Nothing has the potential of ruining an otherwise pleasant flight as a long layover. Unfortunately, layovers are often part of the equation when you want to fly as cheaply as possible. Some of the best prices around can be had if you are willing to spend some time waiting to catch a connecting flight to your destination. However, is the money you save really worth it?
That depends on how much you are actually saving versus the length of the layover. For example, it may not be worth waiting 6 to 8 hours just to save £100. Ultimately, you have to decide what your layover tolerance is. If you do have a long layover, there are some strategies you can employ that will help you cope a bit better.
Adjust Your Sleep
One way to deal with the long layover is to sleep. You might be the kind of person who finds it difficult to sleep in a busy airport, so here is a suggestion: adjust your sleep schedule a day or two before departure so that you will be tired enough to sleep during your layover. If that's not possible, you can look for a flight that includes the layover during the hours when you would normally be sleeping. One last bit of advice here: check out the airport you are heading to prior to departure. Some international airports provide designated sleeping areas or special sleeping chairs for those who want to get some extra rest while waiting to continue their journeys.
See the Sights
If your layover is going to be any more than three or four hours, another suggestion is to actually leave the airport and go see some sights. Take your carry-on bags with you or rent a locker at the airport for storage. You can always take a taxi or a public bus into the city where you can go shopping, grab a meal, or just see what there is to see. You do not necessarily need to stay overnight in a world-class city to enjoy seeing some of the sites; just make sure you are back at the airport in time to catch your connecting flight.
Put Away the Electronics
So far, we have given you two suggestions for things you can do to help pass the time during a layover. However, here is a suggestion for something you should NOT DO during a layover: spend the entire time with your face buried in your electronic mobile device. Even though our mobile phones and tablets have become electronic security blankets, spending hours at a time using them is a good way to make yourself feel physically terrible. Putting away the electronics will save you from headaches, eyestrain, unnecessary tension, and more.
The fact is that long layovers are sometimes part of travelling. Nevertheless, as with anything else, a layover will be what you make it. If you put some effort into making it more than just a long wait, you might actually enjoy yourself.