What if I told you that there is a way to use something called a stopover so that you can visit two destinations without spending more money? Yes, I am serious. It’s one of the best-kept travel hacking secrets and it’s incredibly easy to do.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Sarrah, what in the hell is a stopover?” Let’s go over some travel vocabulary.
When traveling internationally, chances are that you will have a connecting flight somewhere before you get to your travel destination. This is called a layover and is typically under 24 hours. You can take advantage of a layover by extending it to be over 24 hours. This is called a stopover. Nowadays, many airlines will allow you to book a stopover for FREE! Some will even provide a complimentary hotel stay.
Your eyes are not deceiving you. You can turn a 3-hour layover in Reykjavik, Iceland, for example, into a 3-day stopover for absolutely FREE. In this post, I will go over how to do this with 11 different airlines.
1. Qatar Airways
Stopover city: Doha
Qatar Airways offers a stopover program that allows you to get visa-free entry and one complimentary night’s stay at a hotel (or 2 nights for only $100.)
2. Air Canada
Stopover city: Montréal, Toronto or Vancouver
Air Canada offers a free stopover program and discounted hotel stay starting at $49.
3. Iceland Air
Stopover city: Reykjavik
Iceland Air’s stopover program can be added for no additional charge.
4. Wow Air
Stopover city: Reykjavik
Similar to Iceland Air, Wow Air also offers a free stopover in Reykjavik.
Stopover city: Helsinki
Finnair allows you to include Helsinki as a stopover for no additional charge.
Stopover city: Abu Dhabi
Etihad extends a stopover for up to three days. If you book a hotel through them, it includes breakfast. Plus, the first night is discounted and the second night is free. Talk about a steal!
Stopover city: Dubai
With Emirates, you can book a stopover for free online and then contact them to add the official stopover experience, which includes 24-hour hotel check-in, airport transfers, and breakfast.
8. TAP Portugal
Stopover city: Lisbon or Porto
TAP offers a stopover in your choice of two cities in one of Europe’s most affordable countries.
9. Singapore Airlines
Stopover city: Singapore
Singapore Airlines offers various stopover options that include one-night hotel stay and various tourism offers.
10. Copa Airlines
Stopover city: Panama City
Copa Airlines offers a free stopover in Panama City but they do not have any information online about it. You cannot book the stopover online, you must request the stopover option on the phone at the time of booking, before completing ticket purchase.
11. Turkish Airlines
Stopover city: Istanbul
Turkish offers a free stopover and a free hotel stay for one night. However, you must call them in order to obtain a voucher.
There you have it. You now have the knowledge about how to book a free stopover with 11 different airlines and get two vacations for the price of one.