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A layover is a break or a stop between flights. It’s when you take a flight to a particular destination and stop in the middle somewhere for some time before resuming the flight to the destination. A layover can be short or long; it’s a long layover if it lasts 10 hours or a little more than that.

The layover in itself is not a big deal. Isn’t it just a wait? But there’s the issue of some countries that require visitors to get a transit visa if they will journey through the city (layover), whether they will be stepping out of the airport or not. Besides, it can be tiring and stressful, especially the long layover. There is the stress of carrying luggage again in between transit.

The burden of going through customs and security checkpoints is also there, in addition to that which you will experience when you choose to step out during the long layover. However, whether you decide to stay back at the airport or step out during the long layover, it can be frustrating if you have nothing planned out to utilize your free time. You need to know ways to make the most of your long layover, whether or not you can leave the airport.

“It’s a necessary evil.” Some would say. It’s true! Irrespective of how frustrating the long layover can be, it is necessary for proper functioning. Long layovers could be due to mechanical problems, flight cancellation, plane maintenance or flight delay. It could also be planned if it’s a long-distance trip.

Notwithstanding, whatever the cause of the long layover might be, there are ways to make the most of it, whether or not you are allowed to leave the airport to go into the city.

hREAD: Lagos Murtala Muhammed Airport Lounges In International Terminal

Ways to Make the Most of Your Long Layover if You Can Leave the Airport

If you can leave the airport during a long layover, it’s an opportunity to tour the cities around the destination of the layover and have some fun.

Below are ways to make the most of your long layover if you can leave the airport.

Visit a friend

You can be lucky to have a friend or a relation that stays in a city around the destination of the layover. As such, the long layover becomes an opportunity to catch up with a friend and have a good time. The friend or relation you are visiting can even take you on a tour around the city.

Get a tour guide

This is another way to make the most of your long layover. Without an acquaintance in the cities around the destination of the layover, you can still take a tour in the cities with the help of a tour guide. If you employ the services of a tour guide, you will have the luxury of the tour guide picking you up and dropping you off at the airport after the tour. Thus, the fear of missing your way to an unfamiliar destination will be dealt with.

Consider trying a local cuisine

Make the most of your long layover by trying out the local cuisine at the destination of your layover. You can visit restaurants outside the airport to satisfy your taste buds with novel cuisines. Try out delicious new meals while you see marvellous sights outside the airport. It’s different from trying out the meals at the airport. There’s this feel of novel air you get outside the airport.

Go shopping

If you are a shopping pro or love shopping, a long layover outside the airport is a notable opportunity to satisfy your desire. There are fashions and styles of limited editions that you can only get from some destinations, so try the various malls in the cities and do your classic shopping.

READ: Benefits Of Airport Lounges

Book a hotel

This is another way to make the most of your long layover outside the airport. You can book a hotel in the city to relax. It is better and more comfortable than relaxing in the airport.

Ways to Make the Most of Your Long Layover if You Can’t Leave the Airport

On the other hand, the fact that you can’t leave the airport during your long layover doesn’t mean you can’t make the wait worthwhile.

Below are ways to make the most of your long layover if you can’t leave the airport.

Take a tour of the airport

Who says you can only tour outside of the airport’s premises? Of course not! Every airport has beautiful structures that can catch your fancy. There are restaurants, lounges, spas, and malls in airports, and they mostly have a touch of the local culture. So you can still have a feel of the culture of the people of that destination within the airport. Thus, you can visit the various locations within the airport and have an exciting tour.

Relax and sleep

If you consider the stress of travelling, then catching a sleep is a great way to make the most of your long layover if you can’t leave the airport. Although an airport’s setting is not suited for sleeping, many airports have built comfortable lounges where you can always rest. You can manoeuvre ways if you can’t afford a lounge or are not allowed access to any. Try to get a nice spot where you can relax and sleep. You can lay your head on your luggage (that’s if it’s comfortable enough). It will make your luggage secure while also serving as a pillow. If you can’t use your luggage as a pillow to secure it, ensure it is properly locked. Move it very close to you such that any movement around it will alert you.


Have you observed that if you are reading about a topic of interest, you don’t know when time flies? Yeah! You will only look up and find out you have spent hours, and it would seem like minutes to you. So, to make the most of your long layover when you can’t leave the airport, get a book of interest (whether hard or soft copy) and dig into it. Before you know it, your long layover will be over.

Make new friends

There’s no limit to when and where to make friends. You could find someone like-minded in the least expected places like the airport. So, try to start a chat with a fellow traveller who is less busy too; speak on topics of mutual interest and have fun together. You can even play games together while you await the end of your long layover.

See a movie

If you are a movie lover and there’s a particular movie you want to see but can’t yet. Perhaps because it’s a long movie that would consume data and you aren’t ready for such expense, you can seize the opportunity of your long layover to watch it. That is because some airports have free internet that travellers can access. So, settle down, plug your phone into power support, and have fun watching your long-hour movie.

Whether you can leave the airport or can’t during your long layover, you can make the wait worth it. However, if you can leave the airport, ensure you have the necessities. Also, ascertain you know the stipulated time for the layover so as not to exceed the time of the long layover outside the airport.

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