I’ve taken a few trips lately which have included a layover and they have been some of the best. Visiting more than one destination on a trip makes it feel more like I’m travelling ‘travelling’ instead of just on holiday. Plus, what is not to love about an extra destination on your holiday! Today I wanted to tell all about the reasons why you should embrace a layover. I thought now was a good time to be writing this post as I’m finding more and more cheap Europe flights which aren’t direct.
The first time I went ‘travelling’ I stopped in Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg airport, to naive me even stopping in a foreign airport felt like this amazing adventure. Since then, I’ve come to realise what a real ‘layover’ means and have stopped in Sydney, Iceland, Amsterdam and will be stopping in Sri Lanka on the way to the Maldives later this year. A layover adds a whole new dimension to your trip and there are so many reasons you should be adding one to your next holiday.
Why you should embrace a layover
Let’s clear up the difference between a layover and a stop over first. The former is where you spend enough time in the country to leave the airport and explore. It could be 5 hours or 5 days. A stopover is when you have to change planes at the airport but don’t have enough time to leave the airport.
A flight with a layover can be cheaper
The reason we took our first layover in Iceland (aside from because I really wanted to go to Iceland) was because the flight to New York was the same price with or without the layover. Not wanting to increase our holiday budget too much or take away precious time from New York we only stayed for 24 hours but it was so much fun. Also flights with a layover can be considerably cheaper than direct flights so it’s always worth checking it out as an option.
Gives you a taste for the country
Another reason for taking a layover is to get a taste for a city. You probably won’t be staying long in your layover or you’ll never actually make it to your final destination but it is great way to get those important first impressions of a city/county. You might be visiting a city that is typically quite expensive for long stays (like Scandinavia) or you’re thinking of a holiday there in the future and want to check it out on a short trip first.
A chance to catch up with friends (and see something you might not as a typical tourist)
I’ve found that quite often it’s the big cities that have layovers. A great way to make the most of being in such a big city, especially if you’ve never been there before is to contact any friends you have there and get them to show you around. Chances are they’ll take you to some of their favourite spots they you may have missed as a typical tourist.
Allows you to visit an extra (and new) country
If you’re one of those people who likes to count countries and visit as many as possible each year (hell aren’t we all those people) then a layover is perfect for you. Not only do you get to visit your destination but you’ll be able to visit the layover country too. If this is your goal then choosing an airline based on their ‘hub airport’ will allow you to plan your layover stop a little more.
As current EU citizens, no visa is required
Of course this point doesn’t apply to everyone or even all layovers. However, as a British citizen I’m very lucky that I get a free visa in a lot of countries including all those EU countries (at the moment). This means arrival into a layover city is hassle free and won’t cost you an added visa expense.
Do you ever take a layover while travelling?
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