Making the Most of Layovers: Tips for Short Airport Stays

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Most of us have been in the same, all-too-familiar situation before – you’re stuck at an airport for a few hours with only a few magazines and the prospect of a stale sandwich to keep you company, stuck in the drab waiting game for your flight to board. But don’t let a layover bring your travel experience to a complete halt – use your time at the airport to make the most of your layover and add some fun and adventure to your journey. Follow these tips to make your short airport stay as enjoyable as possible.

1. Maximizing Your Time at the Airport: Strategies for Short Layovers

Check-in Early

Having a short layover can be a stressful experience, but you can make the most of your time at the airport by following a few simple strategies. The first is to check-in as early as possible. An early check-in ensures that you can breeze through the security and passport control quickly. Additionally, the earlier you check-in, the more time you’ll have to move around the airport and take advantage of a few other strategies.

Treat Yourself At The Lounge

A great way to utilize your time in at the airport is to visit the lounge and enjoy the facilities it offers like Wi-Fi or simply relax in a quiet place. Besides, you can get complimentary meals and drinks! However, be sure to check the lounge’s etiquette before visiting so as not to stress yourself out.

Make It A Sightseeing Tour

If you don’t fancy the idea of visiting the lounge, you can also explore the airport and get to know the services and facilities it offers. Museums, shopping centers, cinemas, restaurants, and even art galleries can be found in some airports, so take advantage of them! You can also learn more about the local attractions by visiting the travel information centers or tourist offices.

Get Shopping

Shopping at airports can be a great way to pass the time during a layover. From high-end luxury brands and signature local stores, to duty-free shops, you can find something to take home. Besides, you can take some time to find souvenirs for your loved ones and enjoy some tax-free shopping.

2. Preparing for an Unexpected Airport Stay

Airport delays can be really inconvenient, and staying in an airport for multiple days is no joke. With a little planning and some precautionary measures, however, it can still make for a pleasant enough experience.

Pack Smart

When packing for an undetermined airport stay, it is best to think ahead. Bring the necessities, such as comfortable clothing, medication, books, or phone chargers, but also make sure to bring some food and snacks, just in case the terminals are closed. It pays to be prepared for every type of possible scenario.

Methodical Movement
Be sure to ask a flight attendant, or refer to the airport’s flight display board to stay updated on your flight’s status and extra costs you may incur such as transfers and added accommodations. Should you decide it’s best to remain in the airport for the night and venture out for accommodations, do so methodically. Be sure to book something through a secure site, check reviews, and have a contact to call if need be.

Explore the Possibilities
It may come as a surprise, but there are actually many activities and facilities available to make your stay at an airport a more pleasant one! Some airports offer playgrounds for kids, free Wi-Fi, spas, lounges, movie theaters, or even gyms. You may want to check your airport’s website ahead of time to uncover what it may have to offer.

  • Check your airport’s website ahead of time
  • Bring the necessities, such as comfortable clothing and snacks
  • Stay updated on your flight’s status and any extra costs you may incur
  • Explore the activities and facilities available to make your stay more pleasant

3. Making the Most of a Longer ‘Vacation’ than Anticipated

Many of us are now stuck at home where we find ourselves with extra time on our hands, having anticipated a much shorter vacation. It is important to find a positive outlet and make the most of this situation. Here are three tips to have a memorable and enriching experience at home:

  • Create a routine: Replicating the structure of having to go to work, school or college during the day makes it easier to make use of extra time constructively, like taking on a new hobby, reading a book or even learning something new.
  • Organize activities: while empty days tend to drag on, making a plan for the next day can make each day more meaningful. Play an online game with friends, or join online Group fitness classes or language classes.
  • Explore the virtual world: take a virtual tour of a museum, explore different cultures, gastronomy, music and arts. The Internet makes it easy to discover new information, experiences and places that were previously only accessible to the lucky few.

The possibilities are endless; this extended stay deserves as much enthusiasm as any other vacation. The key here is to find a way to make the best of it, by engaging the body and mind for an experience to remember.

4. Tips for Successfully Navigating Your Short Layover Trip

Have a Pre-Biased Plan: Missing a connecting flight due to a short layover can be a great hassle. To maximize the short time you have, come up with a plan and stick to it. Do not waste time by sightseeing. Research ahead of time the point from which you would need to depart your current flight and the customs area you’re looking for. Then you can plan out a clear route to your next flight.

Pack Light: Don’t lug around too much. Stuff your carry-on with just the essentials – one-change of clothes, snacks, and your phone charger. Not only will you be traveling light, but if you need to jog from one side of the terminal to another, a light load makes it a lot easier.

Setting Rewards: Your reward will be the next flight you catch. Set yourself before each leg of the journey a mission of finding the right gate or spot to eat. Try to reward yourself with something special like a cup of coffee or an ice cream as soon as you found the right place you were looking for. This will help boost your morale and make the layover more enjoyable and tolerable.

Use Apps and Tools: Making you layover smoother is a gold mine of apps and tools that can help you complete the transition. Whether it be the ultimate search for café before racing to the gate or to get your boarding pass on your phone, flight tracking, accessing airport maps or scoring a quick sleep, make sure you’re equipped with the right travel partners to give you a smooth journey.

Avoiding boredom and stress during a layover doesn’t have to be an annoying process. With the right planning and some creativity, you can make your time in the airport just as fun and fulfilling as your actual vacation! So the next time you have a layover, you’ll know how make the most of it!

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