You’ll do just about anything to make travel easier and more affordable, but sometimes, the two don’t mix. A prime example is the existence of airport layovers. Yes, layovers are necessary sometimes if you want to save a little cash, but they can also be pretty dull for you and your family. The hours drag on and feel like a waste of time.
Being Australian we have experienced our fair share of layovers. I remember a 18hr layover in Kuala Lumpur Airport on our way to the Maldives. Most trips we experience a layover of some length.
Fortunately, the following are a few tips to ensure those layovers are not so bad.
The most obvious way to make layovers better is to bring some entertainment. You can usually find Wi-Fi in airports, so you should be able to watch movies together or maybe even shows. If you’re afraid your internet won’t be reliable or are fearful of using public internet, then go ahead and download all the content you want at home; just make sure you have enough space on your devices for this. If it’s downloaded, you can watch whatever you want without connecting to the internet. This will be great when you’re traveling through Wi-Fi deserts.
DEALING WITH THE PRACTICAL
The next thing you can do is something a little more practical with your layover time. Whether it’s brushing up on LSAT practice questions or organizing your digital photo library, there’s a lot you can get done while waiting to board. You could even work on your taxes while your kids study or take care of a bit of homework they might have. You all probably have something to take care of while you’re waiting for your next flight. When you’re done, you’ll feel pretty accomplished since you’ll have less to do later on.
A CHANCE TO EXPLORE A NEW CITY
You want to consider exploring the stop. Now, this depends on how long you’re layover is going to be, but if you’re going to be there long enough, you should explore the area a bit with your family. You have your schedule. You know what time your flight is going to be. All you have to do is plan to explore the city and make sure you have a way back to the airport when you need to be there. You should plan something that your entire family could enjoy. Think of going to a museum, a live show, or maybe a haunted house nearby if you’re into that. Research the layover area before you get there so that you don’t waste time researching there.
CATCH UP ON SOME SLEEP
If your flight itinerary is long, then most likely, you’ll be tired at some point. As much as you might want to sleep on the plane, that’s not always comfortable. What you can do is sleep during your layover. You’ll want to have an alarm ready to wake you up when the time is right. Make sure you can hear the alarm since airports can be loud. If someone in your group is willing to stay up or is rested enough, let that person be in charge of waking everyone up. If everyone wants to sleep, be sure to lock away your belongings so that no one takes them while you sleep. Consider wearing headphones so that you hear the alarm.
IT’S FUN TO PLAY A GAME
Sometimes, the best thing to do during a layover is to play a game as a family. Watching something on a screen is great, but playing a game requires active participation, and it helps bond everyone a bit. If you and your family are usually pretty busy at home, then you want to use this trip to spend as much time together as possible. An excellent way to do this is to play a game now and even a few more times during your trip. Now, you want to make sure you choose the right game. You want something you all love. You could also bring along a few games, or you can use your phones to play a game, too.
Layovers are never fun however they can be made manageable. These are some things you want to consider if you’re going to have a better time during your layover. If you plan things out well, this layover might become a significant part of your trip.
Any tips you think I’ve forgotten? Leave them in the comments below.
Sal, Craig & Our3kids.