Experience More for Less

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Experience More for Less

A layover (or stopover) can be an excellent addition to your itinerary if you manage your time wisely when you choose to venture out into a stop-over city. It’s an excellent way to experience more for less.

Many are afraid to leave the airport on a layover or stopover. Some even stay in a hotel connected to the airport because they are so afraid of missing their flights. Do not be afraid to go against the grain on this one.

Personally, I have experienced many countries while on a layover, and the best of all, the stop is free. It is already included in the cost of your flight.

Experience More for Less
A layover refers to the waiting time during a flight connection at the airport for a certain amount of time before your next flight.

A layover refers to the waiting time during a flight connection at the airport for a certain amount of time before your next flight. A layover typically lasts up to a few hours but does not exceed 24 hours.

A stopover is when you spend more than 24 hours at an airport before continuing your journey. A typical scenario is a stopover during international travel before arriving at your final destination.  During a stopover, travelers usually can leave the airport and explore the local area before returning for their next flight. A stopover can even last several days.

A little research into how far the airport is from the city center and the cheapest and quickest way to travel back and forth can assist you in avoiding your connecting flight. I have used trains, buses, taxis and even Uber when available,

 An eight-hour layover might feel like a curse for travelers eager to get to their destination. Yet for others, long layovers are preferable.

Use the possibility. Start stacking up your list of countries visited. I’ll come back with more tips on this later. The reality is that anyone can travel the world cheaply and with ease. This was not necessarily true twenty-five years ago pre-internet. At that time you had to hire a travel agent to do all the heavy lifting and pay the agent a fee on top of an already pricey itinerary.

Nowadays you can look online to see whether or not you need a visa, whether a taxi is better than a train, what hotels look like both inside and outside, what neighborhoods are safe, where to change currency, how other travelers rate a particular tour, etc.

A long layover can quell anxieties about sprinting through airports to catch the next flight, especially for complicated itineraries spanning multiple countries. But for more adventurous folk, long layovers afford opportunities to escape the confines of the airport and explore a new city — sometimes even for multiple days — without having to pay extra for airfare.

Experience More for Less
An eight-hour layover might feel like a curse for travelers eager to get to their destination.

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If you are willing to break beyond your comfort zone, travel can be a great way to rediscover yourself and put a face to the history you learned in school (and some that you did not). You will see both the world and your home in a different light, try new foods, make new friends, have long or short-term relationships…anything you want.

Also, given the increased chances of a delayed departure flight, additional buffer time can mitigate the stress of potentially missing a connection. The biggest question people ask is “How do you do it?”

I’ll cover this in depth in a later article. For now, just know that you get to find your own travel style.

For flights lasting more than six hours, layovers can be good if you need a break from sitting and want to walk around. Flights with stopovers are also generally cheaper. If your stopover is in a city where you have a friend, it’s always fun if he/she can meet you for a meal at the airport or very close by.

Some airlines make it easy to find overnight (or multi-night) layovers via a “stopover” filter on their websites.

 

For example, Icelandair lets you set your departure and arrival city. Then, you select “Stopover in Iceland” and choose how many nights you want to spend on the Nordic island.

However, the cons of layovers are that you risk missing your connection if there is too little time between the flights (and flights are often delayed, so plan accordingly), especially if you are switching from a domestic to international part of the airport.

The other risk of a layover is the potential for bags to be lost, although in all the travel I have done, I’ve never had a bag lost (touch wood), so I don’t put this high on my “con” list, though only because i haven’t had that experience.

My intention writing this article is to inspire you to find your own travel style. Do not base it on what your friend, parents, the media, or even what I suggest tells you. Take a trip and try a few new ways of doing things to see what works for you. Do not let anyone else dictate how you enjoy your world of exploration. You do you.

If you have an experience to share with our readers, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Experience More for Less, written by Tor Kjolberg

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