5 Ways to Survive that Long Layover

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy here

Travel is one of the most celebrated activities we can do.  One aspect of travel that is commonly overlooked is the actual transit part. Many people find themselves chasing cheap air deals without thinking about the amount of downtime they may have between flights, resulting in a long layover.

Hey, you can’t really beat that $400 you saved and its not really a big deal if you have to spend 10 or more hours in an airport, right? It never seems like a big deal at the time but when you arrive at your layover after a red-eye flight with jetlag and in desperate need of a shower, you find yourself reconsidering for next time.

The biggest thing you can do is be prepared for what you have booked. If you have a long layover, take the proper steps to ensure you have something to do and keep yourself entertained in the process. This will ensure you don’t suffer so much before you arrive at your final destination.

We’ve put together a collection of our 5 favorite ways to survive those long layovers so you won’t think twice the next time your big savings on a ticket comes complete with one.

Long Layover Survival Guide

The Benjamin New York City

Day Use Hotel Stays

This is one of our favorite ways to pass a long layover, especially when we are changing multiple time zones and are flying overnight. There is nothing worse than the red-eye that lands in the early morning hours leading you into a super long layover.

The solution? Get yourself a room that rents by the hour or offers specials for day room bookings. Services like HotelsByDay are great for finding hotels that offer rooms like this at some of the World’s most popular airports.  

Instead of afternoon check-in, they offer morning check-in and evening checkout giving you the opportunity to spend your day relaxing during your long layover.

This gives you a chance to rest, relax or catch up on sleep after a red-eye flight before catching your next leg. HotelsByDay finds you hotels that allow you to stay in the airport and not pass through security.  The best part is you only pay for the day rental, not the overnight price and this saves you money.

Colosseum Rome Italy

Layover City Tours

If you are arriving in a city you have never been to and find yourself on a long layover, do some research ahead of time to see if the city offers layover tours.  This gives you a chance to get out of the airport, see a new place and stretch your legs.

One of my favorite cities for a layover tour in Amsterdam. If you have a layover longer starting with 4 hours or more, they take you out on a tour of the most famous sites of Amsterdam.  You can’t beat that as a way to kill time on a long layover.

Dead Sea Jordan

Be Armed with Media- Lots of it

It goes without saying that one of the best ways to stay entertained on a long layover is with media. We find that having a variety of podcasts, games, movies or audiobooks downloaded on our phones or tablets can really help to pass the time.

One way to store media is by investing in a small external hard drive. Put all your media on there so that it doesn’t take up space on your laptop or tablet. Just don’t forget the power cord for any of your devices or the entertainment won’t last long.

Long Layover Korean BBQ

Create Your Own Food Tour

This one is really dependent on the airport you end up in, but it can be a great way to pass the time. Some airports offer a wide variety of local cuisine, meaning you can skip from place to place sampling different dishes along the way.

Order something small and unique that you have never tried before. When you’re finished, move on to the next place repeating the same process. If you’re not a foodie, this might not be entertaining for you, but for some people, it is a creative way to pass the time.

Long Layover Airline Lounge

Airline Lounges

The last suggestion we have is looking into the various airline and airport lounges that are inevitably on offer at most airports. While they often come at a stiff price, the amenities on offer are worth it.

Most of them will offer a program by the hour that includes access to comfy lounge chairs, beverages, food, TV programs, and even showers.

We’ve even been in some that offer free intro massages. This is really awesome if you’ve been flying for hours and have stiff muscles. If you’re looking for a place to just relax, put your feet up and freshen up, then this could be an ideal way to beat that long layover slump.

Long Layover Survival

Now, the next time you find yourself on a long layover somewhere in the World, you can’t say you won’t be prepared to survive the wait before you start your vacation.

This post is brought to you by HotelsByDay.

More on Travel Planning:

Did you like this story? Share it!


Looking to get started on your trip planning process? Let us help!

Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

Book Your Flight: Ready to fly? Check out our tips for finding cheap flights.

Find A Car Rental:We use Discover Cars to compare car prices, find deals and book rentals.

Book Your Hotel: Compare prices and book with our recommended hotel search engine. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap accommodation.

Find Vacation Rentals: Search vacation rentals & apartments on VRBO for the best prices and options.

Protect Your Trip:Don’t forget your travel insurance! Protect your investment and yourself. Read Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.

About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We are also a member of other affiliate programs. For more info please read our disclosure page

Leave a Comment

Divergent Travelers- Adventure Travel Blog