In case you haven’t figured it out yet we love using stopovers to extend our trips. It’s a great way to explore a new country with little or no additional cost. In fact, it can even save you money.
You may be asking just what is a stopover? When we talk about flights we typically hear the word layover used. A layover is any stop of 23 hours our less. A stopover on the other hand is anything greater than 24 hours.
These stopovers are often free or can even save you money. In addition to breaking up that long day of travel they give you the chance to explore another great city or country. Stopovers can be as short as 24 hours or up to a week or more. We’re talking FREE travel folks.
The favorite search engine for stopovers is Airwander. While it is possible to book separate legs of the trip using something like Skyscanner, it’s still a bit of a hassle. I’ll show you just how easy Airwander is.
HOW TO TURN YOUR LAYOVER INTO A STOPOVER WITH AIRWANDER
Head to Airwander, select your departure and final destination point along with your dates of travel. Between your departure city and destination you’ll notice a plus sign. Click on that.
Now the magic! What you see now are all the city options you have for a stopover. On the right side you can select how many nights you want to stay. Depending on your trip some stopovers will actually lower your round trip cost, while some may add a little.
There are pages of options just keep on scrolling. They show the least expensive stopovers up top.
Below is another example between San Francisco and Lima, Peru. I selected a 14 day stopover. I don’t know about you but $42 bucks for two weeks in Thailand sounds pretty good.
Here’s San Francisco to Dublin, you’ll actually save money if you spend a week in Barcelona.
I think you get the point. It really is that easy and makes trip planning a blast. This is the best way to see more countries with little or no extra cost. This is our absolute favorite tool.
While Airwander is our hands-down favorite, there are some other options worth looking in to.
FREE STOPOVER AIRLINES
Many airlines are getting smart and realizing that there is a demand for stopovers. Below are several airlines that offer this amazing feature. Some even include free or discounted hotels.
These tend to have more restrictions than using Airwander but it’s worth a look
ICELAND AIR AND WOW AIR
- They offer FREE stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland.
- Travel between Canada, United States, Iceland, Scandinavia, and Europe.
- Book directly through Icelandair
- Offering FREE stopovers in Lisbon, Portugal
- This program only offers one night stopovers but the hotel is included.
- This is the most restrictive of the programs on the list but if Portugal is on the bucket list it’s worth a look.
- Book directly through TAP airlines
- Offering FREE stopovers in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hangzhou
- Allows stopovers longer than 24 hours but you will need a visa. For stopovers less than 24 hours no visa needed.
- For stays over 24 hours your first night of hotel is free.
- Book directly with Airchina
Be sure to check out our comprehensive International Travel Guide
Everything you need to plan your trip. Passport, visas, safety, discount flights, and much more
- Offering FREE and lengthy stays in its hub city of Singapore.
- They have many destinations throughout the world and United States.
- They even have stopover packages where you can bundle discount hotels into the deal.
- Book directly with Singapore Air
- With destinations all over the world, Emirates offers stopover packages in Dubai for up to 36 hours.
- The included hotel packages start at just $48 per person, per night.
- Stopovers in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal Canada.
- Flights within United States and Canada
- Limited to one night
- Book at Air Canada
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- Stopover in Helsinki, Finland
- Flies all over the world
- Up to 5 nights
- This is a great one as it has very few restrictions.
- Book at, FinnAir
- Stopover in Istanbul, Turkey
- Flights between Australia and Europe.
- Max of 2 nights
- Book at Turkish Airlines
- Doha, Qatar
- Flies all over the world
- Up to 4 nights
- Book at Qatar Airways
Well I don’t know about you but that got me jonesing for a trip. Stopovers are a great way to make your money go further while exploring these amazing countries. The other great thing about these is it breaks up that lengthy travel day.
I’d love to hear about your stopovers, let me know how they go.
Now that your trip is booked check out our How To Pack Light Tips and ditch the check-on for good.