Making the Most of Your Layover at an Airport
Though some people try to save money by choosing a flight with layovers, most fliers prefer to pay more to avoid the waiting time of layovers by choosing direct flights, especially if an Amazon River cruise or a luxury Jamaican villa is waiting at the end destination.
However layovers need not be always long hours spent looking at the clock and dying for the start of vacation. They can be turned into amazing elements of your vacation, by taking a mini-tour to a local town, feasting your taste buds with dishes created by celeb chefs or burning some calories in a gym, instead of solving a boring crossword or browsing a pile of unearthly magazines in the airport bookstore.
If you don’t mind people looking at you in a folded position, carry a yoga mat with you and immerse into meditation and yoga positions during the layover. A few minutes of stretching and deep breathing is a wonderful way to make your circulation well after a flight. Check beforehand on the airport’s website whether it offers an area for yoga or workout. Changi Airport of Singapore offers a gym for a fee, while Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport offers a meditation room at no cost. Even a quiet spot of an airport lounge can be used for spending time immersed in meditation, if the airport offers no designated facility.
AirportGyms.com is a useful website which offers information of fitness facilities in and around airports in Canada and the US.
If your airport doesn’t have yoga or fitness area, you can even go for a jog around the terminals. Don’t forget to stuff some sweats into your bag before leaving. This is an excellent activity at airports offering shower facility – be considerate about the person sitting next to you with sweating armpits in the next flight.
Airports which offer quick and affordable transportation to the cities are best places for layover adventures. E.g. in Chicago, Washington DC, London, Amsterdam and Sydney, you can catch public transportation easily from airports and take a half-day tour to the cities.
Research about the worth-seeing sights in the cities beforehand and plan an itinerary. Also check about the transportation to and from the airport. Take into consideration the time that could be spent in traffic, long security lines at the airport and other aspects.
Rent a Room
You feel like sleeping after 7-8 hours of red eye, but you don’t want to doze in public. A fine solution is to rent a room for short term. Even though it is for a layover which is only half-day or so, it may be less expensive than you think and quite worth the price.
Amsterdam Schipol, London Heathrow and London Gatwick all feature YOTEL facilities – accommodations inside the airport terminals. It is a standard cabin which can be rented minimum for four hours and features a bed, a bathroom with shower, a foldable desk and a flat-screen TV, all fitted amazingly in just 7 sq meters.
Thus you can make your airport layover a wonderful part of your vacation instead of a boring inevitability.