Layovers can sometimes be a necessary evil of long-distance trips. Airfare isn't usually cheap, so layovers are a common way to save on air travel expenses.
But, layovers can last from a few hours to an entire day. And, most people aren't huge fans of spending that amount of time lounging at the airport. Only 16.1% of passengers say they like layovers. After all, who would want to prolong one's trip to someplace more enticing?
You don't have to worry. Layovers may be necessary, but they don't have to be evil and intolerable. So, we have gathered a few ways to make them more bearable. Trust us. There are better ways to spend your layover than staring at the airport ceiling.
1. Freshen up
Flights can be demanding on the body and mind. Find a spacious bathroom and do whatever you need to do. These could include brushing your teeth, washing your face, or even taking a shower.
Performing these basic acts of hygiene can refresh you and boost your mood. If the airport bathrooms aren't up to your taste, you can look elsewhere. Airports often have hotels, shops, and other establishments nearby.
2. See the sights
You can do your research beforehand on where you can go for your layover. It might only be for a few hours, but that's often enough time to go on a stroll and look around the area. You can also ask people at the airport for suggestions on where you can go.
Always remember that layovers don't have to be boring. It's still a different place, so why not try something new?
Check out nearby local parks, shops, or tourist spots. Try out some restaurants and food stalls. Chat with the people you meet while going out. Who knows, your short layover might be as memorable as your favourite vacation.
3. Bust out the portable entertainment
Modern technology has offered us a vast number of entertainment options. The best thing about them is that they can be portable.
E-readers are great if you love books but cannot bring physical copies because of the weight. Laptops are also great all-around devices. They can be a decent mini-theatre at the airport.
You can also use your phone. The best thing about modern smartphones is that they can do almost anything. You can go on the internet, watch some videos, read books or documents, play Spider Solitaire, or go on social media. The possibilities are endless.
With one or a few gadgets on your side, you'll have enough to stave off boredom for a few hours.
As much as we'd want them to, our wireless devices don't have lasting battery power. If you've used your devices during your flight, use your layover time to recharge any gadgets you have.
Most airports have dedicated charging stations for passengers. A few hours would most likely be enough to charge up your phone or laptop. Be on high alert, though. You'd have a lot of competition for those outlets.
If the charging stations are full and you need the power, you can try booking a room at the airport hotel. You can also go to another nearby hotel. A few hours wouldn't cost too much, and you'd have a private space for the rest of your layover.
5. Treat yourself
You already have the time. So, if you have some cash to spend, you can do so by making yourself feel good.
"Treating yourself" can mean different things. You can explore the shops and buy yourself or your loved ones some gifts. Anyone can appreciate a travel souvenir. Airports often have duty-free stores where you can find good deals.
If shopping isn't your thing, you can scope out any spa or relaxation spots in or near the airport. A massage or spa treatment could ease some of your tension and freshen you up. Working out is also a good option if you're into it.
6. Talk to people (or don't)
If your layover isn't very long, waiting at the airport might be your best bet. It doesn't have to be boring, though.
Striking up conversations with fellow passengers is free and easy. You already have one thing in common, so you can use that to break the ice. Who knows, you might even have a good time and make a friend.
If you're more of an introvert, you can do people-watching instead. The airport is an excellent location for this. You have a bunch of people from different places trying to get someplace else. It can be fun to guess what kind of life someone leads based on how they look. You're sure to find some interesting people.
7. Catch some zzzs
Travelling can be pretty stressful and may take a physical toll on your body. If you're in dire need of some downtime, it might be best to take a nap or get a full night's sleep.
The ideal location may vary. The easiest and cheapest way to sleep is to do it on an airport bench. You can bring a travel pillow or use a bag or sweater to cushion your head. Some airports have designated sleeping areas to help out the passengers.
If you don't feel safe or comfortable sleeping in public, you can always make a short-term booking at a hotel. This will not only allow you to sleep better. You'll also have your own space and a private bathroom for a good few hours.
On your next trip, try out a few of our tips. You might end up looking forward to your flight layovers after a while.