Home - Travel Tips: Surviving the airport layover!
By far, the worst thing about any long-haul surf trip is the dreaded layover period between two flights. Anything up to three hours or even four hours is fine, but beyond that, we can start to lose a grip on many things including our sleep, money and sanity.
With a little prep, there’s no reason to be bored in today’s world. Got a smartphone or laptop with you? Consume media: pre-load it with videos, e-books, new music and games. Create media: write up your travels, edit some photos or video; you’ve no distractions so get to work on that project you never started. Obviously you’ve bought a power supply and travel adapter, look out for sockets where cleaning staff plug their machines into.
If’ you’re travelling very light or just not a fan of gadgets, a decent paper-back book is the way to go. Make it an adventure or travel one, it’s more likely to hold your interest now that you’re in full travel mode. No book? Skulk around the newsagents looking at surf mags (or any other specialist publications that catch your eye).
Create a cocoon
It can be really hard to ‘get away’ from people in airports, they’re all around us after all, and getting comfortable (or grabbing some sleep) gets really tough when strangers keep invading your personal space. I make sure to bring a hat that pulls down, a pair of shades and some decent headphones to block out noise and to create a little barrier between me and the masses.
Dress in layers. Have clothes that will make you comfortable if it is unbearably hot or sub-arctically cold in your airport. A nice thick hoody doubles up as a pillow or blanket too for a bit of open seat kipping.
Stinkin’ it up
Some airports, and the people in them, stink a bit. Usually this is down to bad plumbing, hot weather and spicy food. Combat this with a few blasts of deodorant on yourself, and a dab of Vick’s inside each nostril. If it’s good enough for the morgue…
Bring a few napkins or tissues with you. Nothing worse than dashing to the loo with a case of Bali Belly and some attendant is standing there guarding the crapper asking for a tip in exchange for two sheets of paper.
If the airport’s a real crap-hole or the layover’s the equivalent of a small custodial sentence, I check into the airport lounge. This costs around £30, but once inside, all drinks (including alcohol) are free, a buffet is laid on, there is wifi, showers, huge comfy chairs and an air of serenity. Lounges say you’re only allowed in for four hours at a time, but keep a low profile, change seats now and again, hat on / hat off and you’ll sneak under the radar all day.
Sleeping in my car
Here’s a very cunning tip. You’re at the airport, dog tired, can’t afford a hotel but need some space to lie down over night. Head to the car rentals and rent a cheap car for 24 hours. Recline the seats, lock the doors, leave it in the car park, and drift off with no annoying announcements for around £15 for the night.
All this leads to…
Getting as good a rest as you can for as fewer pennies as possible. You want to be rested so that after your next flight you can hit the surf without spending a day catching up on sleep. Eat well, stay hydrated and use the time wisely. Treat the airport as a mini-adventure in your surf trip rather than something to be totally dreaded.
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Great team at Ticket to Ride Surf School and surf lesson from Donncha! Last Sunday 7th August I dropped by Ticket To Ride Surf School on the way from the... read more car park to the beach to see if they could fit in a private lesson. Rory sorted it, which was great, and I then had a 2 hour lesson with a very patient Donncha who managed to get me (mid-fifties) standing up on more or less my first lesson - loved the lesson, the surf and the waves - I’ll be back and when I do, it’ll be to Ticket to Ride Surf School. I hope they’ve survived the mayhem of Boardmasters!
The staff is absolutly wonderful. They are friendly and helpful if you are new to surfing and will set you up with board you need. They also have wonderful classes... read more to help you improve your surfing skills. Whether you are amateur or more advanced the surf instructors will give you helpful advice to help you improve your performance. Thank you to Lucy and Finn for making our time super enjoyable, we will most likely be back to surf again soon.
We had a beginners lesson for our 2 daughters in their kids clubs session and my husband had a seperate lesson. The teachers were fantastic, patient and fun with the... read more kids. Our eldest managed to get standing during the lesson and both of them loved their lesson. Brilliant surf school I would use every time
We booked our kids in for a session. Neither of them have surfed before. It lasted 1 1/2 hours. All the kit was provided for them. Their instructor Finn,... read more was great with them. Very engaging. They were having a great time. Our kids were 5 and 8 at the time. I also did a two hour session in a group of 4 with Luke. He was very good and took time to explain everything to me, a complete beginner, and by the end of my two hour lesson I was standing on the surf board. Great fun. Super fun knowledgeable staff. Highly recommend
We have always used Ticket to Ride when they were based in Perranporth. They have moved to Watergate Bay, but we were staying next door in Waves, and the... read more school remains as good as ever. Charlie, Too, Luke and the rest of the team couldn't be more helpful. Our daughter learnt to surf with them in Perranporth and is looking forward to going to Bali with them next year. Best surf school in Watergate - ignore the rest, go for the best.
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