What do you do if you have 2 hours, 5 hours, 10 hours....?
Do you love or hate layovers?
If I have 2 hours I have a coffee.
If I have 5 I have a coffee, look in the shops and read.
If I have 10 hours I try to get into the city for a couple of drinks and a look around.
I love layovers if they leave me with plenty of time to go into the city. I especially like the overnight ones. I also dont mind the shorter ones. I like to have an opportunity to get out of the plane and walk around during long journeys.
Layovers are not always nice. There are times when there are no nice cafes to sit in at the airport, or that there is such bedlam at the airport that getting through it leaves no time to buy a coffee and relax. And if there are long layovers in places where I cant get a visa to going the city I would not like that either. Well, the not being able to get a visa one never happened....
I love smelling all the perfumes and figure out what ones I like (useful to remember for xmas/birthdays). I dont buy any but its still nice - they usually have lots of paper sticks so you dont have to spray yourself and annoy everyone on the plane.
After perfumes I usually check out the face creams and test them out - managing to try out some expensive eye gel to combat bags and circles from traveling!
Then onto a book shop/newspaper shop - either browse through their stock or buy something and head off and read whilst having a coffee or a beer and if your lucky you can end up catching televised news or sport!
I take pleasure in airport layovers up to 4 hours in a large international airport - the smaller ones are tolerable for 2 hours. In Amsterdam, I had a really long lay over but they had these reclining seat things so I could get my feet up and go for a sleep!
Some cities in the world are better than other ones for 4-10 hours layovers....my favorite list...in no special order..
The one I hate...LAX...so far away from so many things...
And my special one...Hong Kong...If I got time I jump to town to visit my office...have few drinks and do some shopping...and back to the best airport in the world...well...a special one for me!
In Amsterdam, I had a really long lay over .....
That airport is great for any type of layover. I had an overnight layover there once. I was supposed to be flying to Quito but a volcano errupted there so all flights were cancelled. The airline people were going to fly me back home. I asked them to fly me to anyplace in S. America instead which they agreed to but all the flights for the day had already left so I had to spend a night in Amsterdam. It only takes the frequently going trains around 15 mins to get to the Old Town from the airport so good for even short layovers. Pity there is not much open all night in Amsterdam. Sleeping is such a waste of time when I only have one night in a place so I didnt. I met an English guy and we roamed around the Old Town having some drinks here and there until everything closed. Then we hung out in his hotel room smoking and chatting until some cafes started opening in the morning. We had a couple of coffees together and then off I went back to the airport and flew to Lima.
Layovers are like hangovers to me... I am not especially fond of either, with both of them I always just hope it was/is worth it...
this happened to me only once...and I was travelling with my parents and siblings and we almost ended up going back home. We were going to Canada, but we had a stop over in LA. but we don't have US Visa - so technically, we can't get in US land. But it get sorted out - we get to stay at Holiday Inn - courtesy of the airport and flew to Toronto first thing in the morning!
If I'm not in a hurry, layovers can be a lot of fun. I like getting exercise by walking around the airport and the people watching can be amazing. I usually have a book or my journal, so either way I can amuse myself if the scenery gets dull.
I don't often travel by 'plane, but I'm amazed no-one has written "I write my TravelBlog"! Layovers seem a great way to collect your ideas and get refreshed before the next leg of the trip. I always mean to write notes for my blog on train journeys but then end up falling asleep, I'd get loads more done if I had a comfy waiting lounge to sit in and a cup of coffee beside me.
I like long layovers because I'm always paranoid my plane will be late and I'll miss my connecting flight. Any layover less than two hours makes me nervous. I view layovers as an opportunity to see a snapshot of a new city (especially if it is a longer layover). To pass the time I read newspapers from all over the world, because airports always have the best selection of international newspapers. I really like the Guardian and USA Today, but don't get to read them very much.
I have never flown outside Canada, but my favourite airport is Calgary. Clean, quiet, lots of shops and stuff to do, lots of those horizontal escalator carpets everywhere, and a Tim Horton's always within sight no matter where you are in the airport.
I agree 100% with Jonathan, I've updated most of my blog pages from airports lounges all over the world...forgot about that one...
I forgot about sleeping. I sometimes do that at airports, especially if I am there all night.
And I write postcards to the few people I know who dont have email.
I especially enjoy people watching and reading a good book. Depending on how long I'm in one place seeing the town around the airport can be great. Usually just getting out and eating at a local diner or seeing a movie at a local theater is another great "time-killer". There are so many places that have public transportation into the city right from the airport which makes al of the above much more convenient.
Not that I'm particularly fond of them, but layovers are opportunities for adventures! Without going into too much detail as to WHY I had to do this, I flew from Peru to Buenos Aires then to Los Angeles with a 13 HOUR layover in Buenos Aires, and let me tell you, there is NOTHING in the Buenos Aires airport, and it's too far from the city to do anything. I slept, bought some food, read, and realized my phone was dying and went looking for a plug. I asked a security guard where I could find one, he told me the only one he knew of was in the chapel, and if I didn't let anyone find out, he would turn a blind eye. So I went into the airport chapel and found the outlet, which was behind a partition behind the altar, so nobody could see my stuff. But before I could get out people started walking in!!! I ended up trapped behind the altar for the better part of 2 hours while people came and went, gave confession, prayed, let their kids run around (actually, that was the scariest part, as I thought that one of them would find me). It got especially interesting when somebody called me, thankfully the phone was on vibrate. Still have good laughs about it.
....if I didn't let anyone find out....
Then he will be less than pleased that you told all of us.
I don't mind layovers as long as I have something to do. A 13 hour layover is a little intense for me though. I usually just turn to my iPhone or portable dvd player. It usually consists of hours playing Jetset - which is actually convenient because it's all about airports and going through the security check point - and repeats of Three's Company and any movie with Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro. Before i know it, I'm boarding and heading to my destination.
Well, I have stayed in a few airports(long 13- 15 hr) and yes gotten really bored at times... Experience at an airport actually depends on the person's state of mind...
I remember when I came to Miami, from India...awake for the last 30 hrs, missing my girlfriend, with no cellphone, no laptop or Mp3 player or anything a homo sapien NEEDS foe existence!!! I spend the most dreadful 14 hours of my life, i landed at 6 pm dizzy with jet lag, hungry, haggard...with 2 monstrosities of luggage...and only with only $100 bills...I knew at that point that the next 13 hours were not going to be sweet(I had to take a greyhound bus for Vero Beach the next day...a cheap like me would never spend money in a hotel for a night when I knew that I had to take the bus the next morning...The first few hours were interesting but by the time the clock struck midnight the airport had literally emptied...a few souls like me were sleeping on benches or chairs...but I had these 2 luggage bags so I couldn't sleep lest my luggage get stolen....Those 12 or 13 hours were the slowest in my life...
Another overnight stay I encountered was at Orlando Int when I was going to New York...this time it was much better, a laptop, cell phone, and a positive state of mind made it one of the more adventurous nights of my life..
Eagerly awaiting the layover I am going to have when I will be going back home, that one is going to be nice, I know that...
What to do at a layover?
Eat...while the restaurants are open...See...look at the airport, airports like JFK or Orlando Int. are nice pleasant airports...Surf...Big airports usually have WiFi, surf the net on your laptop, talk on skype, watch movies...Read...Nothing like a nice book to smite boredom...Write...Fill up a diary, postcard, email, or write a nice letter...Make Plans...Plan about the journey ahead, if going for a vacation, look at the place on the net....
As KatchyKo said, Before you know you would be boarding your plane...