Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get an extra vacation within your vacation for no extra cost? That’s the idea behind an airline stopover and it’s an excellent way to see even more of the world on a budget!
This airfare hack can end up saving your thousands of dollars. So what is a “stopover” and what are the Best Stopover Airlines?
A Stopover is Not the Same As a Layover
First thing’s first. A free stopover is not the same as a layover. The general rule of thumb is that a stopover typically lasts 24 hours and longer. A layover is a quick(er) stop at an airport while connecting from one flight to another.
Savvy flyers using rewards miles or frequent fliers have known that they can use airline stopover programs to extend vacations, or experience short visits in hub cities such as London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and more.
But now this trick isn’t just for frequent flyers, anyone and everyone can take advantage of this travel hack!
As part of Iceland air’s world domination to become the nicest (literally, they’re so nice) airline in the world, Icelandair is an airline that just gets it. They’re campaign of attracting new travelers to Iceland during routes to and from Europe and North America is just next-level greatness.
When you fly Icelandair across the Atlantic, you can stopover in Iceland for up to seven nights at no additional charge.
Not only are Icelandair’s stopovers free, but they’ve also recently introduced their Stopover Buddy program.
Request an Icelandair Stopover Buddy to show you the highs of the land of Fire and Ice. They’re not just a tourguide, they’re actual airline employees!
Stopover Buddies are organized according to themes (Lifestyle, Nature, Health, Culture, Food and Adventure) so once you make your request, within 72 hours you’ll be matched with a buddy who is available. How cool is that?
As an Emirates Dubai Stopover visitor, you’ll enjoy attractive savings on car hire and local excursions.
Pop into the world’s most luxurious city, Dubai. Stopovers to the Emirates Hub City are not completely free, but can cost very little. These stopover add-ons also include one night at a hotel, a visa and assistance to and from the airport.
A Dubai Stopover package can start from $48 per person and 96-hour visa facilitation begins at around$62 per person for a maximum of four entries.
Be sure to contact a travel agent after you book your flight to insure your reservation goes smoothly after requesting your stopover.
Passengers should have no such wrangles with Singapore Airlines, whose offer of a free stopover in their hub city of Singapore.
Singapore Air is another airline just just Icelandair where you can book a stopover without getting a headache. When booking, simply use the multi-city option and the price will be the same as if you’d booked it as a round trip flight. This airline also offers a stopover package similar to Emirates, including hotel and transfers, from about $43 per night.
In an effort to become one of the new, trendy destinations for travelers, FinnAir is now offering a free stopover option for up to 5 days. Travelers can choose to add their stopover in the hub city of Helsinki to either the beginning, or end of their route.
You can also choose a second stop at a cost of $100. This cannot be booked online, however, and must be arranged over the telephone.
The airline has also partnered with Finland Tours to create excursion itineraries for your stay – which makes Finn Air one of the Best Stopover Airlines. Ready-made itineraries begin at just 85 € and include transportation, a sightseeing tour, and coffee and cinnamon bun at a local cafe to relax and take in the culture of the city.
Turkish Airlines offers a free Istanbul stop, and if the Turkish Airlines schedule requires you to spend at least ten hours in Istanbul, you get free hotel accommodations for up to two nights.
Turkish Airlines is one of the best airlines in the world thanks to its extensive global service. They fly to 251 destinations in 106 nations, serving more countries than any other airline.
So why visit one country when you can visit two? Take advantage of smart layovers from these best stopover airlines and get 2 vacations in 1!