Under most circumstances, we all prefer the convenience of a direct flight to our destination. It’s quick, simple, and relatively stress-free. But direct flights aren’t always possible or affordable, leaving you with a layover, sometimes referred to as a stopover. Stopovers are generally longer than layovers, but the concept is the same. You have time to kill before boarding your next flight to your ultimate destination.
Some layovers are short and leave no time to waste. But some layovers can last hours and even extend into the next day. This creates an awkward situation, where you have too much time to spend sitting at your gate but not enough time to dig into your connecting city. If you’re caught in this situation, it’s OK! We’re here to give you a few pointers on what to do on long layovers.
Get a Hotel Room
Most major airports have adjoining hotels where travelers can stay for the night. Getting a room at a hotel is a popular option for those with long stopover flights. Staying at a airport hotel allows you to relax – even just for a short while. You can stay in your room or head to the hotel restaurant to get a good meal and unwind. And since you’re not leaving the airport, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being close to your gate for your upcoming flight.
If you’re not staying overnight, that doesn’t mean you should rule out a room. It’s tough to get good sleep when you’re on the road, so consider reserving a room even if it’s just to take a long nap in peace. You can’t put a price on your health, and keeping up on your sleep should be a top priority.
Modern airports have transformed from practical transportation hubs into centers of entertainment. And we’re not just talking about nice TVs at the bar next to your gate. Many travelers are exploring all of their entertainment options in the airport itself, including movie theaters, live concerts, and art installations. If you have a few hours to kill, finding these sometimes hidden gems in the airport can get your vacation off to a perfect start.
Head Into the City
Is your layover in a city you’ve always wanted to see? Don’t hesitate to rent a car and drive in for the day. Of course you’ll need to keep your eye on the clock, but if you have enough time and energy, you can get in a quick tour of the city.
Have a plan in mind, and resist trying to hit too many attractions. We recommend finding a restaurant where you can eat an authentic meal. And if weather permits, taking a stroll at a popular park can be a nice introduction to the city. You might not get the full city experience, but it’s more rewarding than looking at your phone for eight hours.
Take a Day Trip
If traveling into the city sounds like a headache, you can hit the open road for a day trip. Day trips are great for getting off the beaten path and finding new travel experiences. Go for a hike in the surrounding mountains, soak up the sun at a nearby beach, or explore a charming small town within a day’s drive of the airport. Whether it’s for a few hours or overnight, a day trip is a fun way to add excitement and spontaneity to a long layover.
Advantage Rent A Car is ready to help you make the most of your next long layover with a new or almost new rental car. Find the rental car you need now!
Written by: Kody Pedersen