Along with the savings it can bring (and, if you don’t believe us, head over to KAYAK.co.uk to see for yourself), it’s a good way to break up the journey, stretch your legs and sometimes, if the stopover is long enough, even get to see a second country.
But if you’re destined for a long stay at your stopover airport, here are the things that will likely happen to you.
You’ll think of leaving the airport
As your flight begins its descent and you see the faraway skyline of a new and exciting city out the plane’s window, you’ll have a moment where you consider heading in the direction of the airport’s exit. “Five hours”, you’ll think to yourself, “That’s enough time to see some of Dubai”. But you’ll soon realise that the airport isn’t exactly a hop, skip and a jump from the Burj Khalifa, and the thought of being stuck in a traffic jam is enough to keep you from leaving. It’s probably too hot anyway, right?
You’ll cheat the WiFi system
You’ll decide to settle down and catch-up on the internet. But you need WiFi. And the airport’s free WiFi requires your personal details. You’ll decide it’s more important to curate a fake name and email combo, rather than give out your actual information. You will be known henceforth as Fake Fakerson and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll freshen up
You’ll make it online. Selfies await. But eight hours of flying has left you looking less than fresh. You’ll head to the loo, wet wipes and travel toothbrush in hand. 10 minutes of preening later and you’ll still look like you haven’t slept in a fortnight. You’ll decide that a carefully selected filter will be your saviour.
First things first. Although airports are technically a bit of a no man’s land and are by no means a realistic example of the country you’re in, you’ll still feel compelled to check-in on Facebook and create an Instagram Story. “OMG I’m in Hong Kong!” you’ll type, as you sip on a Starbucks Frappuccino and tuck into a panini… not quite the local delicacy but who’s to know?
You’ll spend too long looking for a plug
It’ll take you longer than you care to admit to perfect your airport selfie. Your travel buddies will give up on you and head to duty free. And you’ll realise that your vanity has drained your battery. And so begins an hour of hunting for a spare plug. Of course, all the ones that are actually meant for passengers will be in use. You’ll have to opt for the awkwardly placed socket behind a bin.
You’ll clock watch
Time seems to stand still. Which is what tends to happen when you check your watch once every thirty seconds. You’ll start to think that you’ll be in the airport for eternity.
You’ll spend way too much money on food
Boredom will set in and you’ll head to the nearest restaurant, order a horrifically expensive beer and various bar snacks. It won’t matter that you’ve already eaten two meals on the first flight and will probably get two more on the next. You’re on holiday!
You’ll buy something you really don’t need
You’ll decide to browse Duty-Free, just to kill another half hour. You won’t need anything in particular and you’ll want to save your money for the actual holiday. But then you’ll spot a nice pair of shades. And before you know it you will be £50 down. You’ll ban yourself from shopping for the rest of your time in the airport.
You’ll have the moment of fear
You’ll soon settle into your new life at the airport. You’ll soon have expert knowledge about your surroundings, as if you’ve been there your whole life (and to be fair, five hours in, it probably feels that way). You’ll know where does the best coffee, the best spot for charging your phone and the comfiest uncomfy airport seats. You will finally be content. And then you’ll hear over the tannoy that it’s the final boarding call for your flight. Panic ensues.
Pro tip: If you want to avoid this situation, sign up for KAYAK Trips. Here, you can access all your travel information and get live updates on your flight and gate information, so you can make it from plane to plane, stress-free.
You’ll make it just in time
You’ll run, jump and dive Indiana Jones-style, conquering the airport’s various obstacles – escalators, bags, seemingly pointless metal separators – even though you’re sure that there is no way you’ll make it to the gate on time. You’ll arrive panting and sweating, flailing your passport and boarding pass in the air… only to see that there’s still a queue. Panic over. Time to sit back and enjoy the ride to your final destination.
Going long-haul? You can search for flights (with or without stopovers) on KAYAK.co.uk.