and if you’ve planned a far-off trip it can be extra exciting. However, one thing that can really bring down the fun of travelling is an overlong stay in an airport. Sometimes when you look for those cheaper airline tickets you do so in sacrificing a speedy travel, causing you to have to deal with long layovers between flights. These can be a real pain in the neck, but while it may not be the most ideal way to travel, there are ways you can make your next lengthy layover a lot more tolerable.
Know your travel plan.
While keeping your own sanity and getting the most out of your layover is important, the first and foremost concern on you mind should be your next flight. No matter how long you might have before your next flight, you should immediate figure out where you need to be and when to catch your connecting flight. What is your gate? Are you in the right terminal? Do you need to pick-up your luggage? Figure out all these important questions before you set out on your layover adventure.
Explore the airport.
Once you know where you need to go, you can set about exploring the rest of what the airport has to offer. I know, airports are not generally regarding as the most entertaining place to be but some of them have a lot of cool stuff to offer. I’ve been in airports that have gyms, art galleries and even movie theatres to help travellers pass the time in between flights. Of course, there’s also the possibility that your layover airport will have nothing to offer except the usual bookstores and food court, but walking around and exploring is a great way to kill time before having to get on another long flight.
Look into joining the VIP lounge.
While adding expenses to your travel is probably the last thing you want to do, it might be worth it to look into your VIP lounge options if you’re looking at a long layover. While some of the prices might be a bit extravagant for just a little bit of comfort, it is nonetheless a tempting offer. These lounges can offer you a place to nap, sometimes shower or just unwind and relax away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. Not in the cards for ever traveller but worth a look regardless.
Have a meal, but take it easy on the booze.
Whenever time permits during a layover, it’s a great idea to go get a nice meal. Try as they might, the airline food on flights is not always the most appetizing, so it’s best to go into your next flight with a full stomach. There’s usually a good amount of choices for a nice sit-down meal whatever airport you might be at, and while you should fill up on food, be wise about your alcohol consumption. Too often the airport bar spells trouble during layovers. Travellers pass the time with a few drinks and by the time their flight is boarding, their unfit to fly. Have a drink or two but don’t overdo it or your whole trip could be ruined.
A good idea for any flight, regardless of the length, is to bring your own entertainment along with you. bring a few good page-turner books, pack you iPad or laptop with a bunch of great movies, have an endless supply of songs and podcasts to listen to. These won’t be able to fill the time for those extra long layovers, but they are certainly a great way to kill a few hours.
A layover is not only for finding ways to make the time pass quickly. It can also be an opportunity to actually get things done. No one like to do work on vacation but if you’re stuck in an airport, why not strike a few things from your to-do list? It can be as simple as planning out your itinerary for the rest of the trip, or diving into your actual work. It’s a great chance to get anything done that might distract from your actual vacation time. If you’re on your way back home after vacation, use the time to get a head start on the work for when you return, because it usually piles up pretty quickly.
Check for other flights.
Of course, if you really want, you can see about skipping the layover altogether. Once you arrive at the airport and get your bearings, looking into possibly changing your flight. Last minute openings or changes in flight schedule can get you a more manageable flight time without any extra cost. You could get bumped up, leaving less time to hangout in the airport. Or you could get your flight pushed later, allowing you to explore the city or at least get a motel to crash in. There are no guarantees things will work out in your favour but it’s certainly worth a try.