Calm down, I am aware that the term "layover" makes some of us cringe inside. Some of us associate layovers with boredom, discomfort, and inconvenience. You imagine yourself sitting in those extremely uncomfortable airport chairs hoping the wifi is free for longer than 30 minutes. You try your hardest to book the flight with the shortest amount of time and you pray your flight doesn't get delayed from there. Trust, we have ALL been there.
To help my fellow travelers, I created this short guide to making the most of your layover. Included are 3 simple steps to add more stamps to your passport by choosing to have a layover. Yes, CHOOSING!
You will learn how to pick the cheapest flights with the longest layovers giving you more time to add destinations to your itinerary ! Get this, the longer your layover, the more you can love it!
While booking my flight to South Africa, I was able to visit 3 countries on the way! Let me show you how it's done.
Let's say I'm planning a trip to India from New York but I'm not in a rush and would like to visit another destination along the way.
Visit cleverlayover.com. Choose one-way.
JFK (New York) - BLR (Bangalore, India)
*On your way back you can visit other fun places
For $471 dollars, I can get a flight to India with a stop in Bangkok, Thailand for 13 hours and 45min. To be able to truly see the city and not miss your connecting flight, layovers longer than 9 hours and 45 min are ideal. For $471 dollars, I can stay in Bangkok for a day. Its up to you to choose how long you would like to stay and how many destinations you are willing to visit. If you decide to stay longer than a day, you would have to find proper accommodation. Some airlines will provide a hotel room for free or at a discounted rate while others offer nothing.
Questions to Consider
Before leaving the airport for a long layover, consider asking yourself the following questions.
1. Are there any visa fees required to enter the country?
Some countries allow you to visit for free while others charge a small fee (i.e Egypt $25)
2. What do I want to see in this city and how will I get there and back?
If you want to visit certain attractions, you need to determine how to get there and back to the airport. Some airports have excellent metro systems into popular cities while others are quite far and may require an expensive taxi or Uber (yes Uber is available in most popular travel destinations).
3. Are you arriving and departing at an optimum time for travel?
You wouldn't want to have a flight arrive at your layover destination at 11:30pm and depart at 8:15am. Most attractions are closed late and transportation may not be accessible.
4. What are the laws of the country?
Be aware of what is acceptable and legal. In Dubai, public intoxication and kissing someone other than a spouse is not only socially unacceptable but illegal and can get you thrown in jail.
"To be able to truly see the city and not miss your connecting flight, layovers longer than 9 hours and 45 min are ideal. "
Decide what to do with your luggage for your long layover. Most airlines will send your baggage to your final destination while others require you to grab them from baggage claim, clear customs, and re-check them. In this case, you won't be able to check in your bags until 1-2 hours before departure! No big deal! Check to see if your layover airport has a storage/left for baggage. Most airports do and you can store them for around $4-10 dollars per bag for 1- 24 hours. Now you can roam the city without the baggage. #problemsolved #luggageleftsaveslives.
Once you have followed the previous steps and gotten to the juicy part of the journey (buying the tickets), you should now start thinking about what to pack.
Always carry a 3-4 days worth of clothes in your carry-on luggage! Layover or no layover, you will thank me. Baggage delays and lost luggage are a common issue while traveling. I've had my luggage lost for about a week and was so thankful that I packed clothes in my carry-on. Make sure to include everything you would need such as a portable phone charger and a swimsuit or winter gear depending on your destination (things I forgot).
If you follow these simple rules you can too #LOVEYOURLAYOVER
Check out how I spent my 16 hour layover in Cairo, Egpyt
PLEASE CHECK THE AIRPORT AND AIRLINE RULES FOR CARRY-ON LUGGAGE
Heathrow Airport- London
All of your liquids in your carry-on bag must fit in ONE sandwich sized plastic bag!!!! This includes make-up foundations, lipgloss, and mascara.
Emirates Airlines- Dubai to New York
Both your hand luggage and carry-on bag must weigh under 7 kilos or they will charge you!