Long layover flights are inevitable sometimes. If you are travelling on a budget, you may find yourself settling for a longer flight just to save some bucks to spend on your trip.
If you have good company, dealing with a long layover may be quite easy, but what happens when you are travelling all by yourself with no one to share and spend your time with?
Here are a few tips you should remember next time you have a long layover.
Ask Questions Before Purchasing Your Ticket
Before purchasing your ticket, it is important to confirm your flight itinerary which will include your departure and arrival time, your transit airport, as well as the duration of layover. This will enable you decide firsthand whether it is an inconvenience you can handle.
You should also ask questions from your ticketing agent or call the airline directly if you have any questions concerning your flight. Most airlines provide accommodation for their transit passengers in case of overnight layovers but you should confirm this before you purchase your ticket to avoid any disappointments.
Enquire About Your Transit Airport
Some airports sure have it all. Choosing your transit airport can make the difference between having an easy layover or a terrible one. Some airports have in the transit area, free and paid bathrooms, hotel accommodation, wellness facilities (such as a spa and gym), prayer rooms, children’s play area, free WiFi access, restaurants and bars, duty free shopping etc.
You should enquire about the facilities in your transit airport to enable you plan ahead.
Pack An Extra Outfit
Your carry-on bag should have an extra outfit so you can freshen up before you proceed to your boarding gate. I always pack a miniature travel toiletry bag in my carry-on bag.
More often than not I would check into an airport transit hotel to shower and rest for a bit but where i am unable to do so, then i use the public bathrooms. Some facilities may require payment while others may be free of charge.
Read A Book
Reading an interesting book is one of the best ways to pass time. If you forget to pack one, you can always buy at the airport as most airports have duty free book stores where you can find varieties of books to purchase.
Watch A Movie Or Your Favorite TV Series
Travelling can be a great time to catch up on movies or TV programs you missed. You can download these movies on your device and watch them offline while waiting for your connecting flight and you would notice how short and easy your layover would seem. This is a fantastic way to pass time during a long layover.
Shop Duty Free
Note that you do not need to buy everything you fancy, as a matter of fact you do not need to buy anything at all.
You should understand that shopping duty free doesn’t necessarily mean it is cheaper than what you may find in the city. Most items are actually overpriced.
Do not be deceived by promo offers where you “buy 3 and get 1 free”… you may be paying more even with the freebie. Ensure whatever you are buying is necessary before you pay.
However, i have discovered that shopping luxury brands at the airport may be a great way to save money. I once had the need to purchase a Gucci bag I had seen in Selfridges, London but was informed I could get the particular color I wanted at the Gucci Store in Heathrow Airport. I ended up saving taxes on that item and paid less than the quoted price in the city.
For luxury brands and perfumes, shopping duty-free may not be such a bad idea.
Use Airline Lounges
Frequent fliers and business class passengers have access to airline lounges which are well-equipped with facilities that can guarantee a rewarding layover.
This is why it is important to stick with one airline loyalty reward program and patronize its partner airlines in order to accumulate points to upgrade your membership and enjoy these benefits.
Try people watching
Engaging in people watching at airports can be liberating. It is one of my favorite things to do when travelling solo.
I spend at least one hour sitting and watching people go by; kids throwing tantrums and parents dealing with toddlers, passengers racing to their boarding gates, people with extra luggage struggling with them, admiring people travelling in style, guessing a person’s race by looking at them, giving a friendly smile where necessary, paying a compliment and simply enjoying the moment.
Doing this can help you reflect on life generally and may help you discover yourself in the process.
Make a new friend
Making a new connection is one of my favorite aspects of travelling. I can pretty much start a conversation with a complete stranger and we would be best buddies before we board the plane.
There are no limits to what you could learn from people by interacting with them. You could learn about a culture and its people, meet a business contact, create a solid relationship and obtain firsthand information on destinations of interest.
Now you know what to do the next time you have a long layover? Knowledge is nothing if not shared.
Feel free to share this with friends. 🙂