My Theory on Flying

When it comes to air travel, I have a theory.

Except on very short flights or if you pay extra to avoid it, it’s pretty much inevitable that you will have a layover. Sometimes more than one.

Since that’s likely to be the case anyway, I like to plan my layovers for someplace interesting and make sure they’re long enough for me to be able to see the place or do something there. That way, it ends up being almost like an extra little mini vacation for almost no added cost.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a website or travel agency that facilitates this sort of travel planning. That means it’s fairly time and labor intensive for me to plan a great vacation. (Please, if you know of any websites that do make it easy to filter or search for flights based on length and location of layovers, let me know!)

When I took my daughter to Peru recently for her birthday, I spent a great deal of time searching for flights and planning our itinerary. We had two main options that struck me as appealing:

  • Panama City, Panama
  • Bogota, Colombia

Sydney and I are both off-the-beaten-path kind of people so we are keenly interested in going places that few of our friends and relatives go. For that reason, we found Bogota intensely appealing. Sure, the news media in the U.S. makes it seem like a combat zone. They do that with just about every place that doesn’t have stars and stripes fluttering overhead — and even a few that do. Our experience (and that of fellow travelers) has been that there are comparatively few truly dangerous places in the world and most of those are easily spotted and avoided if you’re paying attention.

If we could have hit one place on the trip down and the other on the way back we absolutely would have. That proved next to impossible under the very short time we had allotted for this trip so we had to pick one or the other.

Next week I’ll go over our choice, the thought process behind it and our experience during the layover.

(Interested in my travel itinerary? I share the whole thing here.)

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