No matter how fast the flight, airlines can’t seem to avoid every traveler’s favorite part of flying: the lengthy layover. Fortunately, those hours that you have between connecting flights do not have to be wasted entirely. These are a few ways to get the most out of a long layover.
Do Some Sightseeing
A couple of hours is probably not enough time to travel into town and take in some of the city. However, if you have more than a few hours and you are in a city with good public transport you may just be able to play tourist during your layover. For example, if your layover is at JFK in New York you can take the LIRR to Penn Station in about 20 minutes. From Penn Station you can easily walk to the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Times Square and other iconic attractions.
Do Some Shopping
Flyers may end up spending excessive amounts of time at airports, but most modern airports are set up for spending excessive amount of time, including a generally wide array of shopping options. If you know people back home who will be waiting for souvenirs, or you just feel like spoiling yourself a bit, schedule some shopping for your next layover.
Enjoy Some Food and Drinks
The dining options at most major airport terminals is expansive, and with airlines becoming increasingly stingy with food and drink the airport is a convenient place to fill up. Research the bars and eateries available before your leave, you may actually have something to look forward to on your next long layover.
Do Some Exercising
Flying invariably entails remaining stationary for hours on end. A layover is a good opportunity to stretch out, and if the airport has a fitness center available, you can even work out. If there are no fitness facilities, you can enjoy a brisk lap or two around the terminal.
Get Some Work Done
This might not be the most exciting thing to do during a layover, but at least you can take the opportunity to be productive. As a bonus, many airports offer free Wi-Fi, or at least much cheaper internet access than what you will find in-flight.
Get Some Sleep
Not everybody sleeps well on planes, and jet lag remains a very real issue for many travelers. Some airports offer special sections for sleeping passengers. If your layover is long enough, it may be worth staying at a hotel near the airport such as the Monte Carlo Inn in Toronto. Just remember to set an alarm on your phone, watch or tablet so you do not miss your flight.
There are not many flyers who relish having a long layover. However, by making an enjoyable and/or productive use of your time between flights you can take the sting out of the long wait.