Although flights with layovers are generally less expensive than direct flights, many people will pay more to avoid the extra time spent in the airport. Is it possible to blame them? The prospect of spending several hours in an airport between flights is just marginally more appealing than a dentist appointment. And who wants to spend more time travelling than is absolutely necessary?
Despite their reputation as a means to an end, layovers don’t have to entail endless hours of monitoring the clock and anticipating the start of your holiday. In fact, a layover may be a memorable and, dare we say, enjoyable portion of your journey.
Let’s take a look at how you can manage your flight layovers.
Learn about the place that you are travelling to
Use the time wisely to find out more about the country or the city that you are travelling to. Find out about the history, the culture and brush up on your language skills. For example, if you are heading to Japan, you could learn Japanese with Memrise. Airports usually have some pretty decent bookstores for travel guides, although they can often be expensive. Pack a guidebook with you in your hand luggage.
Get a room
Most airports have cheap and cheerful hotels close by, so if your layover is a few hours, head to one and get a bit of shut-eye if you can, or at the very least have a quick shower and freshen up ready for the second leg of your journey. Just do not forget to set an alarm and make sure you leave plenty of time to get back over to the airport to check-in for your flight. Miss it and your layover will suddenly be an awful lot longer and more expensive!
Many airports have gyms or fitness areas for you to get a quick workout in while you wait. If not, find a quiet spot in the corner of the departures lounge, unroll your yoga mat and practise a few stretches. You might get some funny looks, but do you care? You are not going to see any of these people again!
Head out into the city
If you are an airport with good public transport connections and near to a city, head out of the airport for a few hours. It gives you the opportunity to visit somewhere new, have some food and stretch your legs while waiting for your connecting flight.
Play a board game
The chances are there will be lots of other people sitting around on their own waiting for the flight. Strike up a conversation with them and get out a board game to play – many of the popular board games are available in travel size, and it is a great way to bond with a stranger and pass the time for a few hours.
Your flight layover does not have to be a boring waste of time. Use it wisely and you can make it an enjoyable part of your trip.