Are you regularly flying long-distance, international flights and are tired of long layovers? These layovers can be fun if you plan it right! In this article I will discuss my top 4 reasons to plan a long layover.
If you are someone like me who is constantly on a budget and with big financial commitments (the Indian voice in my head is always hinting about savings, building my own 3 Bedroom home, clearing my loans or just investing in insurance policies that cost at least 1/3rd of my monthly salary) and yet love to travel and see new places whenever possible, then long layovers can be a boon.
How can long layovers during your travel be useful?
I have over the recent years developed a keen interest in adding long layovers or if possible, a stopover to my long-haul international flights. This lets me make two trips at the cost and time for one! It is not just perfect for budget travels or to explore a new city while you are on the way to your actual destination, but it can also act as “try before you purchase” kinda deal.
Maybe exploring a bit of Paris over 8 or 9 hours made you decide there is more the city than the Eiffel tower and you would like to come back someday for a revisit and explore more of the city. Otherwise, say there is a place you wouldn’t normally plan to visit any time soon because either you don’t have enough holidays with a full-time corporate job at hand or you have a busy student lifestyle with no real budget for traveling and you’re broke most of the time (I know I was when I was a student), then a layover or a stopover is the perfect solution.
You can get out of the airport to see a new city during the few hours you have with a small budget and then get back to the airport to take your next flight out. Honestly, I feel like kicking myself in the place where the sun doesn’t shine for not planning long layovers a lot more in the past.
What is the difference between a layover and a stopover
Whenever we talk about long-haul flights normally, your travel is broken down into two or three stops. To better explain this, let’s say you have one-stop or break in your journey to your final destination, so the first flight is to a place (city) that comes on the way to your final destination. You get off here and board your second or connecting flight to the destination. A layover is when you have a few hours to kill in the airport of this city before taking your next flight. An extended or a long layover, which is anything from 24 hours or over that is what is called a stopover.
Basically, the free time or the gap you have between flights before reaching destination B from A make your layover/stopover depending on how much time you have to kill at duty-free stores or airport spas before taking your next connecting flight.
Why you should plan long layovers?
Still not sold on the idea though? Let’s make a list of benefits of planning long layovers/stopovers before we actually consider tips for planning layovers! (YES guilty! I’m one of those people who loves making lists… I also love those free organizing tools too)
Top 4 reasons to plan a long layover
1. Sample a new city while travelling
Like I said earlier, this is an opportunity to explore a new city or some parts of it to get a feel of the place or culture, and it’s perfect for budget travelers. It could help you plan a whole new trip to the place and save time and money by not revisiting the places you saw while you were there during your layover. For instance, my recent visit to Colombo during a stopover will help me save time and money during my next trip to Srilanka because I might not revisit Colombo, which is one day and one night of less travel time and expenses! Plus, I can plan my trip better because I know the places I’d like to explore and save time on those I don’t have to necessarily visit. Basically, now I know things I didn’t know before actually spending a day in Colombo.
2. Cheap Airfare!
Connecting flights are usually way cheaper than direct ones. Flights with long layovers are also usually cheaper or they come at the same price as short layover air tickets, this works perfectly well if you have a round trip planned. There is another trick to getting a cheap airfare which many travelers don’t really know, booking your connecting flights with different airlines for reduced travel expenses. I can’t say this works all the time, but it does most times. A few years back, this would have been a bit of a hassle, but now we have platforms like alternativeairlines.com or Skyscanner or airwander which make multiple city-hopping during long-haul flights a lot easier.
3. Taking a break during long journeys
Personally, I hate to sit in one place for long hours and what makes it worse is when I’m traveling on a plane! If you are like me, then taking a break to get off after an 8hours or longer flight and using that break to explore a new country will sound super exciting! Come to think of it when I was studying my Masters, I would have been a straight-A student had I planned my studies with the same interest I plan my stopovers. If you are taking breaks in Southeast Asia, then this can work out super cheap! I would know because I have done stopovers in places like Singapore and Srilanka and even Hongkong. Bangkok is one of the cheapest places for a stopover. If you want to explore Bangkok, then you can check for a cheap airfare at ThaiLionair.
4. Revisiting a place, you love.
If you have fallen in love with a place (I fall in love with places and animals all the time… yes, literally every animal except for creepy crawlies!), then planning a stopover is the best budget-friendly option to revisit a place. Personally, I am always double-checking airfare with Singapore Airlines or Qantas if I’m visiting South East Asia because I get to do a stopover in Singapore.
Enjoyed reading the blog? Check out my blog on how to plan your long layovers or stopover. I got some awesome tips and links to websites that could help plan your next travel.
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