Top five airport transit tips

These tips will help you to survive airport transit and come out the other end smiling.

Top five airport transit tips
Image credit: Shutterstock

Whether you have a long layover or are rushing between terminals, these top five tips will help you to survive airport transit and come out the other end smiling.

One: Get moving

Sitting down for long periods of time isn't good for your body, but it's a necessary evil of long-haul flights. Your time in transit at the airport may be your only chance to get up and move around. So forget slumping in exhaustion on the couch at the coffee shop. Get up and move around. If you have a long layover, take a walk around the airport. Look in the shops, check out the exhibitions airports often have on show or even find yourself a bathroom and take a shower. Anything to stay upright and moving. If you only have a short time and are stuck moving straight from one plane to another via security, don't just stand still in the queue. Use it as a chance to have a stretch, walk on the spot and work the kinks out of your neck.

Two: Stay hydrated

Aeroplanes are heavily air conditioned, which means it is easy to become dehydrated without realising. Dehydration causes fatigue, can leave you cranky and will definitely make your jet-lag worse at the other end. Airports are just as air conditioned as aeroplanes, so no matter where you are during your trip be sure to stay hydrated. While you are in transit nobody will be offering you cups of water from a hospitality trolley, so buy yourself a bottle of water and set yourself a time limit in which to finish drinking. For those who are environmentally conscious and like to bring a bottle to refill, some airports only supply warm water in the bathrooms, so be aware that you may not be able to make use of it.

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    COMMENTS

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    parco
    11th Dec 2013
    11:48am
    Some airports e.g.Changi have arrangements where you can take a free bus tour of the city providing you have more than a minimum number of hours in transit (6 I think for Changi)
    Does anyone know of other examples?
    Mary
    11th Dec 2013
    1:32pm
    There is usually a long delay at Los Angeles - we were able to secure a Hop On Hop Off bus and had an amazing tour of the city - you can judge if you have time to get off or just enjoy the sights. There is a stop within walking distance of the airport - but the ticket would have to be pre booked as they do not sell at the airport - we took a cab to Santa Monica Pier and bought there
    Mary
    11th Dec 2013
    1:42pm
    btw itg works best if you have come from within USA as you can on-book your luggage to your next destination - most counters don't open until the afternoon
    margw5
    11th Dec 2013
    10:33pm
    When flying to Europe via Bangkok, I used to get a flight with the least wait in transit - now I don't mind a longer wait, as there are several rooms that you can have a shower and a short sleep. Cheaper than this is to book a hotel within the vicinity of the airport, which usually offers a free shuttle service. The nearby hotel came in handy as we had a 7 hour transit wait, so we slept, showered, and was refreshed for the next leg of our journey. Helps with the jet-lag too.
    Grasshopper
    12th Dec 2013
    1:04am
    T3 Changi Singapore has public showers at far end, upper level for SG$8-12. Towels soap supplied. Facilities cleaned after each use.

    They also have reasonably priced restaurants on the upper level and a cinema. Concourse level are massage chairs, a fish nibbling foot cleansing (try it - it's not as gross as it sounds)

    A walk around T3, there's plenty to see - a beautiful orchid garden and a koi pond come to mind. The Koi are fed twice daily.

    Smokers are catered for with a small room and it's usually packed solid with like minded people where the craving of nicotine crosses all language barriers.

    As said previous, there's also a free bus tour of Singapore if you have a long transit

    One trip I flew and transited 36 hrs from go to whoa, Prague - Frankfurt - Singapore - Brisbane. It took a week to get over it. I now stop in Singapore for a few days, enjoying the food, shopping and sightseeing. I stay at Ibis on Bencoolen at a reasonable rate, avoiding the 4-5 Star hotels. Believe me when I say there will always be something new to see in Singapore each stopover. The added advantage is Singapore Air don't charge extra for a stopover
    Jude
    12th Dec 2013
    6:01pm
    Unless it has recently changed, Korean Airlines from Brisbane to London includes an overnight hotel stay at no extra cost- including transfers, dinner and breakfast. I haven't experienced this but my daughter has twice. Both times it was on the return flight after coming home for Christmas (lives in London), and the airfare was reasonable for that time of year and much cheaper than any other at the time. Luggage was left at the airport, she only needed the essentials for an overnighter.
    A. N. Onymous
    14th Dec 2013
    12:49am
    Depending on flight times and times between flights, your airport transit might be late at night and/or in the early hours of the morning. Try http://www.sleepinginairports.net/ for all kinds of helpful information.

    I don't remember how or when I learned about the site (which has been online since 1996); but when I started to look around it, I wound up looking at airports from past trips and/or stopovers (and cities I had lived in but never flown in or out of their airports) as well as the then current trip we were planning.

    Extracts from http://www.sleepinginairports.net/about.htm --

    "It all really started in the summer of 1994 when young Donna McSherry travelled to Ireland and Northern Ireland, proving to the locals that Canadians are really tight with a buck. The following year, she ventured off to Switzerland. During these trips, she came up with many of the tips . . .
    . . .
    Obviously with only her 3 airport reviews, this was no great database by any stretch of the imagination. However, she persevered and soon people started sending their stories. She still remembers the first person who sent his airport reviews. Today there are over 8800 airport, train and bus station reviews.
    . . .
    Since the time the site began, travel has changed. Sleeping in airports is no longer just for the young budget traveller looking to save a few bucks. People of all ages and incomes can now be seen stretched out on airport floors all around the world. Whether they are there because of a long transit, flight delay or voluntarily to save money, the Guide to Sleeping in Airports proven to be a useful (and often humourous) resource for hundreds of thousands of travellers.

    Whether by coincidence or browser error, thank you to everyone who has visited this site, contributed to, made fun of or learned from this site and its premise! And to those of you who say airports are not for sleeping, remember this site when you are stranded at an airport overnight due to a weather delay or erupting volcano and you don't want to pay $200 to sleep at a hotel for 5 hours."


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