Sunday, 25 October 2015

Halloween Layover Ideas

Bran Castle TB1
How about Halloween in Dracula's Castle?
Not only can you visit Bran Castle, but you can actually party there on Halloween!
Aside of playing trick-or-treat at the airport, what could you do, if you were stuck on a layover on Halloween?

If you are travelling on Halloween, there are all manner of interesting activities you could participate in around the world.

Just for fun, here are a few tours and activities around the world.

Transylvania - the land of Dracula!
2-Day Halloween Party in Sighisoara Citadel from Bucharest
2-Day Halloween Tour with Halloween Party in Bran Castle from Bucharest
2-Day Halloween Transylvania Experience from Bucharest including a Costume Party at Dracula's Castle
3-Day Halloween Tour in Transylvania from Bucharest
3-Day Halloween Tour in Transylvania from Cluj-Napoca
7-Day Trip to Transylvania: Halloween Midnight Tales

Salem Witch City Day Trip From Boston
Salem Super Saver: Wax Museum and Witch Village
Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Tour

Chicago Halloween Haunted Cruise
Haunted Chicago Segway Tour

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus Short North Walking Tour

Boyne Valley, Hill of Tara and Kells Tour from Dublin

Haunted Halloween Tour of Edinburgh

Hong Kong
Haunted Hong Kong Tour: Wanchai District

Las Vegas
Las Vegas Halloween Party Crawl

Los Angeles
Haunted Tales of Downtown Los Angeles

New Orleans
Spooky Tales of the French Quarter Halloween Celebration Tour
Spirits of the French Quarter A Halloween Special Event Tour
New Orleans Garden District Ghost Tour
New Orleans Ghost Tour: Witchcraft and Voodoo
New Orleans Cemetery and Voodoo Walking Tour
New Orleans Vampire Tour
New Orleans Haunted History Ghost Tour
New Orleans Ghosts and Spirits Walking Tour

New York
Ghosts of New York Walking Tour

Philly Oktoberfest Halloween and Haunted Tavern Tour

Salou, Spain
PortAventura: The Great Night of Halloween

San Francisco
San Francisco Halloween Segway Tour: Time Travel Though North Beach, Chinatown and the Embarcadero
The Home of Halloween at The San Francisco Dungeon

San Antonio
Halloween Historic Cemetery Tour
San Antonio Haunted Legends Segway Tour

Savannah, Georgia
Ghosts and Gravestones of Savannah
Ghost Hauntings Tour of Savannah
Sorrel Weed House Ghost Hunter Walking Tour in Savannah
Savannah Small-Group Ghost Tour by Bus
Savannah Gribble House Ghost-Hunting Tour
Savannah Ghost Walking Tour
Legendary Haunted Pubs of Savannah
Savannah Haunted Trolley Tour and 2-day Hop-on Hop-off Pass

Sydney Harbour Halloween Party Cruise

Halloween Ghost and Mysteries Tour in Venice

We hope you've had fun reading and exploring, even if the farthest you get is your front door. Have fun and stay safe!

Happy Halloween!

Related resources
Halloween in Transylvania - one blogger's experience
Halloween In Transylvania: My Lucky Graveyard Escape - the Wandering Earl
The Pittsburgh Halloween Layover - a family's story
Flight attendant haunted layover hotel ghost stories (and a haunted plane!) - Heather Poole
Zombie tours

Monday, 19 October 2015

Layover Ideas for the World's Worst Airports (2015)

* * Click HERE for 2016 * *


Read below for 2015:

The results are in! Sleeping in Airports has announced the results of their 2015 Worst Airports in the World survey.

In case you get depressed upon realizing you have a flight to one of these dismal airports, here are some ideas to you survive your layover.

Tip: you may need a transit visa to leave some of the airports listed - do your research before departing!

1. Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC)

New to the list in 2015

PH Airport1
It looks nice from this vantage point, but...
creativecommons image sixoone on Flickr
Survey lowlights:
• "Most corrupt airport in the world"
• Unpleasant and unhelpful staff
• No seating, broken air conditioning, part of the terminal is a tent

Layover ideas:
• Read up on this area of Nigeria before you go
• Get out and stretch your legs if you can
• Travel with a suitcase or blanket you can sit on

Layover resources:
Port Harcourt Airport Sleeping Guide
Port Harcourt Airport transportation guide

2. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED)

No change, this airport was in the #2 spot on the 2014 World's Worst Airports list too

Jeddah Airport Arrival Section
Be ready to line up for hours, especially during the Haj
creativecommons image ikhlasulamal on Flickr
Survey lowlights:
• Distracted immigration officers (when they are around) and multi-hour long queues
• Chaotic, crowded, unclean
• Smoking in non-smoking areas

Layover ideas:
• Souq al-Alawi is located in al-Balad (the old town)
• Naseef House museum has great evening views from the top floor
• Atallah Happy Land Park has rides, skating, bowling, theatres, dining, shopping

Layover resources:
Jeddah Airport Sleeping Guide
Jeddah Airport transportation guide
How to Obtain a Saudi Arabian Transit Visa
• Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - I Am Bound Here

3. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)

No change, this airport was in the #3 spot on the 2014 World's Worst Airports list too

Nepal Mural of Buddha's Life at Kathmandu Airport Arrival Area
Check to see if you can see this Buddha mural
creativecommons image jaygalvin on Flickr
Survey lowlights:
• Disgusting washrooms (bring your own soap)
• No air-conditioning
• Said to resemble a bus terminal

Layover ideas:
• Check out the mural of Buddha's life in the Arrivals area
Cultural Walking Tour with Nepalese Cooking Lesson
Kathmandu Evening Tour by Rickshaw
• Do anything that will allow you to pee elsewhere!

Layover resources:
Kathmandu Airport Sleeping Guide
Kathmandu Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Kathmandu
A Night in Kathmandu - National Geographic
Kathmandu Layover

4. Tashkent International Airport (TAS)

Not much change, this airport was in the #5 spot on the 2014 World's Worst Airports list

Tashkent airport
Looks can be deceiving - the reviews aren't as nice as this bar!
creativecommons image lindako on Flickr
Survey lowlights:
• "One of Dante's circles of hell"
• Horrific queuing, at multiple stages
• No crowd control - "chaotic, verging on aggressive"

Layover ideas:
• Chorsu (Eski Juva) is the oldest bazaar in Central Asia
• Tellya Sheikh Mosque is home to the world's oldest Koran
• Tashkent TV Tower offers great views of the city
Tashkent things to do

Layover resources:
Tashkent Airport Sleeping Guide
Tashkent Airport transportation guide
• Tourist Visa to Uzbekistan

5. Caracas Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS)

New to the list in 2015

Try not to let the crazy colours and patterns make you dizzy
creativecommons image 117032936@N08 on Flickr
Survey lowlights:
• "Chaotic, uncomfortable and dull"
• No seating - the dirty floor is your only option
• Dirty bathrooms

Layover ideas:
• Cough up the money for private lounge access
• Take advantage of the free WiFi
• Go on a city tour

Layover resources:
Caracas Airport Sleeping Guide
Caracas Airport transportation guide
Caracas layover ideas

6. Port au Prince International Airport (PAP)

New to the list in 2015

US Navy 100219-N-5961C-004 assengers from an American Airlines flight from Miami walk throught the terminal at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
It's hard to fault Haiti for its airport, it's had other priorities
wikicommons image
Survey lowlights:
• Untrustworthy staff and aggressive porters
• Stifling heat and no seating
• Dirty bathrooms

Layover ideas:
• There's not a lot we can offer here
• Bring something to read and drink
• Keep your cool and admire Haiti's resilience

Layover resources:
Port au Prince Airport Sleeping Guide
Port au Prince Airport transportation guide

7. Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport (KBL)

New to the list in 2015

Kam Air at Kabul Airport in 2010
The old domestic terminal in Kabul
wikicommons image
Survey lowlights:
• Lack of cleanliness in the Domestic Terminal
• Lack of accountability on the part of staff
• Lack of facilities

Layover ideas:
• If you have the choice, spend your layover at the International Terminal
• Read a book
• Surf the net - there is supposedly free WiFi
• There's not much else to do... just stay safe

Layover resources:
Kabul Airport Sleeping Guide
Kabul Airport transportation guide
The elusive Kabul Taxi

8. Ho Chi Minh City International Airport (SGN)

New to the list in 2015

Check out the old tank outside on your layover
wikicommons image
Survey lowlights:
• Rampant corruption - expect passport delays if you don't go along with the bribes
• Dirty bathrooms
• Lack of food options

Layover ideas:
• Amuse yourself watching the bribes (while keeping your valuables hidden)
Live Like A Saigonese: Overnight Homestay Experience in Ho Chi Minh City
Take a city sightseeing tour

Layover resources:
Ho Chi Minh City Airport Sleeping Guide
Ho Chi Min City Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

9. Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB)

An improved position, after sitting in the #1 spot on the 2014 World's Worst Airports list

Don't expect to go anywhere fast from Islamabad Airport
image source unknown
Survey lowlights:
• Crowding
• Pervasive corruption
• Still dirty, despite new lounge and bathrooms

Layover ideas:
• Lok Virsa Museum features 25+ large galleries
Golra Railway Museum has locomotives and rolling stock
• Daman-e-Koh offers hiking, food, music and great city views

Layover resources:
Islamabad Airport Sleeping Guide
Islamabad Airport transportation guide
• Arriving in Islamabad - a taxi tour story

10. Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport (BVA)

A bit of a change, this airport was in the #6 spot on the 2014 World's Worst Airports list

Paris Beauvais Airport
Tedium is the order of the day at Beauvais
creativecommons image matteoc on Flickr
Survey lowlights:
• Absence of chairs and kindness
• Insufficient toilets, lack of sanitation
• Getting the password to the free WiFi!

Layover ideas:
• Visit Beauvais Cathedral to see the Gothic architecture
Beauvais things to do
• Head into Paris and take an Eiffel Tower, Louvre or Hop On, Hop Off Bus tour
• Take @AirportSleeper's advice and fly into CDG or ORY instead!

Layover resources:
Paris Beauvais Airport Sleeping Guide
Paris Beauvais Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Paris
Beauvais-Paris - more than just a stopover, it's a destination

For more, check out the juicy sublists of 2015 Worst Airports for Africa, Asia, Caribbean & Central America, Europe, Middle East, North America, South America and the South Pacific. There's also a list of the Worst Airports for Sleeping!

Related resources:

Thursday, 15 October 2015

How NOT to spend a layover at Changi

A bottle of Jim Beam... or the world's best layover airport?
creativecommons image norio-nakayama on Flickr
Did you catch this one?

An Australian was charged a tidy sum after climbing onto Changi Airport Sky Train tracks. The low point was the final layover chapter for "Jim Beamed" (not his real name*) after he managed to drink himself into a stupor at a nearby pub while passing time between flights (read the full story).

We find it ironic that the only thing "Jim" could find to do on his layover at Changi was to hail a cab for a ride to the nearest pub. Singapore Changi International Airport was perhaps won more awards than any other airport in the world, and offers so much to do that it is a traveller's dream.

If Mr. Beam ever visits Changi Airport again ~ if they let him ~ we offer these alternatives:

Koi Fish at Changi
Hang out with the koi
creativecommons image srikumar on Flickr
Changi Airport
Catch a game
creativecommons image rabunwarna on Flickr
150921-3_SATS Premier Lounge_1
Chill with your own cone of silence
creativecommons image tetsuji0105 on Flickr
Sleeping Chairs
Catch 40 winks
creativecommons image mikecogh on Flickr
Premium Lounge
Treat yourself to some zen time
creativecommons image wynnie on Flickr
  • Take the airport's free city layover tour (tour details)
  • Go swimming in the Terminal 1 rooftop pool (why taking a layover dip rocks)
  • Kinetic Rain, a moving sculpture billed as the world's largest kinetic sculpture 
  • Walk the nature trail to see the butterfly garden, cactus garden, fern garden, orchid garden, koi pond, sunflower and light garden, fragrant garden, bamboo garden (there are lots of soothing places to sit back and relax, but no Jim Beam!)
  • Find one of the free rest areas and snag one of the specially-designed snooze chairs! 

  • Spend a few hours in an Ambassador Transit Lounge (Terminals 1, 2 and 3) - you'll find a gym, hair salon, massage, nap rooms and showers 
  • Or pop into a Plaza Premier Lounge for a more basic gym and shower set-up
  • Catch a flick at the movie theatre (Terminal 2) 
  • Get some work done in one of the 24 hour business centres (Terminals 1, 2 and 3)
  • Track down one of the airport's Xbox systems 
  • See if there is any Live lounge music being performed (available at times)
  • Locate a SingTel or Starhub payphone to take advantage of unlimited free local calls 
  • Go shopping - it's endless, and there's even a Changi Rewards Card
  • Check out the Aviation gallery 
  • Chill in one of the Prayer rooms (all terminals) 
  • If Jim was up for an adventure, he could have sought out local food the staff canteen at level 3M of the carpark next to Terminal 2 
*We couldn't resist...

Related resources
Australian jailed for trespassing onto Changi Airport Sky Train tracks while drunk
Mastering the long layover - Singapore and Changi Airport
Roundtrip layover tours from airports
Take a dip on your layover
Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) transportation guide