Last Updated on March 13, 2015 by Christine Kaaloa
How to Choose your Airport Layovers | Video
If you’ve watched my video on How to Survive an Airport Layover, then this video post will complement the information on it.
A lot of travelers hate airport layovers.
I happen to like airport layovers. What I like about airport layovers is that sometimes, I can sneak in an extra trip. I know a lot of people don’t think they have the option to choose the city or the airport they’re flying into and that’s completely untrue. Completely. You have the option choose your layovers!
Table of Contents: How to Choose your Airport Layovers | Video
How to choose your layover city
If you’re doing a layover you’re probably already on a connecting budget trip …thingie. It’s only a matter of you choosing what times and cities you want to fly into. That’s where you get to hack the system a little. If your flight search is already popping up a layover, it might be offering a lot of options about what time and cities it flies into.
When you look at the city options you have, go to the airport websites to find what they’re facilities are like.
(Sometimes, it’s also best to look for the schedules with the longest layover times if you’re looking to do an extra day trip!)
Caution: Make sure the country you’re choosing doesn’t have visa requirements for its layover.
Factors to Decide which Airport is best:
1. Free WiFi
I can’t stand when airports charge you for surfing the web. Having free WiFi is key to unlocking boredom to a blogger like me. Airport websites will say if they have free WiFi, paid, or if you’re allotted a period of free WiFi time.
2. Entertainment Facilities
Yes, you heard me correct… entertainment. Did you know you can surf, slide, ice skate and golf at an airport? Well, now you do. You’re welcome. Airports are now perking up to the idea of being seen as “boutique airports” that travelers will look forward to spending time in.
Incheon Airport has a movie theater, ice skating rink, 24 hour jjimjilbang rest/spa and a Hello Kitty Cafe (or maybe that was ..the domestic airport), not to mention USB charging stations. Royal scha-wi-ing! Meanwhile, there’s fun slides at Singapore’s Chiangi Airport, a golf course at Hong Kong airport and a pool at Munich airport, where they had a surfing event! (Yeah, in their pool!!)
Tip: Check the airport websites for special events and facilities.
3. Airport Tours
Some airports offer tours, either of their tarmac runway, operation facilities or even the city. The durations and schedules vary, but they’re created to fit snugly into layovers. Istanbul airport goes as far free tours of Istanbul city (wish I knew that or I would’ve planned accordingly)!
4. Where can you sleep?
Most of us know we can find an unpopulated area on the floor or maybe a bench. Broaden your world of possibilities. Find airports with comfortable seats, 24 hours of operation (smaller hub airports may not be open 24 hours!), sleeping cabins…
Tip : Check out SleepinginAirports.net
5. Transportation into the City
I had a return flight from Turkey to Honolulu with endless possibilities. So I looked for the longest layovers to squeeze in an extra trip.. somewhere. Switzerland, Salt Lake City, Amsterdam, Frankfurt were my options . Only Switzerland and Frankfurt offered the longest layovers for a day trip. So I checked how far the airports were from the city. Both looked reasonable. I went with Frankfurt due to the fact a day trip in Switzerland, cost more in metro and sightseeing costs than Frankfurt, who offered a day unlimited metro pass.
How do you choose your layover city? What are deciding factors for you about what airports you like?