Last November, I made my way from the US to Accra, Ghana. In between, I had a long layover in London’s Heathrow Airport. It was a 10 hour layover, in fact. I had no desire to leave the airport, so I figured I would crash on a bench somewhere and maybe listen to music.
This did not exactly work out as planned. I was in terminal 3 of Heathrow, and despite my extreme fatigue, I could not find a square inch of peace, or space for that matter, to enjoy some sleep. Instead, I wandered around like a zombie, occasionally finding an open seat and sitting down for a while. The terminal buzzed non-stop. I found some peace in the oversized stalls in the bathroom, with their doors that extended nearly to the floor.
I eventually made it to my flight, but my layover did nothing to help my jet lag and I can say without question that I would appreciate to have those 10 hours of my life back. What would I do differently next time around?
Avoid the layover to begin with – Ok, so the layover saved me about $60. How much is that worth? I know now that it’s not worth price of wandering around like a zombie.
Take advantage of an airport lounge – Heathrow has its share of airport lounges. Most are equipped with all you can eat buffets, massages and spas, wifi and computers, and comfortable couches and chairs to sprawl out on. Of course, you have to pay for these, but as I said above, I think the expense is worthwhile in the grand scheme of things.
Take an even longer layover – A longer layover? Yes, as in several days. This would allow me to get over the jet lag and see a bit of London while I’m at it. What’s more, I could even leave the city and travel somewhere I haven’t been, like Manchester.
The bottom line is this: I don’t want to endure another 10 hour session in Heathrow’s terminal 3, struggling to find a place to sit down outside of a bathroom stall and feeling like I could tip over at any moment.
This post is brought to you by Manchester hotels from Travelodge. As I said above, I wouldn’t have mind taking a few extra days to leave London, get my head right and explore a new town.
For some related reading, check out our post on getting over jet lag.
Photo credit: flickr user pulseman