Flight layovers are the worst. Nothing can kill the excitement of a business trip or vacation like landing in a random city and having to wait to undergo the whole takeoff ordeal again in order to get to your real destination.
And you know what's almost as bad as layovers? Hitting traffic while getting to the airport in the first place.
Fortunately, Long Island's own MacArthur Airport offers several nonstop flights to some appealing destinations on the East Coast. Consider these spots when planning your next trip to avoid the schlep into the city or sitting in airport purgatory.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Got a hankering for cheesesteaks and mediocre sports teams? If so, hop on one of American Airlines' two daily flights to the City of Brotherly Love and take in the sights of Philadelphia. Breathe in more than three centuries of American history, enjoy the vibrant nightlife or just make a beeline for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and do your best Rocky Balboa impression as you run up those iconic steps.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
Southwest Airlines runs four nonstop flights each day from Islip to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. For about the same amount of time you'd sit on the train to get from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station, you could be in Baltimore and just a short commute away from our nation's capitol. Here's some ideas: Walk Baltimore's historic Inner Harbor, take in some monuments in Washington, D.C., or catch a baseball game in either city.
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Looking for a more kid-friendly destination? Try Orlando, Florida -- home to more than a dozen theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. While it's one of the few Florida destinations without a beach in the immediate vicinity, Orlando has more than its share of attractions to make up for that. Southwest Airlines operates two nonstop flights daily between MacArthur and Orlando.
Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB)
Don't let the name confuse you, Orlando Melbourne International Airport is located right near the water in Melbourne, rather than inland in Orlando. Not familiar with Melbourne? It's a smaller city on the eastern coast of Florida, located roughly halfway between Daytona Beach and West Palm Beach. Elite Airways runs two nonstop flights per week from MacArthur to Melbourne, on Mondays and Fridays, making it perfect for enjoying a long weekend.
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
With its warm climes and vibrant dining and nightlife, Tampa, Florida, is a great choice for a vacation or business trip. From MacArthur Airport, Southwest operates one daily flight to Tampa. From the city center it's just a short drive to beaches situated along the Gulf of Mexico or the 335-acre Busch Gardens theme park. In addition, Tampa's also a great place to catch a baseball game almost year-round.
Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
With miles of beachfront and weather that makes it acceptable to go for a dip all year round, West Palm Beach is a great destination you can get to from Long Island in just three hours. Southwest runs two nonstop flights per day from MacArthur to this south Florida destination.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Marking the farthest you can travel from Long Island MacArthur Airport without having to change planes, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport near the southern tip of Florida is just outside of scenic Fort Lauderdale and a short drive to the more upbeat Miami and South Beach. Southwest Airlines operates between two and three flights per day between Islip and Fort Lauderdale.