If you know you’re in for a long layover (eight to 12 hours, say) at a major hub airport, consider using that time to explore the surrounding area. A few things to consider:
- Know the distance. Get a good sense of your layover airport and its distance from major attractions, downtown, or the countryside you wish to explore. Be aware of traffic patterns so you won’t get stuck at any point and possibly miss your connection.
- Give yourself time to deplane, as well as to go through customs and security, plus take local transit or pick up a rental car. Don’t expect everything to be running smoothly—budget extra time in case of red tape, snafus, etc.
- Arrange for your baggage ahead of time. Make sure your luggage is checked through to its final stop, so you won’t have to lug your things with you during your layover excursion and then re-check them on your return to the airport.
- Give yourself time to get back. Naturally, because you’ve left the airport, you’ll have to go through security again to depart. Make sure you have enough time to get through all checkpoints in time to catch your next flight.
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