I’m a bit of a restless spirit. I’ll be the first to admit this. However, as well as constantly having a craving to be on-the-go, I also have grown to really appreciate my home city of Minneapolis. One thing that you may or may not know about me is that in December of last year, I started my own business. Something to keep in mind here is that I wanted to create a career for myself in which I had the opportunity to travel for work. Not just to travel because I was working, but because I know myself, and I know that I love to consistently be able to experience new places. Especially if it means flying – although, one thing I wasn’t entirely keen on was layover flights.
This had me thinking – what about travel (other than the pretty pictures) do I share with you all? If I’m being honest, I feel like it’s not all that much. Sure, there are reasons to travel alone or a reflection on travelling creating a more independent version of myself, but I still felt as though something was missing here. With as much as I like to travel, as many airlines as I’ve been on – I knew that before I had experienced these, I had many questions. So, what does one do in this instance? Queue Instagram polls. Let me tell you, it’s a very interesting insight indeed. I love being able to interact with so many new faces on Instagram and other social platforms every day – so therefore, it made sense that I ask the same people what kind of content they’d like to see. The poll result for travel tips, hacks and advice won by a landslide. Not an exaggeration in the slightest. Which, quite frankly, I was glad to see – because let’s be honest, I love to ramble about this topic until someone tells me to stop.
HAPPY LAYOVER TO ME
I’m currently in the Chicago airport whilst I’m writing this. This is my first time at O’Hare – which, let me just say, is massive. Absolutely massive. I feel quite lucky to have an airport so close to where I live in Minneapolis. Literally, fifteen minutes away from my front door. Better yet – no noise overhead because I’m out of the direct flight routes. Score! But, so not the point right now. I’m off to London today – a city that I love dearly for many reasons – and this is the first time I’ve not chosen the direct flight from the MSP airport.
Why? The main reason was travel budget. I love to travel – like I’ve mentioned many times before on Monochrome Minimalist. I’m just not willing to spend my entire savings account on a plane ticket. Usually, the MSP to London Heathrow direct flight isn’t overly expensive. However, on this instance, I booked my flight a little later than I normally would. It’s a long trip, and I needed to secure housing accommodations. You know the drill, I’m sure. Instead of the direct flight, I instead opted for the flight with a layover option. The only kicker was, it was based out of Chicago.
A budget traveler’s best kept secret? Layover flights. I usually tend to book without them. Because, to be frank, I’d just rather get to my destination. But, there is something to be said for a good layover – and they can actually decrease the price of your plane ticket rather dramatically. For example, when I was booking my London flight roughly three(ish) weeks ago, the prices for the direct MSP to LHR flight differed from the ORD to MSP to LHR flight by $900. I mean, that’s a lot of money! Calculating my total flight cost, I realized that it would be much less expensive to travel to Chicago, then catch the flight that came back through my home airport and connected to my desired direct flight. Crazy.
So, as someone that previously wasn’t a big layover fan – consider me converted. I’m very much willing to spend extra hours on the plane if it can save that much money. Think about it like this – that could be another international plane ticket on an off-peak travel date. Or, it could be worth up to three (or more) domestic flights. The jet-lag may hit a little harder, but your pockets stay just a bit fuller. Nice trade off, in my opinion. Also – I think it helps that my gate is literally right next to a coffee shop. It’s the small things, really.
ARE LAYOVER FLIGHTS WORTH IT?
Depending on your destination, I would say that yes, layover flights are worth the extra time. One that I’ve heard of multiple times – maybe you have, too – is the United States to Europe flights via Iceland Air with a layover in Iceland on either your way to or back from your final destination. I have friends that have flown this route and they still consistently rave about it to this day. However, if I was flying domestic (i.e. United States departure to United States arrival), I don’t think that I would say the same. Likely because I’ve never had a domestic flight with a layover.
I think the preference for layover flights also depends on your style of travel. Some like to choose a longer layover in order to have the option to explore the city in which their layover takes place. In my case, I chose the layover option because I wanted to lower my ticket cost. Others simply just like flying. All are valid reasons for choosing layover flights – there’s no best option – but being aware of the longer travel days is essential.
I’d love to hear whether you prefer layover flights or not. Start up a conversation in the comments, drop your best layover tips – maybe how to not hog the coffee cart in the terminal? Just me? Are the Travel Diaries a series that you all would be interested in reading more of? With a lot of travel planned this year, it’s a series I’m looking forward to writing. Until next, xoxo.
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Some of the items in this look were kindly gifted from Athleta.