Cover-More travel blog

How to make the most of a stopover

Trying to catch some shut-eye during a stop-over can be difficult. Check your airport amenities as many airports are now offering sleeping lounges to make it easier.

Planning a holiday from beginning to end is a difficult thing to do, and every once in a while you are bound to find yourself with a small stopover in a city and country that may not have been on your itinerary. But with a few tips about how to make the most of your time, those 24 hours in this new city can be an unexpected and excellent last-minute stop to your trip.

There are many airports in the world where you can leave the airport and explore the city you’ve landed in without the fear of missing your connection and without needing a visa for entry. If this isn’t an option however, you can stay put and explore the airport you arrived in. Here are a few tips about how to make the most of a stopover—whether it was a planned stop or a surprise.

Venture Outside the Airport & Make Memories

Imagine sitting out at a café enjoying a fresh sandwich and cold drink while watching locals and tourists mingle in a city centre instead of eating day-old airport food in your lap at your flight’s terminal. Sounds pretty ideal, and it isn’t hard to make happen. If you have five hours or more before your next flight takes off, you can take advantage of your new location and step outside the lines of airport and into a new, unexpected city.

Check out the airport’s stores for guidebooks on your location. Pick up quick tips about travel, and find a popular landmark or neighborhood you want to explore. By narrowing your destinations, you can save time and allot yourselves plenty of wiggle room for traffic, long airport security lines and other normal travel variables.

Many airports that are near big cities offer fast and affordable transportation into the cities they serve. You can use public transportation from the airport to the city and spend your time exploring and experiencing a new city with your half-day. For best results, when you’re leaving, sketch out a rough itinerary to keep yourself on track and to give yourself some time markers for when it’s time to wrap up the fun and head back to the airport. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport and through security so you don’t miss your connecting flight.

Stay in the Airport & Explore the Space

If you decide to stay in the airport, there are still plenty of things to spend your time doing. If you are in an international airport, chances are there are restaurants and stores galore to explore. If you find your mind wandering and your boredom increasing, you can try a few other things.

For example, you can throw in a light work out to your stopover. Pick a quiet corner of the airport and get started. Try stretching and deep breathing exercises to release any tension you’ve picked up from travelling. Or, if you’ve done yoga before, try going through the sun salutation to get your blood flowing. Some airports even have a specific fitness area where you can join others to stay active and get loose.

Or if it’s an overnight stopover and things are closed down, you can try and catch some sleep. Many airports are now offering sleep lounges with chairs that are specifically designed to let you sleep easier than cramming into an uncomfortable seat, or making do with your carry-on as a pillow. SleepinginAirports.net is a great resource for seeing what options you have.

No matter what you choose to do—stay in the airport or venture into the city beyond—having international travel insurance is the best way to make sure all parts of your trips, even the spontaneous ones, are protected against the unexpected. Choose Cover-More Travel Insurance and pick the plan that fits you.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Oakley Originals