We’ve all been there… flying somewhere too far away for a direct flight. Layovers can be tricky and it’s all in the timing. You don’t want to schedule your flights too close together, but you really don’t want to be sitting in an airport restaurant for hours either. Since direct flights aren’t always available to us, it’s important that we know how to handle layovers and how to manage our time as best as possible in these situations. If you’re wondering how to schedule a layover flight, here are a few tips.
Leave enough time to get from one flight to the next. This is easily the most important rule for when you’re scheduling a layover flight. You don’t want to be running through the airport trying to catch your connecting flight. When you’re looking at the times for flights, think about everything involved with the flight itself, rather than just the landing and departure times. Even if your flight is on time, you still have to taxi to the terminal and wait for the okay to get off the plane. Then you have to get your luggage from the overhead bins and wade through the sea of people who are also trying to get off the plane and maybe make a different connecting flight. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on where you are in the plane and how quickly other people are moving, so you’ll want to allow time for that.
Make sure your layover makes sense. If you’re traveling from Florida to southern California, it really doesn’t make sense to have a layover in Chicago, Illinois. By being smart about your layover destinations, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle.
Always pack a carryon bag with all of your essentials. This includes clothing, toothbrush and toothpaste, and anything else you might need in order to stay the night somewhere. It is rare that layovers get cancelled or so delayed that you have to spend the night somewhere in a strange city, but if you do, you want to be prepared. By simply packing a change of clothes and your necessary toiletries, you won’t be nearly as stressed when your flight gets cancelled. In this bag you should also pack a jacket, just in case where you happen to land is colder than your final destination.
Double check everything. You don’t want to accidentally miss an important detail that you need to know. Whether it’s layover times, destinations, the amount of time you’ll be in the air, or the time zone changes, you’ll want to be prepared for anything that might come your way. Have everything packed and ready to go so that you aren’t rushing right before you leave. If you know where you’re going and when you’re supposed to get there and where you’re going after that, you should be in good shape for your flights. Then you can just enjoy the ride and look forward to getting to your final destination.