Tips for Conquering Layovers

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I did a lot of traveling this past weekend. 

This round trip involved one layover each way. Personally, I’m no stranger to layovers; I don’t hate them, but sometimes, I’m not eager to sit and wait in an airport for my next flight (or run/walk briskly to the next flight depending on how much time I have). It’s sometimes a necessity to have that extra time.

So, how do you conquer that layover? What do you do? Where can you go? What shouldn’t you do?

Here’s my advice.

For the Short Layovers (Less Than One Hour)

The most important thing is to get to your next gate. So, skip food for the moment and make sure that you find your connecting gate first and foremost.

As soon as you get off your plane, go to the nearest departures board and look for your next city and flight number. From there, you should have the most up-to-date gate assignment. Just follow the signs and you should be good to go.

Then, if you have extra time or if your flight is delayed, grab that snack or that paperback.

For the Long Layovers (More That One Hour)

You have a LOT more room to do things before your flight. Finding your gate, while it’s still a priority, isn’t as rushed when your layover is longer.

So what do you do with your time?
  • Grab food. (Some airports have iconic, state or city-specific food that you can pick from, like The Varsity in Atlanta [see above], or Nuts on Clark in Chicago)
  • Read. Peruse the airport bookstore and find that delightful little paperback to pass the time.
  • Grab a cup of coffee. Airport coffee shops are usually less busy during afternoons, but if you have a long layover in the morning, the long line may help burn some of the waiting time. Just keep your boarding time in mind just in case.
  • Souvenir shop. A lot of airports sell food (keep security requirements in mind, as you may have to check these items going back), or sports team merchandise, or state-specific apparel. Long layovers are a great time to pick out goodies for loved ones back home.
  • Catch up on any work. As someone who has worked as an editor on the go for years, this is a great way to pass time.
  • Write! I’m talking to my fellow writers, bloggers, and NaNoWriMo participants here. Getting your word count up or just catching up on posts can burn through layover time easily. Take advantage of coffee shop or gate wifi.
  • Talk to family, friends, and loved ones. This, personally, has helped me feel safer while flying alone. 

Things you should avoid during layovers
  • Restaurants during short layovers. Even if you have a full hour, it’s not worth having to wait for food and risk missing your flight.
  • Not keeping track of time. Make sure your phone or watch matches the time zone you are in. Airports and alerts are pretty good about making sure you’re aware of the time change, but it’s better safe than sorry.
  • Headphones when traveling alone. You need to be completely and totally alert while traveling alone, so make sure you’re paying attention to any PA announcements and what’s going on around you.
  • Sleeping while traveling alone. Again, it’s better to be alert.
  • Accepting luggage, food, or drink from strangers. Yes, it’s okay to accept help (like the wonderful passersby in the Atlanta airport when I spilled my drink who practically showered me with napkins...just one of many reasons why I LOVE traveling in the South). But please use common sense, and don’t accept certain things like luggage or food items. And watch for pickpockets, too.

Do you like layovers? What do you do to pass the time?

26 Things You Didn't Know About Me

Friday, October 6, 2017

I’m turning 26 in two days.

I know, I can’t believe it either. I’m well into my mid-twenties now, but I don’t necessarily feel any different. But all I know is that I’m really thankful for the past 25 years; for all the adventures, highs, and lows. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has worked through all these years, and He will continue to do so in my life.

Today, I thought I’d do a post that I’ve done a variation on before, but I thought it would be fitting given the occasion. Here are 26 things you didn’t know about me.

  1. I was named after the city in Georgia, and I did not visit that city until my freshman year of high school.
  2. As a child, I was frequently called “Samantha” and “Susannah” because Savannah was actually not as popular in the 90s as it is now.
  3. I did not actively start drinking sweet tea and coffee until high school. Now, they’re a staple in my life, daily or otherwise.
  4. I was originally going to be named “Summers Elizabeth” instead of “Savannah Kate”, but the name changed two weeks before I was born after my mom read the sequel to “Gone With the Wind."
  5. I collect Spirit Jerseys.
  6. I've collected dresses from different places I’ve traveled.
  7. My lucky number is always my age. This year, it will change from 25 to 26.
  8. I have been blonde my entire life; my hair has just gotten darker over the years.
  9. I have never actually dyed my hair before.
  10. Bunnies have always been my favorite animal because my mom read me (and decorated my nursery to be inspired by) Peter Rabbit books as a child.
  11. Speaking of books, I read voraciously as a kid, and could speak the whole alphabet at 18 months. I was born to know and love words early on.
  12. My favorite international food is Japanese, followed by Mexican, Indian, Thai, and Italian.
  13. The only “sport” I was ever involved in was dance.
  14. My desire to visit London came from the remake of “The Parent Trap.” Now, it’s one of my all-time favorite cities ever.
  15. The two places I’ve always wanted to go to (but haven’t visited) are Tokyo and Barcelona.
  16. Two of the most mind-blowing concert/Broadway musical events of my life both involve British guys named Dan: the first was when I saw Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” in New York, the second was when I was within two yards of Dan Smith from Bastille at one point during their concert.
  17. Speaking of Harry Potter, I once stood in line at Waterstones’, a popular UK bookstore chain, with my parents super late at night for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In Glasgow, Scotland. Meaning, I got to own a copy about 6 hours before US readers.
  18. My favorite color has always been some shade of blue.
  19. I’ve always loved gaming on some level or another, all the way back from playing on my parents’ NES.
  20. My favorite Disney movie has always been Beauty and the Beast.
  21. My all-time favorite movie in general is Legally Blonde (followed closely by Pacific Rim).
  22. My favorite genre of movie is probably action/adventure.
  23. My favorite book always has been (and always will be) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
  24. I can cross my toes.
  25. I’ve loved to draw for as long as I can remember, from doodles and anime/manga-inspired characters to full-blown comics for both high school and college.
  26. I have been a Christian (a baptized believer) for 11, going on 12 years, and I’m so grateful and thankful for that.

I'm Writing a Book!

Monday, October 2, 2017

This week, October began.

I have a lot of reasons to be excited this month (like turning 26 next week). But this month finally, FINALLY begins the prep process for one of the best adventures I think I’ll ever take.

I’m writing an entire book in a month!

I mentioned that I’m doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) before, but now that it’s October, I can start planning and plotting in full force now. Traditionally, October is “Preptober”, a month of outlining and plot-building frenzy that excludes any actual novel-writing. The 50,000 words (!!!) I’ll be writing will be exclusively during November 1-30.

And while I’ve done similar projects before (see my post on my short story project here), I’ve never actually sat down to write a full-length novel in that length of time. But, this year, the timing feels right, and I feel so, so good about the novel I’m writing.

“But Sav, what’s your book about?” you might be asking me. Well…I’m going to wait to announce the plot and title of my book for the moment; one, because I really love this idea and want to keep it close to my chest for now, and two, everyone loves surprises, right? ;) The only thing I’ll tell you is that it’s a Young Adult novel, and I’m planning on publishing it once all is said and done.

All in all, I’m excited for this brand-new adventure. November is going to be an interesting, but exciting month this year, and I’m so, so ready to finally embrace and embark on probably one of the greatest adventures of my life as a writer. And, most of all, I’m thankful to my family, friends, and, most of all, the God I love for the support and strength in this grand and amazing journey.