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Welcome to My Time To Blog

When people are asked their interests or passions, a huge majority of people will say travel as one of their top five. Can you blame them?

Travel provides relaxation, adventure, relationship building (and testing), opportunities to learn and grow, meet and discover new people and cultures, the list is endless. It is a huge passion of mine too and I hope some of my travel experiences and suggestions will be of some interest, inspiration or entertainment to you.

I’d love to hear your feedback or experiences!

In transit

Surviving airport layovers

Sometimes I feel like I spend more time in airports than I do my own bed. Thankfully while some travel services have cut costs over the years, many airports have expanded and have more facilities to keep you occupied during your transit.

If your connecting flights don’t match up and you are stuck waiting in an airport for a long time then plan your trip so you transit through particular airports if possible. Some airports don’t have a lot of facilities (in my opinion) – sorry Royal Brunei BWN airport, whereas I have spent hours on end at airports such as SIN (Sinagpore’s Changi Airport) and KUL (Kular Lumpar International Airport) and was pleasantly occupied. Although people say Singapore International Airport needs a facelift aesthetically – there is certainly plenty to do here. In Singapore I paid a little to go swimming which not only made the time fly by – I showered after and felt refreshed for the rest of my journey. My colleague with children will only transit through there and spends time in the play area or entertainment deck in an attempt to wear out the kids before their onward journey where they will then sleep....right? They also boast a Butterfly, Sunflower and Enchanted Garden and now the famous Jewel with it's centrepiece being the worlds tallest indoor waterfall. Families even go to Singapore airport with no bag packed and no passport - simply to visit the airport and attractions.

In KUL my continuing flight was cancelled so I had 8 hours there in each direction. One way I hired a day room, showered, slept and enjoyed a meal, the other time I stayed in the airport for what I told myself was ‘research’. They have a small jungle walk which is still airside (eg you don’t leave the airport or enter the country) but is still outside – good to get some somewhat fresh air and good for kids. The airline didn’t inform me, but looking up the airlines rules for wait times I was entitled to a free meal and drink (good as we know airport food is not cheap) and ofcourse I spent ages in the Lonely Planet bookshop there planning my next travel journey. Landside (the side before you go through immigration and passport control) there is a huge food court with local delicacies and in KUL2 there is plenty of reasonably priced airport hotels starting from as little as 3 hour breaks. A train connects the terminals and KUL central.

Airports such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi where you will likely stop if travelling with Emirates or Etihad are huge so allow plenty of time but are also modern and have everything there, I was quite jealous of passengers getting massages in the terminal before their flight departed. There are also good lounges you can pay once off to enter. Dubai has one particular lounge you can pay to access for 3 hours with a dedicated napping area and playroom which is great if transiting with children. 

I always allow extra time if travelling through American airports as their security is strict and can take longer to pass through at times. Remember the liquids rules as they are also strict on this through the States.

In Europe I always wanted to fly in or out of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport just so I could go to the huge shopping centre attached and get my fix of Stroopwaffels and other goodies. Whether you want expensive gifts or your daily groceries you will find it there.

Depending on how much time you have many airport hubs offer short tours or transport into nearby cities for you to explore in your slip time. Remember to check visa requirements as you will then be entering the country - and allow plenty of time to get back before your next flight!

Trip advisor is a great tool to find the best coffee in a particular airport, the best local beer, lounge, quiet areas, kids play areas, charging stations, lounges, cheap day rooms and more.

Travel agents and airport/airline staff know this stuff too.

What airport do you love or avoid ?

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