Connecting flights are quite common, but sometimes the
amount of time spent in between flights is so long that a lot of people plan
things to do while they wait. However, first it is important to understand that
the aviation industry has different terms to differentiate the different types
of stoppages. The two terms that seem to confuse people the most are layover
and stopover. Most people use these two terms interchangeably, but the aviation
industry takes special care to differentiate between them.
A layover is a term used to mean any amount of time
spent waiting for a connecting flight. Usually, it is a 30-minute to a 4-hour
stop on domestic flights, and as long as 24 hours on international flights. A
stopover, on the other hand, is a long stop that might be longer than 4 hours
on domestic flights and longer than 24 hours on a domestic flight. Below we are
going to look at fun things to do during a long stopover, and maybe they will
lead you to spend a night at a second intermediate destination!
See the City or Town
A lot of
people don’t know just how much beauty there is in the world. If you ever get a
long stopover, it is always a good idea to venture out into the city to see
what it has to offer. Visiting famous places is a very good place to start.
Learn the history of the city or town that you are staying in and leave the
city knowing a lot more about it than you did when you landed.
If you book a flight with Porter Airlines,
for example, you may have a layover at Ottawa, where you can take a bus to see
things like Parliament Hill, the Byward Market or Rideau Canal. With airlines
like Porter, they boast fast gate access and shorter queues, so you will be
sure not to miss your connecting flight when you arrive back.
Stay at a Fancy Hotel
There is a
very big difference between staying at a simple hotel and staying at a fancy
one. Most people will only ever get one chance to stay at a fancy hotel. If you
book a flight that has a long stopover in Paris or Madrid, you would be doing
yourself an injustice by not staying at one of the best hotels.
Granted, this might get a little bit expensive and would therefore take some
planning beforehand to pull off. However, if you can do it, enjoy the sights
and sounds of a new city from 20 or 30 stories up while the hotel caters to
your every need.
About the Local Culture
so much cultural richness in the world. Different cultures breed different
experiences and new insights and understandings as to how other people live in
the world. If you have a 24-hour stopover in Montreal, why not venture into the
outskirts to experience the city? You could go out and interact with the locals
to see and learn how other people live in the world. There is so much to learn
about other people and their cultures and you would be missing out if you never
went out and explored what this other side of the world looks like.
Some Local Food
so many different cuisines and delicacies to experience in the world. If you
have a long layover, it might be a good idea to go out and see what local
delicacy options there are. You just might find food you like that you would
also like to experience at home. Even though most of the cuisines of the world
can be found in Canada and the USA, it would not be a stretch to say that these
dishes taste better in the countries of origin.
centers hold so much information and interesting facts and stories. It would,
therefore, be an immersive learning experience to visit one or even a few of them.
If you have a long stopover, you might get a local tour guide to take you
around the city or town, show you the historical centers, and tell you about
the history of the country. There is so much local information to be learned,
information that might never make it onto the internet. It therefore follows
that the only way to get this information is from a local tour guide.
and museums are a good place to start. Most countries preserve their history
there, and these places usually contain the richest histories of these
is for people who have stopovers in Europe. European cities are known for their
Cities like Rome and Paris are good examples of places with marvelous
architecture. This architecture comes with its own history and stories. It
would be a fun idea to explore this architecture and learn all about its
addition to the city’s architecture, you can venture out to the outskirts to
explore the differences between the architecture there, and that which can be
found in the city. Doing this might not only give you a richer understanding of
the city but also help you kill some time.
a Local Movie
cities hold screenings for local movies. Even though these screenings might be
rare, if your stopover coincides with a screening of some local movies, it
might be fun to go see one or some of them. The language might be different
from what you are used to, but some of these screenings usually have subtitles,
especially if the screenings are meant for a diverse audience.
an Exhibition or Show
screenings of local movies, many cities hold exhibitions and shows. At these
exhibitions, you might get another chance to experience the culture of the
local people as well as buy one of a kind memorabilia.
shows are usually fun, even though the cultural elements they present could be
unfamiliar to you. That said, it is always a fun, engaging experience to
experience the culture of other people from around the world.
flights can take their toll. If you have a few hours to kill during your
layover, why not get a massage? In addition to it being a fun thing to do, you
get to experience a different type of massage than what you may be used to.
Stay at the Airport!
If you don’t fancy the idea of venturing out of the
airport for fear of missing your connecting flight or any important
announcements, you can always spend your time at the airport, where you can
make use of an airport lounge, browse the shops, or check out the observation
deck if the airport has one. A lot of people also like to use this time to
catch up on work, or even sleep!
Even though long stopovers
can be a drag, there are some fun things you can do to make the experience much
more bearable. It might take some planning, but at the end of it all, you will
have made the most of your spare time.