How Long Should Your Layover Be? A Guide for Domestic and International Flights

The Appropriate Amount of Time to Allot for a Layover

Are you planning a trip with a layover, but aren’t sure how much time to allot for it? A layover can be a great opportunity to explore a new city, but it can also be stressful if you don’t have enough time to get to your connecting flight. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the appropriate amount of time to allot for a layover for both domestic and international flights.

Domestic Flights

For domestic flights, a layover of at least 45 minutes to an hour is usually sufficient. This will give you enough time to get off your first flight, stretch your legs, grab a snack or meal, and find your next gate. However, if you have to change terminals, you may want to allow for more time, as you’ll need to go through security again.

If you’re traveling during peak travel times, such as holidays or weekends, you may want to add a little extra time to your layover. This is because airports can be crowded, and lines for security and boarding can be longer than usual. It’s better to have a little extra time than to miss your connecting flight.

International Flights

For international flights, we recommend allowing for a layover of at least 2-3 hours. This will give you enough time to navigate customs and immigration, collect your baggage, recheck it for your next flight, and maybe even grab a bite to eat or do some duty-free shopping.

If you’re traveling to a country that requires a visa, you’ll want to allow even more time for the visa application process. Some countries also require a health check or vaccination record, so make sure you research the requirements for your destination before you travel.

If you’re flying with a partner airline, you may be able to shorten your layover time. Partner airlines often have agreements in place that allow for easier transfers between flights, and shorter layover times. Be sure to check with your airline to see if this is an option for you.

Other Factors to Consider

In addition to the length of your layover, there are other factors to consider when planning your travel itinerary:

  • Time of day: If you’re arriving in a new city in the middle of the night, you may not have many transportation options to get to your hotel. Make sure you’re aware of the local transportation options and their hours of operation.
  • Airport size: Larger airports can take longer to navigate, especially if you have to change terminals. Make sure you know the layout of the airport, and have a plan for getting from one gate to the other.
  • Weather: Bad weather can cause delays and cancellations, so be sure to check the forecast before you travel. If you’re traveling during a season with high risk of weather disruptions (such as hurricane season), you may want to allow for extra time in case of delays.
  • Baggage: If you’re traveling with checked baggage, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to collect it and recheck it for your next flight. If you have a short layover, you may want to consider traveling with only carry-on luggage.

The appropriate amount of time to allot for a layover depends on several factors, including whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, the time of day, the airport size, the weather, and whether you have checked baggage or not. As a general rule, we recommend a layover of at least 45 minutes to an hour for domestic flights, and 2-3 hours for international flights. By allowing for enough time, you’ll be able to enjoy your layover and reduce stress during your travels.