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How to make your long-haul layovers work for you

Travelling to the other side of the world comes at a hefty cost, to both your bank balance and your time! Some destinations are unaccessible by just one flight so you’re often booking two separate journeys that are over 10 hours long with airport stopover in-between. For me exploring the world and visiting these new countries makes the long duration of ‘airtime’ oh so worth it but lengthier journeys do, understandably deter less frequent travellers.

I’ve always been keen to get to my desired destination as soon as physically possible and therefore power through both flights with the smallest waiting time in-between. Last week however, I flew back from Tahiti on a rather mammoth journey that consisted, in total, of 21 hours in the air. Los Angeles was our in-between destination so for the first time in my history of long haul flights we decided to touch down for a few hours break from the squished rows of economy flying!

Our bags were already checked in to London so after dropping off our checked-in luggage to the transit desks we jumped in a cab straight to the beach!

We had 6 hours to play with from touch down to take off so factoring in security queues and baggage collection we had 3 hours to play with. Having travelled to LA previously a number of times I know the area wells so decided to hit the coast. Venice Beach is 25 minutes drive from LAX and roughly $20 in a cab or Uber so it was an easy decision for us to base ourselves there to enjoy a few sacred hours in California. Venice Beach is lively location 24/7 and a great spot for a few hours layover as there’s so many shops and eateries to browse through and grab a bite at. All perfectly located underneath a sweeping row of palm trees. There’s also, of course, the beach itself and if the pacific ocean does invite you in there are public (free of charge) showers to hose yourself down before getting back on the plane.

‘We ate, we wandered and we took those obligatory instagram snaps before heading straight back to the airport and boarding our second flight home feeling refreshed and revitalised!’

It won’t work every time you fly as timings and expenses will always factor in but having experienced both options I would highly recommend if you have a 3+hr break in-between flights don’t be afraid to step outside the airport walls and explore a little!


10 Reasons why it’s great to escape the airport during a layover.

1.Potentially explore a brand new country.

2.Stretch your legs for a few hours after a long flight.

3.Enjoy breathing in FRESH air.

4.Eat food that isn’t ‘fast’.

5.Enjoy a conversation or interaction with someone other than your travel partner.

6.Maximise your time spent away from home.

7.Do it for the Gram, your followers don’t need to know it was only a few hours 😉

8.Meet up with friends who may be based in that country.

9.Save money, we all spend unnecessarily when stuck in an airport for hours.

10. If you switch airlines as well that’s a brand new set of entertainment for your second flight!


1 Comment

  1. Meghan
    September 1, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    I am always put off flying too far away because of these long-haul flights! The idea of a stop off makes it sound more bearable. Maybe I’ll extend my horizons and add in an extra day either side. Great post Sabrina x

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