Turn your long layover into a mini vacation

Recently I touched on the option of actually choosing to have a long layover.  Most travelers dread connecting flights, however if you have to connect someplace, why not enjoy it?

One of my favorite ways to end a great international trip is to stop in one last city on the way home. Imagine a day in Istanbul, London, NYC, Amsterdam, anywhere... These quick stop overs that break up the long flights home can also give you one last adventure before you rest your head on your own pillow at home. Why shouldn't you enjoy an added day in a new city or country?

Trusted Travel Girl Tips for an intentional long layover:

  1. Do your homework! Do you need a visa for that country? If it's someplace like Istanbul, Turkey... (If you are a US Citizen) yes you will need a visa, but you can get it upon arrival. What do you want to see, experience, eat... etc...? Even if your plan is to have no plan at all, you still need to lay the framework for a quick trip.  Look at what that city has to offer and make sure what you plan on doing will be available to you during the date and time of your arrival. This will allow you to have a sense of direction during your quick stay. 
  2. Be sure to check your luggage, pack light or research where you can store your luggage (such as train station lockers).
  3. Look at a map ahead of time! Is this airport close to the city center?  How long will it take to get back?  Will you take a metro, a bus, will you walk, will you take a taxi?  Research the best way to get from the airport.  With apps like Uber available in 41 countries across the globe, getting around has become easier and more affordable.
  4. How much time will it take to get to where you are going and get back?  Are you leaving an ample amount of time to make it back to security, pick up your bags if you left any, and get to your flight? Be certain.

The planning required isn't difficult or time consuming. You will however, like anything in life, get out what you put in.  The more you plan and structure your day, the more unplanned experiences you will open yourself up for. After all, just because you have a plan doesn't mean you can't deviate from it, and no one wants to spend half their time staring at a map. Now you are ready to enjoy your next layover!