Most people prefer to fly to their destination directly or to have as short a layover as possible. A long layover can be beneficial if you love experiencing different cities and cultures. Not only are flights with a layover usually cheaper than direct flights, but it also gives you an opportunity to explore an additional city for a few hours. If you want to know how to make the most of a layover, read on for more details.
Preparation is key to make the most of your layover. Make sure you know how long your layover is and what is available in the airport and city of your layover.
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Inside the airport
There are many ways to spend a layover, but your options will depend on how long your layover is. If you were wondering what to do during a layover, here are some ideas.
Explore the airport
If you have a short layover (shorter than 5 hours), the best place way to spend it would be to explore the airport. Some airports offer a lovely array of things to see and do, such as Singapore’s Changi Airport with a Butterfly Garden and other items to while away your time. Typically, things to do in an airport include exploring the restaurants and shopping scene inside the airport – there may just be something new for you to experience.
Relax in an airport lounge
If the airport does not offer much entertainment, rather spend a few hours in a lounge. Explore the different foods on offer, have a drink, and relax. You can watch movies, do research for your final destination, or get some work done.
Get sleep in an airport hotel
If you had a night flight and your layover is in the middle of the night, you may want to check into one of the airport hotels to get some sleep. Most airports offer a range of hotels to suit everyone’s budget and time constraints. Getting enough sleep before arriving at your final destination may be a good idea if you will arrive early in your final destination and may only be able to check into your hotel in the late afternoon, meaning you need to explore the city before being able to rest.
Have a spa break
If none of these options appeal to you, see if there are spa facilities available. What is better than getting a full-body massage or pedicure while you wait for your final flight. It will relax you and before you know it, it will be time to board the plane to your final destination.
Get some exercise
Being stuck in a plane for several hours can make you feel stiff and uncomfortable. Find a gym inside the airport or simply take a long walk to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing.
Explore the city
Many people wonder if you can leave the airport during a layover. Yes, you can! If you have a long layover, that is, longer than 5 hours and the airport is not too far from the city, one of the nicest ways to spend a layover is by exploring the city in your layover destination. Find storage for your hand luggage and use public transport to get into the city quickly. If you have prepared sufficiently, you will know what the city offers in terms of sightseeing, food, and tours.
Some countries have special offers for people on a layover. Singapore, for example, offers a free half-day tour if you are on a layover in Singapore. This is a great way to explore the city and learn about it without spending much money. If it is a city you have never been to before, it gives you the opportunity to see if you would like to return one day for a more in-depth exploration.
If I had flown directly to my destination, I would never have discovered the sights and sounds of Madrid during my layovers. Spending a few hours exploring Madrid was much better than arriving early to Basel, a destination I had been to several times.
Factors to consider when planning to explore a layover city
There are some cities that are easier to explore during a layover than others:
- Exploring a city is easier if there are quick and fast public transportation options from the airport.
- The airport must not be too far from the city. Seoul is about an hour from the airport, a layover of shorter than a day would make it difficult to quickly visit Seoul and be back in time for your final flight.
- If the sights in the city are far from each other, you may have to choose one or two sights only instead of several.
- Excellent public transport facilities can make a layover exploration much more enjoyable as it can get you to many places quickly and cheaply.
- If your layover is during the night, city exploration may not be possible unless it is one of the cities that never sleep. But even in those cities, your exploration options may be limited.
I love layovers and I will always try to take a flight with a long layover. It saves me money and I can make the most of a layover by seeing a new city or sight, it is definitely worth it for me!
How about you – do you like layovers? What do you do during a long layover?