If you had no idea, then let me explain about the amazing concept of stopovers but I will explain a little about layovers first. A layover is a destination where you change flights before going to your final destination. It is usually automatically offered through airlines’ websites OR booking sites that book tickets from different airlines into one flight itinerary.
Unfortunately, most travellers accept their layover(s) by unknowingly staying in the airport and waiting for the next flight to their final destination.
Why don’t I just go straight to the final destination without a layover? I’m sure you feel that having a layover can be a waste of time because you more likely can’t get out to explore due to insufficient time.
Now, imagine if you had a layover at Dubai? Don’t you want to check out these amazing skyscrapers? How about a few days in Tokyo en route to India? Don’t you want to take a ski day in Austria? Take a rest at a beach somewhere warm and sunny?
The point is… What if you’re stopping by a city that you would totally love to explore? What if you passed a place you’ve always wanted to visit? I mean if you going to stop by a popular city and you can’t get out of the airport because you don’t have the time. I bet that kind of makes you feel like your money is a little bit wasted that way because you could have checked that country off your bucket list.
Sometimes you get lucky and get a full day in my layover, so you can get out of the airport and explore the city, but with some stress with time. You have to make sure you return in time for my next flight.
Most of the time all different flight itineraries offer layovers in different destinations other than the origin and final destinations. Therefore, you should look into the destinations of the layovers to decide your flight because who knows it could be a city you’d want to explore before going to your final destination.
So here are some tips to make the best use of your layover
- Explore the city: Find tourist attractions close enough to the airport.If this is the case, you will be able to take in some sightseeing if time permits. Before leaving, find out how long it will take to see specific attractions. Many airports are connected by direct trains or buses, so you can avoid expensive cab fares.
Eat Like a King: Airport food is notoriously bad (albeit a step above the gruel they serve on airplanes), but there are definitely some exceptions to this rule. Select airport eateries offer genuine gourmet cuisine, from locally inspired classics to luxurious dishes. Stranded in JFK? Skip the KFC Express and head to La Vie, a French cafe that serves sophisticated fare like sauteed prawns Provencal and sole meuniere. There’s a popular Legal Sea Foods restaurant at Boston Logan Airport where travellers can get the same fresh fruits de la mer as those served downtown.
Work Out: If you’re not shy about folding into downward dog in public, pack a yoga mat and work on your positions at the airport. A few minutes of deep breathing and stretching is a fantastic way to get your blood flowing after a flight. Check your airport’s website to see if it offers a yoga or fitness area. San Francisco International Airport offers two dedicated fee-free yoga rooms in Terminals 2 and 3, while Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has a meditation centre that’s available to travellers at no cost.
Or you could simply just watch the interesting characters that would be going round the airport, have a seat in a public area and see what other travellers are doing. Talk to people, but only if they seem open to it. A good chat will make time fly, and you might even make lasting connections.
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