CHICAGO, Illinois (November 2, 2018) – Travelers by now are familiar with “stopovers”, or the trend of planning a full day or more between major flights that allows for bonus exploration in cities. But what about connections where you have anywhere from 4 to 8 hours between flights? This sweet middle spot allows for what we’re calling a “playover.”

A playover happens when an airport is close enough to a downtown to make a day trip doable—without missing the flight. Not only is this a better way to pass time, but it’s a great opportunity to check big cities off your bucket list. So forget leafing through the latest gossip rags at Hudson News and instead add a playover itinerary in one of these 5 very affordable U.S. cities from CheapTickets.


Boston is super easy to explore with little time. Logan Airport offers a quick and free bus to the Seaport District, or take an airport shuttle to the “T” which drops visitors downtown in 30 minutes.

  • CostFree to Seaport District, $2.50 to return; $2.75 each way to/from downtown
  • Travel time18 mins to Seaport; 30 mins to downtown

2. Atlanta

Aboard a downtown-bound MARTA train, a half-day playover in Atlanta is as easy and refreshing as a glass of sweet tea.

  • Cost$2.50 each way
  • Travel time: 20mins to downtown

3. Chicago

Both Midway and O’Hare are connected to downtown via the city’s “El” rail system making a half-day playover in Chi-Town a cinch.

  • Cost$2.50 each way
  • Travel time50 mins via O’Hare; 35 via Midway

4. Denver

The MallRide from Denver International Airport will connect you to downtown Denver’s revitalized Union Station and its many attractions in under 40 minutes for free.

  • CostFree
  • Travel time40 mins to Union Station

5. Las Vegas

Vegas is perfect for just a few hours and McCarran Airport’s close proximity to the Strip makes it easily doable via a budget-friendly WAX express bus.

  • Cost$2 each way
  • Travel time15 mins to the Las Vegas Strip