A long layover can take the excitement out of any trip. You’re exhausted from the previous flight, the Wi-Fi and your mobile connection are usually flaky, your devices are running out of battery, and there are a ton of people around. It’s just not a comfortable experience.
But as it turns out, there are ways you can make those layover situations a little better. With the right apps, you can get the most out of a layover and with a bit of luck, even turn it into a mini-vacation. Here are the best seven apps you need.
If you have enough time until your next flight, you might as well step out and explore the city you’re in for a few hours. Unfortunately, airports don’t offer storage booths where you can temporarily stow your bags.
Enter Bounce, a service that lets you locate nearby places where you can easily store your bags for the day. At every Bounce retail partner, you pay a standard fee of $6 per 24 hours for one item. Bounce doesn’t have a specific weight limit either; it’s fine as long as one person can pick it up.
Plus, Bounce has locations near train stations and airports. At the time of writing, it’s available in major U.S. cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and more.
In case you have a narrow window between flights, try FLIO. It lets you browse nearly every aspect of the airport you’re stuck at.
Whether it’s finding the best coffee shops or getting to your flight’s gate, FLIO has you covered. You can even buy lounge access straight from the app and score a few discounts if you’re lucky. FLIO can also show the airport’s timetable and map.
For travelers who are in search of a place to crash but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a hotel room for a full day, BYHOURS is the perfect app.
With BYHOURS, you can get a room by the hour. There are three tiers you can select from: 3, 6, or 12 hours. BYHOURS has partnered with reputable chains to make this happen, so you don’t have to worry about quality. Since these hotels are spread across the globe, you can use the app in a wide range of cities.
Prices differ based on the accommodation but the app offers three, four, and five-star hotels. Booking through BYHOURS still provides access to the rest of the hotel’s amenities, and the service offers free cancellation too.
4. Google Trips
Having Google Trips here might seem odd at first. But the app comes with a bunch of tools you might find useful for quickly planning a brief city tour. For every destination, Google Trips has a tab called Day Tours where you can find itineraries perfect for when you only have a couple of hours to spare.
In addition, you can download these plans with one tap so you don’t have to worry about getting a local data plan. As we’ve mentioned before, Google Trips is capable of much more and is a valuable travel companion.
Layovers aren’t always planned. Scenarios such as airplane emergencies, diversions, and delays can wreak havoc for your plans and future reservations as well. In those cases, you need AirHelp.
Using AirHelp, you can learn your passenger rights and file for claims. AirHelp takes your claim to the airline itself and fights the case on your behalf. Once processed, you can know whether you’re eligible for any compensation and if you do, how much exactly the company owes you. The filing process is rather quick and can be done in minutes.
All you need to do is upload the essential details like your booking number, an incident description, and similar. What’s more, AirHelp will only charge you if you win the claim. It takes a cut of 25 percent for straightforward matters and 50 percent if it goes to court. It works with cancellations, overbookings, delays, and pretty much everything else in-between.
6. MiFlight / MyTSA
So you’ve decided to go out and soak up the layover city as much as possible. But are you leaving sufficient time for those security and baggage lines at the airport?
For finding the answer (at least for airports in the United States), you can download either MiFlight or MyTSA.
Both feature crowdsourced data that tells you roughly how long will it take to get through security at a specific airport. MyTSA, which is the official TSA app, also houses a ton of other handy tidbits you can check. That includes information such as how busy a terminal is, what can you have in your carry-on bag, and more.
MyTSA is available for both iOS and Android. But MiFlight is Android-only.
7. WiFi Map
Another community-driven app that will uplift your spirits during a layover is WiFi Map. As the name suggests, it shows you all the nearby free Wi-Fi hotspots you can connect to. On top of that, the app hosts credentials for millions of password-protected networks, thanks to user inputs.
You can add to it yourself if you find that’s not already on the app. It also has a bunch of other handy networking tools, such as a ping calculator, bandwidth preview, and more.
Gear Up for Your Next International Travel
So you’ve survived the layover. And hopefully, with these seven apps, you maybe even enjoyed a mini unexpected vacation.
But now it’s time to prepare for the trip you’ve actually been waiting for. To help you with that, check out some apps that will come in handy on your next foreign trip.