Is there anything more tedious than long airline layovers? Wandering the terminals and browsing the gift shops isn’t exactly how you want to start your vacation.
Can you leave the airport during a layover? It’s something we all think about, but no one wants to risk missing their connecting flight or getting in trouble with local authorities.
To learn more, keep reading to find when it’s acceptable to leave the airport—plus, how you can do it safely.
Can You Leave the Airport During a Layover?
So, are you allowed to leave the airport during a layover or not? Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as you might like—yes, you can leave, but not always.
As long as you have enough time, it’s usually fine to leave the airport, explore the city, then get back in time for your flight. However, if you’re traveling internationally, you need to be very careful when it comes to visas.
In some countries, you need a visa to enter a country—without a legal visa, you’re not allowed to leave the airport.
However, even if you’re stuck in the airport, it’s not always a bad thing! Some airports, like Singapore’s Changi Airport, have plenty of fun and free things to do without ever leaving the terminal.
What Will You Do With Your Baggage?
If you’re leaving the airport during a layover, figure out what you’ll do with your bags. You don’t want to lug around your carry-on luggage through a new city, so ask at the airport about a left luggage service that you can use.
Many airports have services where you can safely leave your luggage, either hourly or daily.
Consider Your Timings Very Carefully
Before heading out, do some research when it comes to timing. Work out what time you need to be back at the airport, then work backward from there to calculate how much time you can spend in the city.
Some airports are very far from the actual city, so traveling by bus or train could take a long time to get anywhere. Taxis are quicker but are also more expensive.
Keep in mind as well that your flight is always subject to change, so consider downloading your airline’s app. This will help you check the real-time status of your flight, helpful for planning your layover excursion.
Make the Most of a Long Layover With These Tips
Now that you know the answer to ‘can you leave the airport during a layover?’, think about your layover times and what you’d like to do if you left the airport.
If you have enough time and visas aren’t an issue, then you can plan your adventure! Long layovers can be a fun way to take a quick tour of a new city—and they’re certainly more fun than sitting in the airport terminal all day.
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