A lot of expats do a fair bit of traveling, and depending on where you are coming from, or where you are going there could be a significant layover in your future. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time in both Vienna and Istanbul, but with a little bit of planning ahead of time you can turn a full day of waiting into an unexpected day of fun or sight seeing. USA Today just had this article on things you can do in different cities if you have a longer layover in them. Also given the fact that the free WiFi was taken out of the Istanbul airport, now is an even better time to get out and go see something!
You don’t need to spend a long layover holed up in a passenger lounge. Some airports offer free or low-cost local tours to connecting passengers. “If you have a five- or six-hour layover, you can easily see several things,” said Brendan Dorsey of The Points Guy, a site devoted to traveling on points and miles. “You don’t have to plan a lot. Everything’s just kind of set up for you.” Some tours have fees, and it’s important to check on visa requirements. Dorsey shares some favorites with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
Incheon Airport, South Korea
South Korea’s main airport makes it simple to visit the capital city of Seoul. Passengers can tour temples, caves and palaces, or even sign up for downtown shopping. “You only need a couple hours,” Dorsey says. “It’s a stress-free way to see the city.” airport.kr
Istanbul recently opened a new $12 billion airport, but continues a long tradition of free tours for passengers on its flagship airline, Turkish Airlines. The excursions, available to those with at least a six-hour layover, hit top historic districts and offer a chance to sample Turkish food. “You can do a lot in six hours. There’s so much history,” Dorsey says. Passengers with a layover of more than 20 hours may even be eligible for a free hotel stay. turkishairlines.com