Here are our 5 tips on dealing with long layovers.
5 Tips on Dealing with Long Layovers: Tip 1:
With “nap pods” available at select airports, including JFK, ask yourself the following questions before booking your spot:
Am I looking to actually fall asleep or just relax?
How noisy is their location?
Is there privacy?
How safe am I and my belongings while I nap?
Do they provide any other services?
How competitive is pricing?
5 Tips on Dealing with Long Layovers: Tip 2:
Compare pricing and convenience with a day room or over night at an airport hotel. Of those I have tried, the 4-star Novotel at Bangkok’s International Airport was the best. I was flying in via Beijing for Siem Reap to catch a river cruise to Vietnam. My hotel room with its marble bathroom was so as well-appointed as any city center competitor. There was 24/7 service and a full breakfast in a stylish setting. I really didn’t want to go back to the airport!
Besides pricing, look at how far the lodging is from the airport. Some are not close by even if they include the word “airport” in their name.
Check to see how frequent and reliable transportation is especially in off-hours.
Don’t forget that checkout is going to still be required ahead even if you are almost at the airport, itself.
5 Tips on Dealing with Long Layovers: Tip 3:
Be aware that both extended layovers and even being in transit abroad can require a visa. On my transfer last year through China to Cambodia, there was a visa waiver of a few days. In contrast, in the past confronted with a blizzard, I could not change a NYC ticket to South Africa to fly via Brazil absent a visa! In light of ongoing security concerns, individual countries may tighten their visa requirements so plan ahead.
5 Tips on Dealing with Long Layovers: Tip 4:
Can you use the extended layover for a day trip to a nearby city center or tourist sights. One danger here is that traffic or other delays could cause you to miss your flight. In Australia, I met a tourist who used a long layover to visit a high-end shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. He almost missed his flight after falling asleep on a bench in front of an elegant boutique!
5 Tips on Dealing with Long Layovers: Tip 5:
Can you convert your round trip to a three-pronged flight with a 2-day stay-over? In the US, ticket prices have increased for multi-city v. simple round trip fares. This is more likely an option on a vacation but could also be an add-on to a business trip. When I was traveling from Washington, DC to Brazil, I found that a stay in Panama en route could work.
Whatever choice you make, don’t miss your flight and pay a king’s ransom for re-booking!