Weeks from now, our family once again will be flying miles away from where we are. The season is changing, so we are migrating again!!!
My ever-patient husband, Joshua gifted me with a flight ticket back to USA, an approved IR1 and tons of sacrifices for me and our 3 years old. And yes, all praises to Jesus because Joshua never gets weary of waiting for me even if it caused him one psychotic episode because of immigration processing. Yes literally!!! So, for now, we are done with that processing. Finally, I can scream my heart out loud again and again.
One thing that excites and challenge me is our long 13 hours, and 35 minutes lay over at Hong Kong International Airport. I’ve been doing some research and asked few travelers about their flight experiences to HKG, asking suggestions on what to do during our stay with the fourth-busiest airport in Asia.
So, I come up with plan A, B, C which I already discussed with Joshua and with his approval, one from it we can decide to do to maximize our stay in a foreign country, and at the same time be prepared as a family to achieve a STRESS-FREE FLYING AND LAYOVER.
I actually love the goal of avoiding stress, aside that it didn’t do good to our health, brains and hearts, it also triggers auto-immune disease and worse turned some of my black hair to gray. As much as possible, our family needs to manage it well because if not, it can easily back fire on us.
One thing I learned about our family’s path of life, planning the transition makes it whole a lot easier before leaving from one country to another. Planning ahead of the appointed time, makes life easier and less messy.
These are all after the arrival procedures including the immigration process:
If we decide to stay at the airport for the long 13 hours and 35 minutes stretch and we arrive at around 6:40 PM, we can choose to do the following:
PLAN A, STAY INSIDE THE AIRPORT!
- As advised by our booking agent, we will need to collect and recheck our baggage between all flights. This is because we will be travelling with different airlines.
- Grab a Baggage Trolley, and securely chained our baggage and bring it with us. Or,
- From Terminal 1, we will stroll with our baggage to the Level 3 of Terminal 2, and have an option to avail the Baggage Counter Daily Rate of Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) 140/piece. This add on will instantly cost us HKD 280!
- Dine inside the HKG Airport. I read in a blog that Terminal 2 offers a more affordable and more varied choices of meals. Though, when I checked the HKG Airport website, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 both offers Western Restaurants, Bars & Coffee Shops, only Subway is situated in Terminal 2, which Joshua’s and I have been craving for a year.
- Tour our young one to Children Play Areas and TV Lounges situated in Terminal 1 in which according to HKG website they offered colorful Children Play, many toys and games. This must be a sure hit for Abi. We probably exhaust this option till she gets tired and ready to sleep.
- Find a comfortable waiting place with a charging points (near drinking water facility, toilets, and smoking lounges) in which we can safely park ourselves and securely fastened our baggage, while having a movie marathon. Or,
- Avail Pay-in Lounge, which offers a wide range of relaxations, including hot showers, all day food and beverage, beauty and massage services. This luxurious Airport Add-on, I think, is a must try. Transient travelers like us have a choice of 2 hours at the cost of HKD 580/adult passenger and Children aged between 2 to 11 can enjoy 30% discount on the Lounge Use Package. GOOD THING, this is just an OPTION!
- Now I am imagining myself witnessing my husband trying to do his best to catch up with our daughter’s energy, and playfulness. And in between these, will constantly check and secure our baggage and belongings, AND making sure that we are all comfortably resting in our chosen place. Joshua and I might alternately take our turns to sleep until our boarding time the following morning comes.
If we opt not to choose the Pay-in Lounge, and Baggage Counter add-on, this plan I think is the inexpensive one, less adventure, more mind-numbing, and packed with more accountability. So pray for us that will be able to use our time well inside the airport, and God willing, we can do some heavenly witnessing. 🙂
PLAN B, INSTANT TOURIST AT KOWLOON
- Exit from HKG Airport with our checked baggage, purchased a Same Day Return Ticket from the Airport Express Train to Kowloon Station.
- Avail our airlines complimentary In-Town Check-in Service for our next day flight, and simply check in our baggage and collect our boarding pass as early as one day in advance or as late as 90 minutes before our departure. As confirmed by our airline customer service, their exact close-out time is 12 midnight so we still have ample of time to travel to Kowloon, check-in our baggage, and do some side trip.
- Dine-out and explore KOWLOON via Airport Express Complimentary Shuttle.
- Return to Kowloon station via Complimentary Shuttle.
- Head back to the airport with our Same Day Return Ticket but comprises a free return journey. YIPPEE!
- Stay at the airport and wait for our next day flight. Since we are travelling as a family, I think the Airport Express Service group or family ticket is applicable for us which according to hongkong.net website, provide discounts up to 40% and valid on the day of issue only. To compare to individual total price of HKD 225, it will only cost our family a fare from Airport-KOWLOON of HKD 190.
This plan will give our family a broad window to experience some life outside the airport, access and use complimentary transportation, to socialize and go beyond as a tourist and take pictures at Kowloon, and THE MAIN BENEFITS OF CHOOSING THIS PLAN, WE CAN LIGHTLY TRAVEL AROUND THE PLACE and transient to the airport not needing to look after our baggage. I am talking about managing STRESS!!!
PLAN C, HOTEL CHECK-IN
- Go out the airport with our checked baggage, head straight to Kowloon Station via Airport Express. Only, we need to purchase an Airport Express Round-trip Tickets worth HKD 160/passenger.
- Avail our airlines complimentary In-Town Check-in Service for our next day flight.
- Check-in at the nearby hotel at Kowloon, dine, tour around, shower, and rest.
- Get up early, and catch the first train to Hongkong International Airport
This plan is according to the collated suggestions of frequent travelers at Hong Kong. By far, in my perception the most comfy and less inexpensive in comparison to Plan A with Pay-in Lounge add on, but the riskiest one in terms of waking up early, and at least be at the airport 2 hours before the departure time. Considering the shuttle bus and Airport Express schedules, AND me not able to sleep to constantly check the time. Now, Joshua needs to make a smart decision.
A few people asked me if our plans to migrate back is for good, the only answer I can certainly give for now is that we need to go back, and apart from it my knowledge to know what tomorrow can brings to our family is very limited. In this case planning ahead, will not assure that we will have the best and comfortable 13 hrs. and 35 mins lay over, but one thing we are certain about we have options and precautions that we can consider pulling out if the PLAN that we choose will not materialize. Our security is that we can laid out these plans to our Lord Jesus Christ in prayers, and receive the peace that He will direct our path and constantly remind and gird ourselves of these words:
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established” -Proverbs 16:3