How I Learned to Love Long Layovers

Most people dread long layovers when traveling and once upon a time so did I until I figured out a few perks, so I wanted to share a few of them with you.

You have time to explore

On my recent trip to the Philippines I had a 7 hour layover in Guangzhou from Harbin. I was dreading it until I realized I could really take advantage of this time. When I landed I went on a search for the airports baggage storage which when I finally found it I didn’t have the most delightful experience but I’ll save that story for another day. They had prices posted for different options such as the length of time you’ll be storing your luggage, size and how valuable it is. I ended up paying 35 RMB for 4 hours. I dropped off my heavy backpack which had my laptop inside and jumped on the metro and headed downtown as planned to explore for a few hours and came back in time to catch my connecting flight to Manila. If I had made more of an effort I most likely would have tried to book a city tour. I guess I’ll leave that for another day.

Many airlines provide a free hotel

On my way back from Manila I will have an 11 hour layover in Xiamen but unfortunately unlike Guangzhou I won’t be arriving at a decent time to explore Xiamen, I’ll be arriving at 11:30 pm. I contacted the airline and asked them if they offered free hotels for their passengers who have long layovers and they gladly contacted me the next day and confirmed that they had booked a hotel for me. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find that information on their website but when I visited other airlines websites such as Air Canada and China Southern they offered accommodations but the policies do vary.

Xiamen Air Hotel Reservation

Make a friend or two

My first time experiencing a long flight and a long layover was when I traveled to Thailand. While at the first stop over in Chicago from Toronto I had made two friends who were also traveling to Bangkok. The three of us had made a plan that we would hang out at our next destination in Japan. We grabbed a bite to eat, drank a few beers and had great conversations, which definitely helped the time fly by. The great thing is we’re still friends to this day!

Get some exercise

When I first moved to China I had a layover in Taiwan for 5 hours. Unfortunately during this time I didn’t make plans to leave the airport so instead I walked around the airport for 4 out of those 5 hours. I kept those restless feet moving. I visited different terminals, grabbed a bite to eat, took some photos and window shopped. It helped keep me awake and my quads felt the aftermath.

Do you have your own way to deal with long layovers? Let me know below!

Stay Restless!


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