How to Travel In Transit

Plane at Terminal

Transit passengers don't need to be bored or lost during flights! Airport entertainment and facilities have reached a point where travelling in transit no longer means spending the night on a bench at your terminal. Here are ten suggestion on how to travel in transit comfortably.

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  • Do

    1. CHECK IF YOU NEED A VISA. Certain countries require that you have a transit visa to legally enter the airport while you wait for a connecting flight. Check this detail with your travel agent when booking your tickets, otherwise you'll be facing an awkward conversation with a customs official.

    2. LOOK FOR THE BEST ROUTE. Check with several airlines and airports before finalizing your booking. You may be able to find a route that takes you direct, or reduce your layover time substantially. Its a big world and there are plenty of airlines going around it, so take advantage of that.

    3. GET OUT OF THE AIRPORT. If you're travelling to Sydney and you've got a 13 hour layover in Hong Kong, use it as a chance to start your holiday early. Airport information will be able to help you with public transport time tables and how much it costs. Just because you're in transit, it doesn't mean you're stuck.

    4. GO TO AN AIRPORT LOUNGE. Airport Lounges are a great way to pass the hours. They offer comfy seating, snacks, free WiFi, showers, business facilities and more. You will find them at every international airport around the world, starting from budget venues, going all the way up to VIP rooms with gourmet buffets.

    5. STAY IN AN AIRPORT HOTEL. If you've got an overnight layover, why not check into an airport hotel on the premises? These are located within walking distance of the terminal, so you don't have to worry about straying too far away. Airport hotels vary from budget 2 star venues to 5 star luxury hotels.

    6. VISIT THE DUTY FREE SHOPS. Duty free airport shops are a great place to buy gifts for your loved ones, friends, colleges. You'll find everything you'd expect (and more) at a shopping mall, and pay far less for it. Duty free shops accept almost every currency, so you won't have to change money.

    7. USE THE AIRPORT FACILITIES. Visit the bars and restaurants. You'll often find a throng of people in a similar predicament to yourself. If you've got a few hours to kill, why not have a drink or a hot meal. In-flight meals are notorious for being tasteless and unsatisfying, so why not fill up before hand.

    8. USE TIME CONSTRUCTIVELY. Use the down time to do all those things you are normally to busy for during the week. Catch up on emails, phone calls, read, think about what you want to do on holiday.

    9. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE CLOCK. While there are some great ways to pass the time while travelling in transit, try not to loose sight of the fact that you have another flight to catch. Make sure you are at the gate when its time to board.

  • Don't

    1. OVERLOAD YOURSELF. Take only the essentials with you in a small hand luggage case. A book, MP3 player, lap top (if you have one), deck of cards, a toothbrush, a new shirt and a sweater is normally a winning combination. Having too many things will only clutter your bag and weigh you down when you've got to walk around the terminal.

Last Updated: August 2010