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Top 5 Tips | How to Survive Airport Layovers

Travel Tips : How to Survive an Airport Layover

Are you the type of person who likes layovers?

I’m a freak because I actually do really dig them.

That’s because I plan my layovers as an extended trip and I make it bearable for myself. I actually choose my layovers (but that secret is in my  next Top 5 video!) I’m going to share a few of my tips to make airport layovers pleasant and more bearable for you.

How to Survive Airport Layovers:

1. Sleeping Cabins

Find out where the best sleeping spots are in the airport or even if it’s a 24 hour airport which you can sleep in. Some airports have sleeping cabins you can rent or lounge chairs for comfort. There’s a website called Sleeping in Airports (, where travelers leave reviews about an airport and where they found places to sleep in.

Tip:  Keep in mind, not all airports are open 24hours. This is more an exception, but for smaller hubs, they’re something to be cautious about if you have an overnight layover.  The website may or may not mention this so the next best option is to check the airport’s website.

airport sleeping cabins, moscow airport sleepbox, moscow airport sleeping cabins

Moscow Airport Sleepbox

2. Left Luggage

See if your airport has a left luggage or luggage storage so you can drop your bags and jump a bus or metro for a day of sightseeing in the city. You can store them anywhere from a few hours to a week! Prices vary: $3-$10/day

In Fukuoka Airport,  I even found lockers!  Check airport websites to see which they have or go to the airport information desk when you arrive !

Left Luggage in Incheon

Left Luggage in Incheon

3. Wear comfortable clothes

If you know you’re going to have a layover, I would dress for comfort. I’ve seen people go as far as wear sweatpants. Watch my video about How to Pack for a Carry-on, where I mention some accessory items I use and pack in my day pack.

4. Bring Charging Devices (and Adapters!)

Bring your charging devices and adapters. These days it’s technology-oriented society. A lot of us have iPhones, laptops, mp3 players, cameras… you’re going to want to take that time to charge them. If the airport has wifi and you’re want to surf the web, even moreso, you’ll want to bring chargers.  Keep in mind, not all airports have free outlets (GRRRR!) but many do, if not, USB ports and charging stations.

Tip: Don’t forget your country adapters so you can fit your plugs in the outlets or else, you’ve brought your chargers for nothing.


5. Pack a bag of essential items

Always pack a bag of essential items. Your flight could get delayed or your luggage could get lost. It’s always good to have a bag of items that will help you survive your trip and sometimes you just want to freshen up. Things I pack are:

– Toothbrush & toothpaste
– An extra pair of underwear
– Touchup makeup
– Moisturizer
– A refillable bottle for water
– SNACKS (airports can be expensive & some places only take country currency, which you might not want to go through the hassle of exchanging if you don’t plan to visit that country in the future!)
–  U.S.  dollar bills, $5, $10, $20s (This is if I have to exchange currency for food; U.S. bills might be acceptable as is in some countries)
– Medication
–  Camera, laptop, iPhone

Keep an eye out for my video on How to Choose your Airport Layover and Travel Hacks on Connecting Flights, where I’ll be sharing advance tips on what you should be looking for in your airport to make your layover an amusement attraction!


Airport lounges

Airport lounges have been around for ages and are synonymous with VIP status flyers. But these days you don’t need to be a VIP to gain entry into them. Many lounges are full-service and have wifi, buffet style food and some have showers. Sometimes, you can find cheap rates for lounge entry (i.e. in Malaysia, I paid for lounge access upon walking and it was for a surprisingly inexpensive rate. Check the airport website for more details. Read the restrictions thoroughly: operation times (I’ve not yet seen any that operate 24 hours)  and if they charge by hourly packages or day.

Tip: Priority Pass  is a site that let’s you reserve a spot at a lounge for as little as $27/day or $99/year. That’s not bad.

How to Survive Airport Layovers

How to Survive Airport Layovers

Do you love airport layovers? What are your tips for surviving an airport layover?  Share them in the comments section below.


  1. very practical 😀

  2. livinginlights says:

    Great artcile! As someone who would rather spend 15 hours sitting around an airport than spend an extra $20 on a plane ticket, I really need to stock up on tips like these 🙂

    • Christine Kaaloa says:

      @Living in Lights: If you’re taking 15 hour layovers, then you need to start choosing where you take them. ;D My next Top 5 post will be focused around that as sometimes, I’ll purposely choose the longest layover.

  3. Checking-In says:

    We have 12 hours in Tokyo next week. Really looking forward to it!

    • Awesome! Tokyo can be about a one hour ride (I think) from Haneda. I’d pick 1 or 2 areas you really feel you can milk; if you’re planning to hop around a lot, I’d get the tourist day pass

  4. If a layover is inevitable and it’s more than a couple of hours, I actually look for the longest layover I can get, anything over 9 hours, if it gets in at a reasonable time, then I can go out and see the city/country may never have been before. I purposely booked and 11 hour layover through Vienna last summer so I could return to a city I love and also meet up with a friend for dinner

    • Good girl! Did you get to see a lot on Vienna? Your next task would be to transform it into a week’s layover. It’s doable if you find a good dedicated hub. I did this in Japan.

    • I’ve been to Vienna before, so it was just a chance to stop by again and have dinner with a friend. I’ve never heard of a chance to have a layover of a week or even a few days, how do you do that?!

    • Haha.. I see I’ll have to do a followup video on that one.

  5. i hate layovers b/c i get tense waiting. I just want to get where i am going with minimal delays. Rarely can one find a comfy spot and if it is a long one, there are very few airports close to the city center (schipol in AMS comes to mind as a good one) where you can do something…and if you are traveling with carry-on, you have to schlep your stuff since i have not seen anywhere to leave your luggage (post 9/11) going through security is a PITA…

    • A majority of travelers feel like you, which is why I did my video. For a long time I traveled thinking the same about comfort, until I actively attempted to hack into my layovers.

  6. As always Christine. Good tips

  7. This is great. I have a 6 hour layover in Abu Dhabi in about a month, so this was perfect timing!

    • Christine Kaaloa says:

      Definitely keep an eye out for my next video in a week or so! I suspect you are gonna love Abu Dhabis airport. They have great lounge chairs and I feel like you’ll easily kill 6 hours. I might’ve tried to even get a longer layover there!

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