By Christian Jay B. Quilo
Direct flights are always preferred but when it’s a far-flung locale, most of the time it’ll involve a layover before getting to your destination. Rather than dread this inevitable situation, why not see the silver lining and make use of this time well? If you’re flying out anytime soon with a layover, check out this list of things to do which you might find quite useful.
Explore the city you’re stopping over in.
There are layovers as short as an hour to as long as 10 hours – and being stuck in an airport for half a day doesn’t exactly seem pleasant. Since you have the luxury of time, why not go out and explore this city you’re in? Think of it as a travel “appetizer” to your main vacay. Some airports like Incheon even offer free transit tours for passengers with long layovers.
Chill in an airport lounge.
If you’re traveling on a premium tier such as business class or first class, you can usually enter the airline’s lounge for free. But if you’re an economy passenger, you can pay to avail of the lounge and its amenities which usually include a buffet, cozy lounge chairs and high-speed Internet.
Read a book.
On a regular day, we’re too busy with work and the only time we can really have a breather and read a book is when we’re on holiday. Since you have a few hours to kill during the layover, bring a book to read during this time.
Do some research on your destination.
Take advantage of the free airport Wi-Fi and do some last-minute Googling for your itinerary, may it be street food to try or souvenirs to buy. You can never be too prepared, right?
Walk around the airport.
An airport can be a destination in itself. Case in point: Singapore’s massive Changi Airport which has an indoor garden and an entertainment deck with movie theaters and arcade games. You’ll be sitting on a plane for hours (again), so might as well put in some leg work while you’re at it.
Get some proper food.
Truth be told, ‘palatable’ wouldn’t be the first word to describe airplane food and it doesn’t really help that our taste buds are changed by altitude and pressure. Airports have some pretty good restaurants and food courts that offer local cuisine.
Some people can sleep anywhere including on a plane (seriously, that’s a superpower), but if you’re not one of those people, why not catch up on some sleep while you’re on dry land. At least you’ll be well-rested when you land at your destination, granted you’ll be arriving there in the middle of the day.
You can spend some of the leftover from your travel funds on some duty-free goodies at the airport. Bigger airports have dedicated retail spaces where you can buy items such as makeup and bags, including designer brands. If you ever forget to buy pasalubong for someone (sorry, forgotten someone!), you can still buy them at the airport during the layover.
Catch up on local news.
When you’ve been gone on a long holiday, you can miss a lot back home, whether it’s the latest breakup in showbiz or a tragic headline-making accident. Be in the loop on the latest local buzz, so you’re well-informed once you’re back.
Chat with a family member or friend.
FaceTime with a loved one and share what activities are on your itinerary or if you’re en route home, what happened on your vacation. Trust me, you won’t even feel that layover.