Thinking Out Loud

Layover Survival Guide

By Keryn Nicolson

I think it's safe to say I've earned the "frequent flyer" badge by now. Whether the delays have been due to mechanical issues (scary), weather or me just trying to save money so I schedule two separate flights (or just picked the cheapest one with the longest layover)...sometimes being stuck means being stuck overnight. I learned pretty quickly to get over being angry and irritated. Plus, it'll tick off the flight agents even more which completely limits if not eliminates a free upgrade. I also found some interesting ways to keep myself busy instead of playing on my phone for hours on end becoming what I call an "airport zombie".

Pay for a 1 Day Airline Club Pass: I have actually done this a couple of times when my layover was more than 10 hours. Prices will depend on the airline and some may not allow you to enter unless you're flying with them. Most do offer complimentary drinks (champagne, please), snacks, wifi, magazines and my all time favorite: SHOWERS.

Goin to the Chapel: If you're simply looking for some peace and quiet, head to the airport chapel. You may even snag a seat and can settle in with a nice cozy book with no one to disturb you or your thoughts. Yes please.

City Guide: Depending on the length of your layover of course, you may be able to score a free city tour. Even if a city tour isn't complimentary, check if there are any interesting sights close by. Seoul's airport in South Korea for example offers various free city and temple tours varying in length. I took full advantage of said tour. Actually, I took two of them.

Learn a language: Okay, so I know I said try not to spend hours upon hours on your phone during your layover BUT I find that after I have exhausted all other distractions (and depending on the airport) a layover is an excellent time to bust out the "duolingo". I killed two hours on my last layover and made it through two full French lessons. Mais Oui!

Other important bits include: dry shampoo (travel size), eye mask, cordless hair iron, ear plugs, audio books on my ipod/phone, travel mat (to lay on the ground) and your own water bottle to refill, I actually found a collapsible water bottle so it takes up almost zero space. Travel safe, travel light.

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