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Make the Most of Your Airport Stopover

Long flights can be extremely strenuous. Not only are they stressful and often boring, but they can also be physically exhausting. A great way to break up a long haul flight is to consider planning a stopover in a particular city along the way. Many travellers pay extra to reduce the amount of time spent on a stopover, with advance planning, it may be a convenient way to experience a city that you may not have considered adding to your itinerary.

Photo credit: Leandro’s World Tour on VisualHunt

What is a Stopover?

Instead of going from point A to point B, a stopover is essentially a period where you stop in a particular city while travelling to your ultimate destination.

Stopovers are extremely popular as they can provide you with the opportunity to break up an extremely long flight. It will give you the opportunity to leisurely walk around without stressing about having to run to the next gate.

Another reason why they are popular is that they provide you with the unique opportunity to explore new cities. Careful planning will give you the opportunity to have six or more hours to explore a city which you might not otherwise get to explore.

Getting the Most Out of Your Stopover

You will want to get the most out of your stopover. That means, don’t just ‘wing it. Instead, take the time before your trip to plan your stopover.

If you are planning to make a stopover on your next flight, here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your time in a new city.

Conduct Your Research of the City and Airport

It is important to note that you will need to get back to the airport, go through security and in some cases even apply for a visa. Take the time before your stopover to research everything from how far away the airport is to the city, how long average queue times are at security, what security measures there are at the airport and even if a visa or other travel documents are required.

Carefully Plan Your City Adventure

Your time is extremely limited when you are exploring a city on a stopover. The last thing you want to do is get caught up in an adventure and miss your flight, or not have enough time to get back to the airport.

Before arriving at the city, take the time to plan what you would like to see or do when you get there.  Pick a few popular attractions, restaurants and even shops. Make sure you have some backups because there may be a chance a place might be closed or has a long queue.  Having a backup plan will allow you to enjoy your stopover.

Some suggestions for things to do in popular stopover cities include:

  • Hong Kong International – visit the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware and sample local cuisine;
  • Singapore Changi – visit Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay Park and the Singapore Flyer Ferris Wheel;
  • Dubai International – Go to the Dubai Mall where there are thousands of shops, an aquarium and even an ice rink.

Short on time? Explore the Airport

If you think an airport is just a place for fast food restaurants and quick service shops, you might want to think again. Airports are starting to turn into travel destinations for the weary traveller. Airports are expanding their horizons and providing travellers with access to luxury spas, gourmet restaurants that serve local cuisines, relaxing gardens, movie theatres and even a number of different types of entertainment. Find a city that has one of these amazing airports and make it your next stopover.

Use these tips and tricks to make the most of your next stopover. You may be surprised at how much fun you have exploring a new city or even just wandering around an airport.

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