Terminal of Hong Kong International Airport with a passenger looking out to the city in the distance
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How to plan the Perfect Stopover

Brianna Mills


When most of us take a long-haul flight, we end up stopping somewhere. Usually, all this means is a few wasted hours in duty-free waiting for a plane to show up. You might find yourself in the middle of a city you’d love the chance to explore, but you're unable to leave the airport. That’s where a stopover comes in. A stopover is an alternative way to grab an extra adventure and visit more countries without the extra cost of another flight.

The difference between a layover and a stopover

Layover. Stopover. What's the difference? In short, a stopover is a long layover. However, You might have heard of the terms being used interchangeably. And while they're very similar, there are some key differences. Let us break it down for you:

What is a layover?

A layover is when the gap between connecting flights is less than 24 hours. Typically, layover fights don't give you enough time to leave the airport and explore the city you're stopping in. If you're worried about not having enough time between connecting flights, check out our page on how to deal with a short layover.

So, what is a stopover?

stopover is essentially an extended layover — normally referred to as a break in connecting flights of more than 24 hours. Still following? For the purpose of this blog, a stopover can be anything from a weekend away to just enough time to have a bit of an adventure before boarding your next plane. It's all about making the most of your time in an exotic destination, no matter how long you've got.

A female traveller stood at the airport looking up at the flight displays

¿Por qué hacer una escala?

The perfect stopover destinations are places you've always fancied visiting but know deep down that you probably won't get round to going there. They're cities that are too far away from you for a weekend break. They're too expensive or not enough of a draw to commit all of your precious holiday time too. But if time and money were no obstacle you'd love to go there and do some sightseeing. For example, I'm probably never going to organise a 2 week holiday to Texas, USA. But if I found myself on a connecting flight to South America through the Lone Star State I might pop in for some Texan Tourism. Why not?!

Why we love stopovers

Puedes explorar un lugar nuevo

Las ciudades en su lista de cubo son oro de escala. Tal vez siempre quisiste ver la Torre Eiffel en París o las Torres Petronas en Kuala Lumpur. Ahora puede hacerlo, sin tener que comprometerse con unas vacaciones completas para hacerlo.

Una escala es como una mini-fiesta extra. Podrías pasar 48 horas absorbiendo los rascacielos de Hong Kong o las playas en Bali antes de continuar hacia tu "evento principal". También es una excelente manera de darle un sabor de alguna parte. Si descubres que amas a Hong Kong, siempre puedes volver por más tiempo. Si descubres que odias a Bali, solo estarás allí unas pocas horas y ¡ahora sabes que no perderás tus futuros vuelos!

Vuelos baratos

Los vuelos de conexión son normalmente más baratos que los directos. Y, a menudo, comprar un vuelo con escala / escala muy larga es al menos el mismo precio o más barato que una devolución regular. Más barato aún puede ser reservar sus dos vuelos de conexión por separado con diferentes aerolíneas (desplácese hacia abajo para obtener más información sobre el uso de características de ciudades múltiples . Además, si acumula millas, muchas aerolíneas, como Delta , imponer una restricción sin escala en la mayoría de los boletos de premio.

Vuelve a visitar un lugar que amas

Una escala es una excelente oportunidad para volver a visitar un lugar del que una vez se enamoró pero que nunca tuvo la oportunidad de volver. Cuando reservo mis vacaciones, siempre estoy atento a Pegasus Airlines o aerolíneas Turcas vuelos para que pueda obtener algunos días de bonificación en Estambul como lo estoy haciendo aquí:

Bustling market in Istanbul with red Turkish flags flying above the promenade of shops and people milling about

 Istanbul's famous grand bazaar, Turkey. Photo credit: Alex Booth

Puedes romper un largo viaje

If you're not used to flying long distances, you can use a stopover for a bit of rest and relaxation. In fact, finding a connecting flight might even allow you to treat yourself to a few days of luxury. For example, If you do your stopover somewhere in South East Asia, you could simply have a couple of nights at a swanky hotel that's usually out of your price range. Bangkok, for instance, with Thai Lion Air, would be a great place to do this.

Cómo planificar tu escala

Conozca sus líneas aéreas

If you’re looking for a connecting flight, It’s good to have some idea about the airlines that go to the destination you want to visit and where they stop off on the way. Here are a few of our favourite classic stopover locations to get your wanderlust underway:

If you're going Europe <-> USA: A stopover in Iceland can really shake up a transatlantic flight. Connect in Reykjavik with Icelandair.

Si vas Estados Unidos <-> Australia : Atrapa algunas olas en Hawaii con Hawaiian Airlines

Si vas En cualquier sitio <-> El sudeste de Asia : Kuala Lumpur, con Air Asia X en Malasia es una gran ciudad de escala, como lo es Singapur, con Aerolíneas de Singapur .

Si vas Este <-> Oeste : Dubai con Emirates es posiblemente el destino de escala más común y menos explotado de todos los tiempos, pero creo que Hong Kong con Cathay Pacific es una excelente alternativa

A blue wave crashing down onto the ocean by the shores of a lush green, tropical resort

 Photo credits: John Bishop

Make the most of multi-city searches

Ya hemos mencionado que reservar dos vuelos por separado en dos aerolíneas diferentes a menudo resulta más barato. Sin embargo, comprar estas 2 entradas independientes requiere mucha más investigación que su vuelo de conexión promedio. Yo recomendaría mirar diferentes rutas a través de Las características de ciudades múltiples de la aerolínea alternativa para tener una idea de lo que se ofrece Un par de consejos:

  • Sin embargo, asegúrese de tener suficiente tiempo entre los vuelos porque no estará cubierto si su vuelo de conexión se retrasa.
  • Verifique todas sus reglas de tarifas de cerca ambos Entradas. Puede tener diferentes restricciones de peso del equipaje, etc. para cada uno de sus vuelos, por lo que es importante que sepa exactamente en lo que se está metiendo.

Con esta técnica, el mundo es tu ostra con escalas. Echa un vistazo a nuestros destinos de escala alternativa a continuación en busca de inspiración.

A screenshot of the Alternative Airlines website

Conozca la logística de su ciudad de escala

Visa issues

This one's a deal-breaker. Find out if you need a visa for your stopover destination before booking your flight. You don’t want to find out that your 48 hour bonus holiday is going to be a whole lot of paperwork and cost you $100s of dollars in visa fees. It's your choice, but I prefer visa-free stopovers. Even though I'd love to visit Moscow, when I had a 15-hour layover on my way to Japan, I decided that it wasn’t worth the time and money to leave the airport. However, when I had just a few hours in Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL), I could roam the streets visa-free! Here's a visual comparison to show you just how much visas can influence your stopover decision:

A silver Aeroflot aircraft at a snowy gate. Next to this picture is the silver Petronas twin towers in Malaysia

 Moscow stopover vs Kuala Lumpur stopover. Photo credit: Alex Booth

Proximity or your stopover destination to the airport

You don't want to be spending all of your precious stopover time going to and from the airport. The perfect stopover destinations are the ones that are hassle-free so make sure you have a quick and easy way of getting from the airport to where you want to go.

Precios

Know how much the place you’re going to is going to cost you. Check local accommodation and transfer prices before you get on the plane. Even different stopovers within a country can vary drastically. For example, Sydney, Australia (SYD) has convenient transport to and from the Airport as well as reasonable accommodation prices (erm, for Australia). Darwin International Airport (DRW), on the other hand, does not. This is the difference between a fun-loving, sightseeing day out and sleeping in the airport hating life:

On the left, a woman sits in front of the Sydney opera house and waterfront. On the right, the same woman sits on the floor wrapped up in a blue banket.

Sydney stopover vs Darwin stopover. Photo credit: Alex Booth

How to Pack with your stopover in mind

Si solo está después de una visita aérea (sin juego de palabras), haga las maletas en su equipaje de mano y deje sus artículos de equipaje grande cerca del aeropuerto. La mayoría de los aeropuertos tienen casilleros para guardar su equipaje por 24 horas, lo que le permite explorar libremente. Consejo práctico: si le disgustan los precios de los casilleros del aeropuerto, busque en su lugar depósitos / casilleros de equipaje en las estaciones de metro / tren locales. Un pequeño paseo puede ahorrarle una gran cantidad de efectivo.

Cómo aprovechar al máximo tu escala

Sepa lo que quiere hacer

No sientas que tienes que hacer todo. Piense en una escala como una ventaja adicional. Si tu HACER quiere empacar todo, necesita hacer su investigación. Si no desea comprar una guía completa para su destino de escala, imprima algunas páginas con información clave para ayudarlo a aprovechar al máximo su tiempo. ¿Es factible hacer la Estatua de la Libertad, el puente de Brooklyn, algunas tiendas 5 th Avenue? y golpear un espectáculo de Broadway en una escala de Nueva York de 24 hora? Si usted sabe qué quieres hacer, dónde las cosas son lo que quieres hacer y las distancias entre ellos, te sorprendería lo que puedes encajar en un día.

The empire state building glistening in the golden sun surrounded by the towering new york skyline

 New York Skyline, USA

On the flip-side, don't feel like a stopover means you have to go into a sightseeing overdrive. You may just find a hotel you really want to stay at or know that there's a restaurant you really want to try that you can only get in this one place. Whatever you want to do, when your time is sandwiched between two flights, it's probably best to have some idea. Whether that means going into a tourist frenzy, wandering around aimlessly, or doing nothing at all is totally up to you.

Some Stopover Ideas

Encuentre un recorrido a pie gratuito

Many capital cities around the world offer free walking tours and they are normally pretty good. They can give you a real feel for a place and leave you with some great recommendations as to what to do with the rest of your time.

Encuentra un restaurante que te encantaría visitar

I know that if I ever find myself in Chengdu, China, I will be heading straight for an authentic hotpot experience. The second I get to Istanbul, I'll be hunting out 'Falafel House'. It might be that you love Indian food and you want to sample the real thing, or you've heard about this great Michelin Star restaurant in Oslo that's been on your wish list forever. Maybe you had an incredible meal somewhere once this is your time get to relive the deliciousness again! Stopovers are a foodie paradise.

 Sichuan Yak Noodle Soup, China. Photo credit: Brianna Mills

Pregunta por ahí

Si solo tienes unas pocas horas, solo quieres hacer la crème de la crème de touristing. Pregunte a las personas cuál fue la parte favorita de sus vacaciones y qué partes no fueron tan buenas. ¡Puede hacer todos los momentos destacados de sus vacaciones sin tener que hacer las tareas decepcionantes!

Ubicaciones alternativas de escala

Delhi, Air India

In terms of Asian stopovers, Delhi is often overlooked. Delhi Airport (Indira Gandhi International Airport - DEL) has great transportation into the city with reasonable luggage locker rates at its train stations. As soon as you get off the metro, you get slapped right in the face with the spectacular sensations of India right in the heart of its most dynamic city.

Moscow or St. Petersburg, Aeroflot

I know what I've already mentioned my disappointing Russian Stopover, but 2018 is a little different. If you have tickets to the Russian FIFA World Cup, you can visit Russia visa-free. Take advantage of this and see some stunning St. Petersburg architecture en route to the football. This applies to many sporting events so bear this stopover trick in mind whenever you attend any international games!

Kyiv, Ukraine International Airlines

Kyiv (KBP) is a beautiful city you can easily see in a day and it's jaw-droppingly cheap with good airport connections:

A white Orthodox monastery in Kyiv surrounded by green and yellow sunflowers

 Pechersk Lavra, Kyiv. Photo credit: Brianna Mills

Mauritius, Air Mauritius

After finding out that Air Mauritius offer a stopover at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) on their UK - Perth flight, I've become slightly obsessed. According to Lonely Planet, Pointe d'Esny and Blue Bay have some of the most beautiful stretches of beach on the entire island, not to mention being right next to the airport. Ile aux Aigrettes is a popular ecotourism destination also on the airport side of things (although the island is a pretty nice stopover size in general).

Almaty, Air Astana

Almaty (ALA) is a little bit of Europe in a very Central Asian Country. You can wine and dine in the city in the evening and hit the ski slopes or hike up the magnificent mountains surrounding the metropolis during the day.

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