Monday, July 11, 2011

A Layover Vacation

How to see other cities and countries for free or damn near really cheap!
Thanks to having a friend in London and doing research I saw more in 2 days than some people see in a week!

What's one of the worst parts of flying? Layovers right? You're stuck in some airport for some amount of time with nothing to do... Well, lets take a look at how to make the layover part of your vacation instead of a road block to it!

Make your connection worth it!I live Arizona, we have very few international flights and often I end up flying out of San Francisco or LAX when I head west to go to the far east... Anyway, if you have to take that whole day off from work anyway to fly red eye out of California, why not enjoy some of Cali? I usually intentionally make 12 hour lay overs in CA, my brother lives in San Fran and I know the city well now, so I land, leave my big backpack with the airline and head out to enjoy SFO, in one day you can bike the bridge, see fisherman's wharf, catch some good lunch and breakfast, and make it back with plenty of time to the airport, congratulations, you just spent pennies on the dollar to visit SFO by taking advantage of your layover! Research is key!!!! I did the same thing flying to Africa, the choice was between staying on a plane for 24 hours both ways, or for a mere extra $300, I booked it so I had 2 days in London, and 1 day on the way back in Amsterdam.

Look  at what connections are automatically selected, then see if you have the option to make the lay overs a few hours longer, for international you may have to book the flights separately, but if you are following the same route on the same airline, the prices should not increase by much.

Never thought I'd visit Seattle in 2008, but since it was free, why not?

DO RESEARCH!Layover vacation is not for the amateur traveler, I don't want you calling me to tell me you are stuck in LAX because you didn't give yourself enough time to get through security to head to Australia. Find out how far the airport is from the city you are going to explore for the day or overnight, figure you will need at least two hours to check back in for your flight (TSA recommends three for international). With some solid research you can make a boring layover into a fun day trip, or on an international flight, you can make a boring connection into a whole short trip to another country!

Layover Vacay Tips
-Utilize the international lockers if available, when I went to Amsterdam I was only staying for 24 hours, I knew I wouldn't need my big backpack, so I packed one day into my little and left the big one in an international locker. I was able to tour the city till check in time without having to worry about hitting people with my backpack like I did in London.

-Check the entry/exit requirements! If you need a visa or x amount of pages on your passport to enter or exit, that may be a problem!

-Don't get crazy, stay close to the airport, and have taxi fare in case you can't make the train! A layover vacation is a time to see the city close to where you are, hiring a car to drive out, or taking a train far away is not recommended, too much can go wrong.

-Get ready to get checked at customs! Sorry guys, this is gonna kill 15 minutes, but when you return to the states and they see you were only in a country for one day it looks a little suspicious! Explain the lay over vacation! ;-)

Choose the continent!!!!


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