5 Ideas for Layover City Day Trips

The next time you’re booking a flight for vacation or business, consider scheduling a longer layover so you have time to explore a new or old favorite city on a day trip. Layover day trips can be an easy, inexpensive way to break up a long flight, see a friend living there, or discover a place you’ve always wanted to visit. The perfect day trip itinerary in our opinion? Walking, visiting one or two touristic sites, trying some good food, and doing a little shopping. Here are 5 ideas for common layover city day trips!

Tokyo

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If you have at least a five-hour layover, consider leaving the Tokyo Narita International Airport and taking a quick day trip to darling Narita. It’s only 10-15 minutes away by train and boasts a pedestrian-only shopping street, Narita-san Omotesando, great restaurants, and the sprawling Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple complex to explore. Narita is a charming little taste of Japanese culture. If you happen to land in the morning, the airport offers a free tour guide program if you want to be shown around. Have more time on your Tokyo layover? We also love Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa and going to a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

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Stephanie grew up road-tripping across the U.S., but her first flight was to Australia, and she’s been hooked ever since. She lived abroad in Thailand, where she met Meagan, and in Ghana with Peace Corps and has been to over 30 countries on 6 continents. She travels for the adventure, the stories, and nature.

Ten Tips for Vancouver and an Alaskan Cruise

Our friend Alli, who most recently wrote about her Midwest adventure for us, and her husband are on a quest to see and experience all 50 states! He’s now been to all 50 (!) and she has one more to go, Alli’s also previously shared her incredibly helpful 8 family travel tips with us. They both had some flexibility in their schedules and so decided to book an Alaskan cruise in May. They strategically picked a cruise leaving from Vancouver because it is where one of Alli’s best friends lives. So she packed up her toddler son and left a few days before her husband did to visit her friend and husband. Thus began an epic adventure! Check out Alli’s ten tips for Vancouver and an Alaskan cruise

Vancouver

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We loved every moment in this beautiful city. Here are a few memories that truly stand out.
1) Traveling with a toddler, I try to not burden my friends with the early morning noise that a toddler brings so we found a fantastic Airbnb.  It had stunning views, a great location, fireplace, reasonably priced and very kind host.
2) We loved walking around Granville Island; it’s a delightful area. From the food selection, coffee, little shops, farmer’s market, the kids area, the entertainment, we loved all of it.
3) My friend Erin is attending Regent University apart of the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. The views were breathtaking. It is such a beautiful campus!
4) The line out the door was quickly explained with one bite out of my sandwich from Meat and Bread. It was a packed place with rules to keep the flow of the line but the food was excellent and they really tried to accommodate my stroller and toddler.
5) When the buses are out of service they say sorry, very Canadian.

Alaskan Cruise

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1) Splurge for a balcony! We made the decision to take the trip last minute and so we were able to get a decent price for a mini-suite. Having coffee in my pajamas with the Alaskan or Canadian mountainous shoreline to wake up my sleepy eyes was one of the best things I will ever experience! We saw glaciers, whales, bald eagles, and sea otters all from the comfort of our own room.
2) Whale watching was my favorite outing. My face hurt from smiling. It was so exciting when you first see the spray from the blowhole announcing its presence to the partial arch above the water. My son Jack would giggle when he spotted a whale.
3) The Alaskan Railroad train in Skagway was recommended and I am glad we heeded the advice. The scenery was majestic and this was a great activity. Because we had a stroller, we were placed in the handicapped car and we had the whole car to ourselves.
4) Go to the Twisted Fish Company in Juneau, AK! I do not remember what I ate but what I drank would make it worthwhile to take trip again just for that. My favorite drink is an old fashioned with Rye Whiskey. They serve what they call  a “Red Eye” Old Fashioned. It is made with Rye Whiskey, Cold Brew Coffee Syrup, vanilla, coffee, and toasted Pecan Bitters. This may have been the best drink I have ever had!
5) Bring stomach ailment supplies! Of course report anything serious to the medical staff but traveling usually messes up most people’s systems and it is so expensive to get the usual remedies. We did see the medical team as we all got sick but it would have saved some money to have some of the basic supplies.  I will say it was not ideal to get sick on a trip but laying on the bed looking out of our balcony window as we passed snow peaked mountains,  I did think to myself “this is not so the worse experience.”
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Stephanie grew up road-tripping across the U.S., but her first flight was to Australia, and she’s been hooked ever since. She lived abroad in Thailand, where she met Meagan, and in Ghana with Peace Corps and has been to over 30 countries on 6 continents. She travels for the adventure, the stories, and nature.