Dealing With Layovers and Multiple Airport Transfers4:29 AM
Bali may not be in every Juan's favorite destinations, not just because the Philippines has its own set of beautiful islands, but because it's a challenge to fly to the Indonesian island if we talk about long layovers and airport transfers. But this was two years ago, before Cebu Pacific launched twice-a-week Manila to Bali direct flights in March of 2013.
I love travelling but I hate being stuck in the airport when you could be somewhere, enjoying a regional dish or exchanging happy stories with a local. The shorter the wait time, the more time there is for fun and new experiences.
So, let me tell you that you don't need to travel for 10 hours to get to one of the world's most favorite islands. That's counting more than three hours from Manila to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, four hours (or more) to wait for your connecting flight and another three hours from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur to Bali. This is usually the flight pattern. But with the Manila- Bali direct flights, you are set for a fun time after a four-hour smooth flight.
The Ngurah Rai International Airport is the third busiest Indonesian airport and was chosen by the Airport Council International as the world's 7th best airport in 2014 for airport service quality. There are close to no layover landings here since Bali is oftentimes the final destination for travelers but going here from your home airport is a different story.
It won't be long for those in Cebu and Davao to fly directly to Bali too. This is very possible now that passengers coming from Cebu can fly directly to Taipie and Davao passengers can travel directly to Singapore. Aside from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, travelers from Manila also have Fukuoka to choose from for their Japanese point of destination.
Seated on 1F in Cebu Pacific for our flight back to Manila from Bali, the sunrise and the leg room have awarded me one of my most relaxing flights yet. Cebu Pacific flies from Manila to Bali twice a week (Tuesday and Saturday) and from Bali to Manila also twice a week. Direct flights are also being offered from Cebu to Taipie and from Davao to Singapore!
But while Cebu Pacific and other international carriers are making our world smaller, how can you make your layover productive? Here's what I have been doing to make use of my time.
1. Do more research. You are probably the OCD type and you might've read a hundred blogs about your next destination but there will always be new things to learn. For example: Which local banks can withdraw cash from your credit card account for a smaller fee just in case you miscalculated your budget? Is it better to buy a local sim card or go roaming when you really need to stay connected at home? Which gestures and words to avoid to not offend the locals? There are so many things to learn!
2. Catch up on movies/ books. I got it. Your fast lifestyle at home prevented you from watching the latest Zac Efron movie or the latest tearjerker from John Lloyd Cruz. This is the time to utilize your gadgets to its fullest by watching the movies you missed on your laptop or smartphones or by picking up that book which has been untouched for weeks on your bedside table.
3. Organize your socials media. Is it just me or does someone else finds organizing their social media important? Most airports from our neighboring countries offer free wi-fi. Take the opportunity of a faster internet connection to remove unwanted photos from your Instagram feed, remove people that should not be in your Facebook friends list, or re-arrange your Pinterest boards. For a blogger like me, there is never enough time to proofread my articles so I am thankful for idle airport moments.
5. Shop. Most international airports I've been to have Duty Free and other huge shops so if you have the money to burn, you can check some stuff that would be perfect for people back home. At least, you did it early and you don't need to worry about anything else when you reach your destination. But don't forget that you have to consider your baggage allowance!
6. Daydream about your next travel. I am the type who needs something to look forward to so I can function well every day. Isn't life all about being excited for the things to come? It's important for me to have at least one booked flight. It may be happening in the next three to four months but who cares? At least you have something to be excited about.