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Next time you travel, try doubling the fun of your vacation by combining two international destinations into one trip—without doubling the cost of your airfare.

RELATED: 5 packing tips you haven’t heard 100 times before

A number of international airlines offer what’s known as a free or low-cost stopover, which allows passengers to linger for a few days in the airline’s connecting city (or hub) before jetting off to another destination serviced by that same airline. In many cases, prices are almost same if you were to book that same flight to just one city—or maybe just $100 or so more. It’s a fantastic way to maximize your travel dollars for some bonus exploration.

rejkjavic-iceland_free-stopover

Reykjavik, Iceland, has become a popular stopover destination inrecent years, thanks to Icelandair.

So, how is the stopover different from a layover? Think of the stopover as an extended layover, a far more enjoyable one. One of the most well-known pioneers of this travel 2-for-1 is Icelandair, which encourages its passengers to “stopover” in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik for up to seven nights—at no additional airfare cost—before continuing on to places such as London, Paris or Barcelona.

Although some airlines make booking these stopover flights easy, others can make it a logistical nightmare. But don’t worry—we’ll show you how to pull off this airline hack, and how to put control of the required airfare coordination directly in your hands.

  1. Become knowledgeable about major airlines and their stopover (hub) cities. Use the list below as a cheat sheet or easily Google others.
  2. Next, go to Orbitz.com and click the “Flights” tab, and then click the “Multiple Destinations” flight-search tool.
  3. Enter your departure city; your desired stopover (hub) city; and then your final destination.
  4. Play around with dates that match your ideal timeframe and look for the best deals. 
  5. Prepare for a voila! moment: You could land a bargain like the one we found (see below) that combines a stop in Dubai from NYC before continuing on to Kenya (safari time!) for just $23 more.

How to book a stopoverSimilarly, you could just enter your departure and destination cities on the Flights tab and see which connecting cities turnup. Then, go backto the multiple destinations tool and enter that connecting city as your stopover. There’s a lot of fun to be had in the travel planning—so think about creatively combining cities in your airfare itinerary. You could be surprised at the prices that go unadvertised. 

To get you started, below are some popular hub cities (and corresponding airlines) worth incorporating into a bigger trip for their stopover potential. Happy travel planning!

kenya-safari_free-nairobi-stopover

Safari in Kenya

Europe

Reykjavik, Iceland
Icelandair

Helsinki, Finland
FinnAir

Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish Airlines

Dublin, Ireland
Aer Lingus

London, England
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
KLM

Paris
Air France

Munich
Lufthansa

 

Asia

Tokyo, Japan
Japan Air

Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific

Singapore
Singapore Air

Seoul, South Korea
Asiana Airlines

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia Airlines

 

Middle East

Abu Dhabi, UAE
Etihad

Dubai, UAE
Emirates

 

Australia

Sydney, Australia
Virgin Australia, Qantas

Auckland, New Zealand
Air New Zealand

 

The Americas

Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaiian Airlines

Santiago, Chile
LAN Chile

Panama City, Panama
Copa

Bogota, Colombia
Avianca

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Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Erica Bray

Erica Bray

Erica is a practical free spirit who loves travel, yoga and ice cream. A Northwestern University-trained journalist with more than 15 years of experience straddling digital and broadcast media, Erica can be found doing handstands everywhere she travels -- even risking arrest in some cases. Learn about her at www.erica.media.

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