Travel Tips: How to Survive a Layover, Flickr: krawcowicz

Get Comfortable

Traveling can be easy if you know where you’re going, but sometimes, you encounter a bump in the road- a layover. These can be welcomed during long voyages to cities on the other side of the world, or an unavoidable nuisance during a shorter trip. Whether you love them or hate them, they are part of the travel experience and it’s better to work with it than against it.

Make a Survival Bag: This small bag can easily fit in your carry-on (or purse for the females) and contains the essentials to freshen up. Your layover may be a few hours and what is worse than feeling disgusting after a few hours on a plane. Keep in mind the TSA requirements for containers and liquids allowed in your carry on. Some useful items can be makeup or baby wipes to freshen up in an instant, travel sized face wash, toothbrush and toothpaste and even a fabric refreshener to smell like clean laundry. Other useful items may include a book, hand sanitizer and ear plugs.

Always carry Cash: Depending on whether or not you’re traveling nationally or internationally, it is always best to have cash on you. Some airports will even accept your local currency, depending on your travels, like traveling to Aruba where local US dollars are accepted. It’s easy to unfortunately misplace or even lose your wallet during layovers and you never know if your card will function properly abroad. Avoid the hassle and carry cash for the small last minute necessary purchases.

Get comfortable: Face it: Some layovers can be extremely grueling and can last hours. Some might even have considered an overnight stay in an airport, if the airport allows it. You won’t be able to nap or sleep like you’re in a 5-star hotel, but the next best thing is to emulate the feeling. Consider taking off your shoes (politely, make sure they don’t reek and do this discretely) when you’ve found a comfortable spot. Perhaps travel with a blanket or a long shawl to cover yourself up so your feet aren’t exposed. You can even use your carry on suitcase as a level to prop your feet up and lay in an almost 180 degree angle if your positioned right on a chair. If all else fails, crawl up into a corner and try to get a few Zzz’s. (Just don’t miss your flight!)

Be productive: Some people welcome layovers as a much needed break between flying at 32,000 feet. It gives passengers a reason to stretch their legs and possibly adjust to a time change. If necessary, take this opportunity to be productive- in whatever way that means. Enjoy a long leisurely lunch, or a cocktail to calm pre-trip nerves. If you’re on a work trip or on spring break, consider reviewing notes for a few hours so you can enjoy your trip upon arrival. Airports that have Wi-Fi also give you the opportunity to log-on to contact home, whether you’d like to or not.  Sometimes short layovers can even be short with all the time necessary to navigate around larger airports that you won’t even need to worry about keeping busy!

Discover unique amenities: Researching your airport pre-flying can be advantageous when considering amenities during a layover. You might find that some airports have massage tables, quick mani-pedi stands and even showers for those waiting in between cheap flights. Find out what amenities will be provided so you can actually enjoy them without running around and looking for them since you’re so limited on time. Enjoying these amenities might have you welcoming layovers as a chance to enjoy a nice airport!

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photo: krawcowicz

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One Response

  1. lynda

    Just past an eight-hour layover in Newark, I agree in recommending long walks, to counteract the preceding nine-hour flight from Rome or to anticipate a long upcoming flight. I also loved that I could watch a netflix film on my new iPad: RECOMMEND !

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