Avid travellers will tell you to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. But reality bites hard when you find yourself stuck at airports during long layovers between flights. In the past, this was an annoyance and forced people to pay more and opt for direct flights rather than hopping from one flight to another. Today’s airports are easing off more on avid travellers, offering a whole host of things to do to while off their waiting hours. If you ever find yourself forced into a layover, here are a few ways to make the most of the time at hand.
Customise your layovers
You either have to select one long, expensive direct flight or break up your flight pattern with unpredictable layovers, right? Not anymore! There is a third, more travel-friendly option of customising your layover.
Akbartravels.com has a really cool layover feature that can make long trips more enjoyable. You start by selecting your travel starting point and destination; let’s say you are travelling from Chennai to Melbourne, Akbar Travels will search for all possible travel routes that include layovers, giving you the cheapest possible combination of flights. The combinations are of non-partnered airlines, which mean there is a big chance you get great discounts by hopping from one aeroplane to another. A cool feature that you must use is the ability to choose both the length and destination of your layover!
Take a nap
Needless to say, you will probably resort to doing this the moment you hear about a waiting hour. Major airports around the world have become more traveller friendly, offering you some decent rest-stops inside the premises to catch a quick snooze. Whether you decide to lodge up for the night in a hotel or catch a nap seated on one of those cool nap-pods, there is a way to eliminate the jet lag.
However, we recommend to not take your naps too seriously, airport layover announcements can be unpredictable at times, and there is a big chance you may sleep through an announcement and miss your unexpectedly early departing flight.
Best sleep-friendly Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Layovers can make for a great shopping experience. The fact that the store prices are duty-free is a bonus for shopaholics. Shopping at the airport gives you a quick alternative to shopping around the city; you can pick up all those last-minute gift items before boarding your flight.
Duty-free shopping is tempting; sometimes you may end up shopping for more than you can carry. Airports do give you the option to hold the items you purchased if you are travelling someplace else and return those items once you’re back.
Best shop-friendly airport: Dubai International Airport.
Fill your tummy
Hunger pangs can strike anytime and if you get a grumbling tummy at the airport, use your layover time to explore some good eateries. Airport food is not the best in the world, but if you get yourself registered with airport loyalty programs, there is a good chance you will get treated to some gourmet dishes.
Don’t overstuff on food! Remember, you will be flying soon, and gravity is not the digestive system’s best friend. Eat well but eat light, which can save you the trouble of an embarrassing projectile vomiting incident on board your flight.
Best airport food outlet: Plane Food, Heathrow Airport.
Take a mini-tour
Avid travellers are so pent-up on the enthusiasm that they wouldn’t dare to miss even a second of the layover when it comes to exploring. If you need to stretch your legs a little, you could try going for a mini-tour around the city where your layover is occurring.
If you’re an uber-cautious traveller who can’t stop looking at the clock, opt for mini-tours inside the airport itself. World class airports have so many interesting activities on offer that could easily while away a few hours and still keep you on high alert of flight departure times.
Best airport hangout zone: Singapore Changi Airport.
Flight travel can be a pleasure on a pain depending on how smart you are on your travel approach. Check out our cheat sheet on the list of things you need to do before you board a flight. Travelling on a tight budget? Here are some of the best destinations where the Indian rupee is the superior currency.