Layovers are a virtually inevitable a part of touring internationally, which suggests many vacationers usually discover themselves with a couple of hours to spend in an airport in between flights. Whereas these brief layovers may be a small inconvenience, longer layovers (9+ hours) can truly be a possibility.
Including a protracted layover, additionally referred to as a stopover, in between flights is likely one of the best methods to see extra of the world in a single journey, and also you don’t need to be a brilliant savvy traveler to do it.
See more: How to get a long layover
Why ought to I add a protracted layover?
Few issues are worse for journey lovers than having to go shortly by way of a vacation spot you’d in any other case like to go to. With slightly time and adaptability, including a protracted layover into your journey is simple. Slightly than being caught at an airport for 8+ hours, you get to discover a brand new vacation spot. Plus, there are different advantages.
A protracted layover breaks up an in any other case lengthy flight, even serving to to chop down on jet lag. In lots of instances, a stopover flight can also be cheaper than a direct flight. And, it may be cheaper nonetheless in case you create your individual itinerary relatively than reserving all of it one one ticket (we name that the Greek islands trick.)
Here is an instance: in case you’re flying from Boston to Sydney, Australia, you may see round-trip costs round $1,267.
However if you wish to hand around in Los Angeles for a bit, you possibly can ebook roundtrip Boston to Los Angeles for $197, after which Los Angeles to Sydney roundtrip for $710—except, in fact, you snagged an SCF deal from LAX direct to Sydney for $477.
The distinction is $360, which is a major quantity and means that you can break up the lengthy flights and see a brand new metropolis.
Another routes the place it would make sense so as to add a protracted layover:
- Between North America and Africa, layover in a European hub like Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or London
- Between Australia and the East Coast of the US, layover in San Francisco or Los Angeles
- Between North America and Europe or the UK, layover in Iceland or one other giant European hub like Zurich, Barcelona, or Amsterdam
- Enroute to a smaller vacation spot in Southeast Asia, layover in a bigger hub like Hong Kong or Bangkok
What are the various kinds of lengthy layovers?
Layovers are available all sizes and shapes (and lengths!). One sort of lengthy layover is a layover imposed by the airline, that means you’ve purchased one ticket and a layover is a part of the itinerary. In these instances, the layover may solely be a couple of hours or it could possibly be a full day or extra.
To reap the benefits of this type of layover, merely select an itinerary with a protracted stopover on the identical ticket. Take that Boston to Sydney flight, for instance—in case you did need to ebook all of it on one ticket, you might select a flight with a 19-hour stopover in Hawaii even when shorter flights can be found.
The opposite most important sort of layover is one you select to create by reserving two separate tickets.
Airways that provide free stopovers
Some airways provide free lengthy layovers as a part of an incentive program to convey new vacationers onboard whereas growing tourism site visitors to a vacation spot. Everybody wins!
- The Icelandair layover program is a superb choice; they’ve constructed an entire marketing campaign round it. If you happen to’re flying between North America and Europe or the UK, you possibly can stopover in Iceland for as much as seven days—at no further price for the flight.
- Qatar Airways will permit a Doha stopover for as much as two days, and so they’ll even provide you with a resort for one or two nights. Simply test their web site forward of time to see in case you qualify for visa-free entry into Qatar.
- You can too get a free Portugal stopover with TAP Portugal for as much as 5 nights in Lisbon or Porto, or keep in Helsinki for as much as 5 days if you fly round-trip with Finnair between Europe and Asia.
>> Learn extra about these stopovers paid by provider.
Airways that provide free layover accommodations and excursions
Some airways will provide free accommodations if the layover is compelled by their schedule. It’s referred to as STPC—Stopover Paid by Provider—and it’s provided by airways akin to Turkish, Royal Jordanian, and China Southern, amongst others.
- For Turkish Airways, in case you’re flying financial system by way of Istanbul and you’ve got a layover over 10 hours (or 7 hours for enterprise class), you possibly can reap the benefits of the STPC—however provided that there isn’t any accessible earlier flight to the identical vacation spot.
- On China Southern, when you have an 8- to 48-hour stopover in Guangzhou, you’re entitled to a transit resort. This enables you as much as 72 hours of visa-free transit, however there are a collection of situations concerned (for instance, it’s a must to be from certainly one of 53 nations outlined on the China Southern web site).
- Royal Jordanian provides free resort, transit, and meals for layovers of 8-24 hours if no same-day connection is accessible.
If you happen to’re looking out flights and you discover an amazing take care of a very lengthy stopover, do some digging to see if the airline provides a STPC. Generally the information is buried on their web site.
If you happen to’re a bit shorter on time, some airways and airports provide free or low cost transit excursions from the airport. You are able to do this at Singapore Changi, Seoul Incheon, Doha Worldwide, Tokyo Narita, Taiwan Taoyuan, and Istanbul Atatürk (to call a couple of).
- At Seoul Incheon you possibly can hop on a guided tour round Songdo Hanok Village in Incheon, or go to Jeondeungsa Temple (the oldest temple in Korea). The airport web site has a protracted record of transit excursions—all it’s a must to do is pay the attraction entrance charges (or any extras, like meals).
- Singapore Changi provides a free heritage tour by way of Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Glam, or you possibly can be a part of a metropolis sights tour with stops in Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, and the Esplanade.
Ensure you learn the complete tour particulars. Registration for excursions tends to be restricted to sure hours all through the day, and within the case of longer excursions like those from Singapore Changi, you’ll want no less than 5.5 hours to spare.
>> Learn extra about airways and airports that provide free layover excursions.
Learn how to create and ebook a protracted layover in between flights:
Begin with Google Flights, and make a normal seek for your ultimate vacation spot. Let’s say you’re headed to London from New York Metropolis. You realize you may be capable to cease over in Iceland on the way in which there or again. If you happen to’re versatile on dates however know you need to go someday in Could, first seek for flights to and from London to seek out the very best dates. Then seek for flights to and from Iceland to get an thought of when these flights are the most affordable.
After getting discovered the dates that provide the bottom costs throughout the Atlantic, transfer to a multi-city search. You’ll must create three searches:
- You possibly can do NYC to Iceland, Iceland to London, London again to NYC
- Or you might do NYC to London, London to Iceland, Iceland again to NYC
Mess around with the order and dates to seek out the very best mixture.
Google Flights packages this up properly to be able to simply see the worth for 2 or extra separate tickets, however chances are you’ll must go to a number of web sites to ebook.
You possibly can additionally ebook an affordable open jaw flight (for instance, NYC to London after which Paris again to NYC) after which ebook a separate flight (or prepare) ticket that will get you from London to Paris.
Issues to think about when selecting a layover metropolis
Earlier than you rush off to buy that stellar deal, listed below are some issues to remember:
- Make certain town is simple to succeed in from the airport. You’ll need to guarantee you may get into city simply by way of public transit, like in London or Amsterdam. If it’s an obscure airport on the outskirts of city, likelihood is this could possibly be troublesome and also you’ll lose plenty of time (or cash) to transiting between town and the airport.
- Contemplate hubs/cities that encourage lengthy layovers. E.g. those listed above with free excursions or accommodations that make it easier to get monetary savings in your lengthy layover.
- Select cities/international locations that don’t require a visa. Verify to see if a visa is required. In some instances, like Doha, you possibly can simply get a transit visa particularly for the stopover, however you’ll need to keep away from locations like Russia that require an costly visa.
- Contemplate how the stopover jives with the remainder of your journey. If you happen to’re planning a winter journey to the seashores of Thailand, do you actually need to stopover in chilly Frankfurt and need to lug a bunch of additional cold-weather gear?
- Know what to do along with your baggage. In case your stopover is an in a single day one, you’ll have the choice to test the bag all through or decide it up throughout your stopover. If the stopover isn’t a full day and also you’ve booked on one ticket, you might have to gather your baggage after the primary flight or go away them checked by way of, except you’ve made separate bookings. If you happen to’ll have your baggage with you on a shorter connection, be certain the airport has storage amenities to your baggage. You don’t need to be pulling a heavy suitcase round cobblestone streets as you’re sightseeing. If the airport doesn’t provide storage, see if there’s a resort or hostel within the space that may maintain your baggage for a small charge.
- Verify customs laws forward of time. In case your baggage isn’t checked all through, take into account that customs laws range per nation. Right here’s a hypothetical state of affairs: in case you’re bringing dairy presents from Europe to associates in Australia however you’ve got a layover in Guangzhou, be certain your bag is checked the entire manner by way of. Dairy isn’t allowed by way of customs in China, so that you’ll need to give up all that scrumptious cheese in case you’re rechecking your baggage.
Learn a few of our layover guides:
- The Layover Information to Seoul
- The Layover Information to Istanbul
- The Layover Information to Frankfurt
- The Layover Information to Amsterdam
- The Layover Information to Doha
- The Layover Information to Panama Metropolis
How a lot time to permit for a layover
If you happen to’ve bought a shorter layover, you want to resolve if journeying past the airport is absolutely value your time. Usually, leaving the airport requires a layover of no less than 9 hours, however the minimal time varies by airport. Listed below are some issues to consider when deciding the minimal time you want for a layover.
- Will you want to undergo immigration? Deplaning and going by way of immigration may take as much as two hours, particularly within the busiest hubs. Usually, you may must undergo immigration any time you land in a brand new nation, although there are some exceptions, akin to if you’re touring inside the Schengen Space. For instance, in case you’re touring from Paris to NYC with a layover in Zurich, you’ll not need to undergo immigration in your layover in Zurich since you are touring from a rustic within the Schengen Space (France) to a different nation within the Schengen Space (Switzerland). Nevertheless, in case you have been beginning in Dubrovnik you would need to undergo immigration in your layover in Zurich since you’d be touring from a non-Schengen nation (Croatia) to a Schengen nation (Switzerland). Here is a useful record of which international locations are inside the Schengen Space.
- How lengthy will it take you to get to and from the airport? You’ll want to determine forward of time how straightforward it’s to get from the airport into town. Cities with wonderful transit programs (like Amsterdam and London) make it straightforward to get backwards and forwards, but when there’s no rail system accessible, you’ll must test for site visitors delays. Attempting to get again to the airport by way of bus throughout rush hour will not be the very best thought.
- How lengthy will it take to get by way of airport safety? Permit your self no less than 2-3 hours earlier than departure again on the airport to recheck your baggage (if needed), get by way of safety, and discover your gate.
Right here’s how that appears in apply, in case you’re flying from New York to Istanbul with an 8-hour visit London Heathrow.
Immigration is normally fairly environment friendly, however this airport is likely one of the largest on the planet, so there very properly could possibly be lengthy line-ups. Heathrow additionally has baggage storage amenities, however you’ve checking baggage all through, so that you don’t must allot for time to retailer and retrieve your baggage. Price range 2 hours.
Happily, the Heathrow Specific runs continuous to Central London (Paddington) each quarter-hour, and the journey itself is just quarter-hour. + half-hour minimal roundtrip
On the newest, you’ll need to arrive again at Heathrow two hours earlier than your flight. This gives you sufficient time to make it by way of safety and discover your gate. + 2 hours
Complete time: 4.5 hours, however in case you’re cautious, you may need to bump that to five hours to account for delays.
Time remaining to discover London: 3 hours.
If you happen to have been arriving at a special London airport, like Stansted, you’d have to permit for an extended direct prepare journey—as much as an hour—which would scale back your time in London to some extent the place you may discover it much less worrying to easily keep on the airport. It actually is determined by what you’d love to do along with your time.
Don’t overlook to consider the time of day, both. For instance, in case your layover is between 6am and 2pm, you’ll have some ultimate time for exploring town, however a layover from 11pm to 7am is an entire totally different story. Except you’ve deliberate the layover to interrupt up two lengthy flights, crash on the resort and begin out recent the subsequent day, chances are you’ll need to stick with a daytime layover.