How To Survive a Long Layover at an Airport


credit to photo - FLICKR

Every traveler, who travels to further countries, has surely experienced this at least once. You are flying to your dream vacation spot, you can´t sleep because of excitement, however all of sudden you have there several hours which you have to kill somehow in order to not die because of boredom. Layover. It might be short or long, but I´m probably not the only one who thinks there could be better ways how to wait for connecting flight than be stuck at an airport. Anyway, if you plan your layover in advance, you can change it in something more pleasant and bearable.

1. Research the layover airport and city

Do some research and find what all you can find at the airport, including shops, restaurants, cafe and other activities. Many airports offer even other things, for example playing zone for kids, sleeping cabins, hotels and much more. Also don´t forget to see if there is a possibility of some tours around the city you are in, because it might be another chance how to discover other part of the world and not wait all the time at the airport. You might print a map of the airport as well, so you don´t get lost while searching for a restaurant or your gate.

2. Explore the airport or city

If your layover is shorter than a few hours, exploring the airport might be a good option how to kill some time. Just keep wandering all around, discover all gates, check a board of arrivals and departures, visit shops, restaurants or cafes. You might leave your suitcase or backpack at luggage storage so you don´t have to carry it everywhere with you and enjoy some movement. In case the airport is near the city centre and you have enough of time to get out and back, just do it. There is nothing better than breathing fresh air and get out of the closed space for a while.

3. Read a book or watch movies

I hear many people complaining about not having enough of time to read books, watch movies or favorite series. Well, the layover is a great opportunity. Just grab the book you have always wanted to read and dive into the pages. Same with movies or series. If you are fan of popular trilogy, but you missed the last sequel, this is your time to make it up. Put it in your tablet or notebook and make your waiting a bit more amusing.

credit to photo - FLICKR

4. Take a nap

Traveling may be quite exhausting, especially if you are flying over several time zones or you have to change more than one connecting flight. Then a short nap can seem like a good option to get energy for next journey, because sleeping in plane is usually not so easy. Only problem is probably keeping an eye on your backpack, in case you are traveling alone. If happens you have friends around you, ask them to watch the backpack while you take the nap. On the other hand, the airports in bigger cities usually have places which you can book and rest there, mostly for overnight stay. I booked a hotel only 15 minutes away from airport while I had overnight layover in Istanbul and I definitely recommend doing same, because after long flight, there is nothing better than taking a hot shower and sleeping in comfortable bed.

5. Eat Drink Dress Up

It´s very important to keep yourself hydrated and in good condition. The airports usually have restaurants and snack bars, so if you are hungry or thirsty, head over there and take a meal. Your body might be stressed out and not taking care of it while moving from one place to another would be not very good for your health. I know that airlines offer food and beverages during flight, but a long layover is long layover and you can´t keep yourself starving and being dehydrated. Another thing is to choose the right pieces of clothes. It doesn´t matter that you are leaving from sunny California and the sweater is just a waste of your free place in the carry luggage, but when you step out in chilly and rainy London, you will be grateful for it. Keep in mind that temperatures are lower at night and weather is different in various parts of world, so pack your clothes to your carry luggage wisely. Also think about a comfort during the flight and rather wear leggings or sweatpants with over sized top/sweatshirt than skinny jeans and tight t-shirt. You comfort is more important than how stylish you are looking.

6. Use lounges

Lounges are probably one of the best options airports can offer. The only negative thing about most of lounges is probably their "VIP status", because most of lounges are only for special frequent flyers and owned by certain airlines. Lounges can offer many services, for example free WiFi access, bars, sofas to rest on or some even offer showers. Membership costs as much as several hundreds dollars a year, so unless you travel often, it´s probably not worth it. However, there are some lounges you can enter and stay in for quite inexpensive fee, but you better try and check the layover airport first for more information.
And if you don´t find it, check - Priority Pass - it is a great website which allows you to reserve a stay in their lounges in more than 100 countries for quite cheap prices.

These are only a few tips, how to get most of your layover and don´t be bored while waiting. Remember to pack things you will definitely need during it, such as chargers for phone and notebook, additional clothes, book or blanket. Before you get through security and passport control, check if you have packed your wallet, passport and other important documents. It is always better to find out you forgot it in car and run for it there before departure, than start panic attack during the flight.

Have you ever experienced a long layover? How did you spend it? 

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