Layovers are so much more than just crossing another city off your list...
It's a great introduction to a region.
One of the reasons we were so excited to visit Stockholm on a layover is that we were always interested in visiting Scandinavia but we were a bit hesitant because of the high price point. But 20 or so hours in Stockholm convinced us that it is possible to enjoy the region at a lower price point. It might not be easy, but it IS possible!
It can stop a bad first impression in its tracks.
Instead, I was glad that an end had come to a disagreeable first day, as a longer visit would have aggravated me even more. I needed time to process my experience and adjust my expectations. And instead of being turned off, I was motivated to return to discover a different side of the city. And a year and a half later, I did!
You'd be surprised by how much you can see.
We try to visit popular sites at a time when there's an extra incentive to do so - such as coordinating a visit to the Louvre to correspond with a guided tour of its main exhibits. Having a guide means there's a pro leading us through the crowds (itself a major time savor) and it allows us to see the highlights in an efficient manner, leaving us extra time to revisit favourite pieces or discover more on our own.
You see things other travelers might miss.
Speaking of Amsterdam's popular attractions, a lot of visitors don't know that the Anne Frank House is open to 9:00 pm in the high season (and 10:00 pm on Saturdays). This is a triple treat for anyone visiting on a layover. You have the chance to visit a special site when most other attractions are closed. You can do so without the epic lines you'll see mid-day. And by choosing to visit at night, you free up some time during the day to fit in another attraction.
Slow travel on a short layover? It's awesome!
And layovers even slay jet lag!
We recently had an overnight layover in Calgary while on route to Hawaii. We literally just went from the airport to the hotel for 8 hours, before returning back to the airport. We saw nothing of Calgary - not the downtown skyline, not a pizza delivery guy, nothing. And that was okay.
The layover let us break up a very, very long journey into two manageable chunks. We had a solid night's sleep and had a bit of an advanced start when it came to adjusting to the huge time change. It was a much happier and healthier experience to have two 7 hour travel days with a 10 hour break in the middle instead of the alternative - one 20 hour travel day.
We've got big love for these tiny trips
Have you ever had a flight layover? What did you enjoy about it?
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