Fun Things to Do During a Long Stopover

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!

Go 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.

Learn About the Local Culture

There is 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.

Have Some Local Food

There are 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.

Visit Historical Centers

Historical 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.

Archives and museums are a good place to start. Most countries preserve their history there, and these places usually contain the richest histories of these countries.

Enjoy the Architecture

This tip is for people who have stopovers in Europe. European cities are known for their beautiful architecture. 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 history.

In 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.

See a Local Movie

Most 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.

See an Exhibition or Show

As with 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.

Local 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.

Get a Massage

Long 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.