For passionate travellers, it’s always a great feeling when you’re already on your way to your destination, regardless of how long the flight is or how far the country is. In fact, most of the time, the level of excitement that travellers get is directly proportional to how far the country is. The only “dreadful” thing about far countries though, is the possibility of several long layovers for the planes to refuel while you sit and wait in the airport constantly looking at your watch to strike at your ETD.
But I say, why not make the most out of your layover? You’re in a country that you’ve probably never been to before and in a country that was definitely not in your itinerary…
The airport you’re waiting at can be interesting. If luckily that is the case, explore the airport, you can do some last minute shopping. Sometimes I like to grab my laptop and get some work done. I’ll do some blogging or setup a new wordpress theme. There may be some TV lounge you can relax while watching a movie. Before you know it you may already be making the most of your time!
Double and triple check how much time you have during your layover. Instead of wasting away in the cold, busy, and expensive airport, if there is enough time and no visa is required, why not go out and explore the country of your layover? Anything beyond 3 hours, I think, gives you enough time to at least take a good look outside the premises of the airport and experience a bit of the country. Next, go to the information counter and ask for maps and suggestions on nearby places you can go to, how to get there, and what to do. Changing currency might also be necessary depending on where you are and can already be done in the airport. Once you’re all set, it’s time to go and explore! Most airports have shuttles or public transportation systems that can take you to the nearest city from there. Since you don’t have much time to go around, you’d also have limited activities to do. I find that the simplest yet undoubtedly fun things to do if you’re time is very limited can either be just walking around the area and enjoying the sights and sounds of the place or eating the country’s most famous dishes or delicacies which is always an interesting pass-time.
Of course if you have a lot more time then by all means try other things as well! Go shopping, hop on the next bus or train to see more places, go people watching, take snapshots, or anything you can think of as long as the time permits.
Make sure you know exactly how to get back to the airport and give yourself more than enough time so you won’t miss your flight. Always take into consideration that you’d have to through security, immigration, and all those other stops before you get to your gate so a little extra time allotment might just mean everything as every second counts.
Layovers don’t always have to be boring and useless. In fact, if given enough time, it might just be that extra dash of flavour that makes your travel experience a whole lot more interesting! So the next time you see a layover schedule in your itinerary, I suggest you get creative and start thinking of ways to make the most out of it.