How many of us have experienced a long layover for a flight? Layovers can be as short at 30 minutes or 19 hours or more. Depending upon your budget, you may experience a layover at sometime in your travels. People sometimes seek layovers, however, those who do not can often have a positive experience. Many of the suggestions I have depend upon the amount of time you have, however, here are a few activities that can occupy your time during a layover.
It seems to be a growing trend, but in many airports, you have the option to rent a pod or a room to get some much-needed rest. A few airports around the world that offer this service is Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi International Airport, Narita Airport in Japan, Heathrow Airport in London, Atlanta Jackson Hartfield Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and many more. At Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey TAV (Tepe Akfen Vie) Airport Hotels provides 128 rooms to enhance your comfort while travelling. TAV Airport Hotel Istanbul is located at the International Terminal of Atatürk International Airport.
Spa services seem to be available at just about all airports whether domestic or international. Spa services can range from messages, pedicures, and manicures to full blown services. A message is a great way to deal with any tension you may harbor in your joints and muscles and a great way to relax. If you are travelling for work haircuts, manicure and/or a pedicure, and a shoe shine are a great way to refresh yourself and prepare for an upcoming meeting.
Exercising is always an option wherever you are, however, limit the intensity unless you can freshen up. Your workout can be as simple as walking around the airport or you can receive a full workout. The Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport has two yoga studios available open 24/7 and are completely free to everyone. The yoga studios feature practice mats, exercise balls, and stretch bands. The Baltimore-Washington International Airport offers Roam Fitness, which operates between 5am – 9pm, 7 days per week. Roam Fitness boasts a full range of cardio equipment, weights, a TRX system, and an area for stretching. Roam Fitness has three payment options: $25 for a day pass, $100 for a monthly pass, or $350 for an annual pass.
Sitting down for a full meal is an option and will serve two purposes: occupy your time and provide you with a nice meal. Narita Airport in Japan features Sushi Kyotatsu, which boasts some of the best sushi in the world. The Perfectionists’ Café in London’s Heathrow Airport offers travelers fish and chips, a full English breakfast, and much more by British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France offers an array of food such as smoked salmon tartare with crab and avocado and roast duckling with aubergine and grapefruit caviar with kumquat jus and paprika-rubbed veal fillet with crispy vegetables by Guy Martin. In Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Obrycki’s serve travelers a taste of Baltimore a menu focused on fresh Chesapeake seafood. It also features a full selection of beer, wine and spirited beverages (try the signature Crabby Mary, a bloody Mary made with Absolut Pepper and house-made bloody mix served in a glass rimmed with Obrycki’s Seafood Seasoning and garnished with a crab claw, celery, olive, and lemon wedge) and have menus that focus on fresh Chesapeake regional seafood.
Many airports have tons of stores ready for shoppers. You can buy everything from local souvenirs, luggage, jewelry, perfume, clothing, and much more. Some of the best airport shopping can be had at Heathrow, Charles De Gaulle, Schiphol, Dubai, and Cape Town International Airports to name a few.
Leaving the airport to explore the city may be an option. For international flights, I would to ensure you have enough time to go back through customs and ensure you have a visa (if required). A long layover may afford you time in a country you may have never thought about visiting. It’s typically easy to get a cab at the airport and have them show you some of the country’s highlights. I would add to remember if you are out shopping to think about the space you have available to bring back souvenirs since you may only have your carry-on luggage.
As you can see there are many things available to occupy your time. Some of the things mentioned are reasons why some people purposely choose a flight with a long layover.
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