Long haul flying has many downsides, although we have to remember the major upside is that the destination is certainly worth the wait. With certain flights you might have an extended stopover in a city, and in that case you should certainly get out and explore!
There are a few things you need to bear in mind with this kind of journey however.
Make it as easy on your body as possible
Long haul flying alone is hard enough, but when you’re stopping en-route to explore, you need to remember that your tiredness levels might be higher. You can do much for your situation by making sure you’re well-rested before you embark on your travels, and to do that, I would recommend staying the night at the airport, to ensure you don’t have to get up super-early to travel to your departure airport. I regularly stay at the hotels at Manchester Airport for this exact reason, and I enjoy having a more leisurely start to my day, as opposed to rushing around, stressed out, and feeling worse for it when I finally do arrive at my destination. AirportHotels.com offer fantastic rates, so check out what is on offer at your departure airport.
Pick a flight with an interesting stopover
You might not have too much say in this, but if you are interested in visiting a different city then you need to find a flight which offers you the best choice of cities. Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore, these are all popular stopover cities.
Keep an eye on time
You need a decent stretch of time to truly explore, so if you have anything less than five or six hours then it’s not worth leaving the airport, and you should instead enjoy the facilities in the terminal building. Make sure you leave yourself the same amount of time when you return and get through security again.
Check visa rules
You may need a transit visa if you’re planning on leaving the airport, but this depends on your country of origin, and the place you’re visiting. Head to the embassy website to get up to date information, so you’re not caught out.
Consider a guided tour
This is the best way to see the highlights of your stopover city and the main sights, in a short space of time. Do a little research online before you jet off, and book ahead of time if possible.
Stopovers don’t have to be about excessive amounts of waiting, if you can get out and explore a new city, consider it a major bonus!