No one likes a layover… unless they rock!
Layovers are like the ugly stepsisters of travel and delayed layovers… don’t even get me started. It’s fair to say no one enjoys being stranded midway to paradise or better yet on the arduous journey home but until we figure out hypersonic flights for commercial airlines, they are here to stay, so you should at least try and enjoy them. Here are the best cities for every type of traveler.
The Gym junkies
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Knowing O’Hare’s track record, this purchase will be worth every penny.
While they do offer a yoga room to all, why don’t you splurge a little and buy a Hilton Athletic Club pass for a whopping $20. The on site gym offers a plethora of amenities including cardio equipment, weights, a steam room, a sauna and even Jacuzzi. Don’t forget to pack the swimwear.
San Francisco International
Stretch out your economy cramped limbs in the world’s first airport yoga room. The mirrored studio allows passengers 24 hour access, free of charge. Namaste
The Cultured Crew
San Francisco International
With a $3 million annual art budget, San Fran International has stocked its four terminals with modern art, aviation fare and rotating exhibitions.
The City Slickers
Reagan Washington National
With proximity on its side, you can be in downtown DC before Frank Underwood double crosses you. A 15-minute cab ride for $12 will guarantee you a choice of The White House, Capitol Building and Smithsonian to name a few. I hear the White House doesn’t lock their doors lately so you may even get a wave to POTUS.
The Fashionista Flyer
Hong Kong International
After spending a few hours strolling around the mall, yes that’s right, mall, you probably don’t really need to come back and see actual Hong Kong. Known as a shopping mecca, the airport is home to brands including Chanel, Burberry, Chloe and Prada. Chances are you will be broke before even arriving at your destination.
The I Doer’s
There’s nothing like heading off on your honeymoon the moment you say ‘I Do’. With the choice of four special themes from aviation style, on-board vows or the quickie ‘Say Yes and Go’ there is something for everyone as they are become seatmates…I mean soul mates for life.
It’s all about beer in Germany and even its airport offers plenty of ways to savor the country’s best brews. Airbräu is a Bavarian-style tavern complete with its own beer garden and on-site brewery.
If you are ‘lucky’ enough to have a three-hour-plus layover, consider taking a 20-minute taxi ride to the renowned Bavarian State Brewery, Weihenstephan, for a pint and bratwurst. It is the oldest working brewery.
Like the city itself, the airport boasts its amazing views of mountain and ocean vistas through glass walls. There is also a 30,000-gallon tank teeming with more than 5,000 sea creatures such as sea stars and giant kelp, and another tank devoted to jellyfish.
Singapore Changi Airport
Pack your bathers and get ready for some fun in the sun. Changi Airport has a beautiful Balinese themed rooftop pool for your leisurely use.
There is no surprise as to why Singapore’s Changi airport takes the title for best airport year after year, time flies (yes…it’s a pun) at this airport, so much so you may never want to leave.
Looking for a bit more to do? Unwind from flying by sliding down a 40-foot indoor slide, or catch a movie at the IMAX theatre. There is also a Xbox 360 gaming room for the boys and a butterfly garden for the girls. Not to mention the services provided for business travellers, with 550 free internet terminals plus airport-wide Wi-Fi. And if you happen to be stranded over night, napping areas and hotels are available on site to rent rooms for six hours blocks.
Or you could simply make a music video like this guy.
Herstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.
Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.