Travel itineraries with connecting flights can present a wonderful opportunity to build a trip within a trip. In certain cases stopovers can be used to visit a second destination as part of a multi-stop itinerary with little additional cost. For domestic travel, a stopover is typically defined as any connection that lasts more than four hours. For international travel, a stopover is a connection that lasts longer than 24 hours.
As you plan your next trip, we want you to try something – think of these stopovers not as something to be dealt with but as an opportunity to explore more of the world on the way to or from your destination. Breaking up a long flight gives you the opportunity to:
- Explore several locations without adding significant transportation costs to your trip budget
- Experience local attractions and activities that are close to the airport
- Get a local guide to show you around
- Make that long flight more bearable by breaking it up into shorter segments
Planning a vacation within a vacation requires a little extra planning, but the following tips can help to make sure you get the most out of that next stopover.
Understand Your Route
In planning a trip with stopovers, the most important thing is to know which cities and places you can visit flying to and from your destination. For example, if you’re flying out of New York on your way to Budapest, you could stop in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Vienna or Paris; this may be your chance to take a quick excursion to check out the Eiffel Tower. If you’re heading out for a tropical getaway to Hawaii from eastern Canada, you may want to stop in Vancouver, San Francisco, or Los Angeles on your way home. Traveling to Australia, you could visit any of Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai or New Delhi, depending on your route. A great resource to plan routes with stopovers is www.flightconnections.com. Using this site, you can enter your departure and destination cities, and see all of the various flight routes between the city pairs.
Use an Airline Stopover Program
Some airlines have stopover programs that help travelers extend their trips. As an example, Singapore Airlines offers a Stopover Holiday Package in Singapore which bundles a hotel room, admission to top attractions and meals at a discounted rate. Take advantage of one of these programs and you could be privy to discounted airfare or other perks, like deals on local tours or free hotel stays.
Work with a Travel Planner
It can be a little more complicated to include a stopover trip in your travel itinerary, but this is exactly one of the things we can help you with to make your next vacation one to remember. Contact us today for more information or schedule a free 30-minute travel planning call with us.