If you live in the Midwest like we do, it can be hard to find a direct flight to the destinations you want, and even when direct flights exist they can be budget breakers. A one-stop flight isn’t a bad option if you know how to make the most of a layover. Here are our strategies depending on layover length:
Less than an hour
You have time to use the restroom, refill water bottles, browse the bookstore and even eat a quick bite. For layovers an hour or less, we usually take our time making the stops listed above, get food-to-go if we’re hungry, then settle in at our new gate and pass the remaining time reading.
If we’re going to be in an airport for more than an hour, a leisurely meal is a good investment. Yes, airport food is overpriced, but that is true whether you’re eating at the airport Burger King or the airport fusion restaurant (yes, they have them). If we are going to be in the airport for well over an hour, check out all available restaurants on the terminal map, pick the most interesting, and then treat ourselves to a leisurely meal. It is a good way to pass the time away from the hustle and bustle (and loud-speakers) of the gate area. We especially enjoy when an airport has local cuisine. We often have layovers in the Memphis airport, which features some excellent barbecue choices.
If you find yourself with a layover of more than three hours, we find the entry fee to airline lounges such as the United Club or American Airlines’ Admiral’s Club is usually worth it. A day-pass to most lounges are $50 a person and include comfy armchairs, healthy snacks, drinks (including alcohol), wi-fi, storage for your carry-on luggage, and a much more relaxing atmosphere.