Ever wondered what to do on a long layover? Or did you want to extend your layover anytime so that you could travel a bit? Here is my experience on what I did during my layover.
One of the things on my ‘to-do’ or bucket-list was to travel solo internationally this year before my wedding. With all my vacation time being used up for the trip I was super doubtful about my plans. That’s when the idea of a ‘layover’ travel came up. I opted for a long layover and used my layover time on my way and back to make it happen. And that was truly one of the best travel decisions I had made.
I got to spend three days in another country without additional flight expenses and the time difference worked out on my side as well. And since I was in the similar time-zone as my final destination, I got a chance to get over my jet-lag sooner as well!!!
Layover travel is a great idea if you (like me) have your family in a different country. You are most likely going to visit them on a regular basis and throwing in a long layover can help you fulfill your travel goals as well.
Here are some tips on how to make the best of it.
- Choose the right route/country: Do a quick search on the airlines that fly to your final destination and which are plausible layover spots. Are any particular flights known for long layovers? Does any country/airlines promote tourism during a layover?
2. Visa requirements: If you are a newbie like me I would prefer choosing a spot which does not require too much paperwork , mainly a visa. This will help you get in and out of the airport fairly quickly.
3. Accessibility and layover time: Once you have narrowed down on your options, look for details such as accessibility to the city from the airport.
For example: If you can tour around and cover enough ground in say 6 hours but if it takes 3 hours to just get to the main spot from the airport then it doesn’t make any sense. So pick a route/country that has its airport close to the city center.
Also, make sure you reach at a time suitable for travel. A 15 hour layover that is overnight isn’t really when you can travel right?
4. Pick up the phone when you book tickets: If you are booking online , most websites would not be flexible with long layover flights and might even charge you more. So pick up the phone and ask if the prices change if you take a later flight/decide on a long layover. Many times they will be fine. So you can book a flight that will give you enough layover time to be a tourist.
5. Do your homework: Layovers might vary between a few hours to a few days. If it is only a few hours, make sure you do your homework beforehand since you won’t really have time to waste much time during your layover. Plan your itinerary of the place with the time available, with a buffer for delays and unexpected travel changes.
The downside of layover travel is it is short and not always relaxed. You might feel it ‘not complete’ since you might not be able to travel like how you would normally. Also, chances of missing your connecting flight is high if you get lost or are unexpectedly delayed coming back to the airport. But if planned well, I think it is a fun thing to do.
I traveled from New Jersey to Chennai with a 3 day layover to and fro together and I used my time as best as I can.
Wondering where my layover was? More on that in the next post 🙂 Here is a picture from my travel for you to guess!
Have you traveled during your layover? Or will you travel during a layover? Are there any routes or countries you would recommend for the same? Let me know 🙂