Stopover as a gift: how to visit twice as many countries for the same money

Stopover as a gift: how to visit twice as many countries for the same money

Stopover is a stopover at an intermediate point of travel that lasts more than 24 hours. The main thing is that both parts of the flight are issued with one ticket. A stopover flight can be performed by one airline or by several different ones if they are part of an alliance (for example, Star Alliance or Sky Team).

The convenience of a stopover is that you can easily go out into the city, check into a hotel, sit in a cafe and see all the main attractions.

How to issue a ticket with a stopover?

To get a stopover, when selecting tickets on Internet search engines, you need to specify complex routes. Let’s look at an example: suppose you want to fly from Moscow to Lisbon in June. With a regular search we find that Austrian Airlines flies there via Vienna, and you wouldn’t mind seeing the capital of Austria. This means we are creating a complex route: from Moscow to Vienna and from Vienna to Lisbon, with a transfer of one or two days on the way there. The return route is also difficult (Lisbon – Vienna, Vienna – Moscow),

You can choose a connection in less than a day. If the system shows you a flight on one ticket with a connection of more than 24 hours, congratulations, you have found a stopover.

In our example, there is a stopover, and with it it is more profitable to fly to Lisbon than on a direct flight, by about five thousand rubles. If you wish, you can choose a direct flight from Lisbon to Moscow on the way back, but this will make the trip more expensive.

Stopover as a gift: how to visit twice as many countries for the same money

Dubai Airport

It’s free?

A ticket with a stopover is usually not much more expensive than a regular connecting flight, but it can also be different. If the stopover does not exceed a couple of days, the airline will most likely not increase the cost of the ticket. In some cases, you’ll even get a free hotel stay or city tour.

The advice is this: try different combinations of cities and connecting times, and it is very likely that your next vacation will be more interesting and eventful than usual.

What to check?

Just plan your route to your destination – see which airlines fly there, check on their websites to see if they provide special stopover services. Then search and book your ticket. Online ticket search services automatically calculate the possibility of a stopover, combining the fares of carriers that allow long connections. So you don’t even have to call the airline and ask for stopover permission or study fare rules on official websites.

When stopping over, be sure to make sure that you have a visa for the intermediate country.

If you are flying to Spain via France or another EU country, the question is removed – you only need Schengen. But in order to get into the city when flying to the USA via Europe, you may have to apply for a transit visa.

To know for sure whether a transit visa is needed, go to the International Air Transport Association website and fill out the flight information in the Passport, Visa and Health regulations section. You must indicate the countries of destination and transit, flight dates and stopover times. If the website shows that a transit visa is required, check this with the embassy or consulate of the country in which you are planning a stopover. At the same time, they will tell you about the documents that are necessary to obtain it.

Stopover as a gift: how to visit twice as many countries for the same money


How to apply for a transit visa?

Some countries allow you to obtain a transit visa right at the airport during a stopover.

A transit visa can also be issued before travel at the visa center of the country of transfer. The difference between a transit visa and a regular one is that its validity period, as a rule, does not exceed 72 hours. To get it, you will need a passport, a completed application form, insurance, a photo and plane tickets. Some consulates require additional documents, so be sure to read the requirements on the transit country’s visa center website.

Where will my luggage be?

The stopover lasts more than 24 hours, which means that you will most likely have to pick up your suitcases: many airports close at night and your luggage will not be stored. But in any case, we recommend checking this by calling the customer service of the airline you are flying with or at the check-in counter at the airport.

Which cities have the most interesting stopovers?

We have compiled the top cities where stopovers are most popular: these are Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Prague, Istanbul, Doha and Reykjavik.

The most convenient and popular stopovers are in Asia: connections there are long by default. Travelers flying with Singapore Airlines through Singapore can count on a not very expensive two-day stopover: the airline will deliver you to a hotel at its own expense, where a night will cost $44.

Please note that a stopover is always just a stop on the route. And if you decide to stay in the city where you are connecting and do not fly further along the route, your return ticket will be cancelled.

Stoppers also highlight Dubai because Emirates makes stopping in the city extremely attractive. You can spend up to seven days here without losing money! The airline will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel for free, and will also give discounts on car rental and safari tour purchases. You can book a stopover in Dubai on the Emirates website.

Stopover as a gift: how to visit twice as many countries for the same money


Another city worth seeing during the stopover is Doha. Qatar Airways offers stopovers of up to 72 hours at no extra cost, as well as convenient hotel and excursion options.

Nice prices for a stopover can also be found in Abu Dhabi: Etihad offers a selection of hotels starting from 37 euros per night and entertainment from excursions to spas. The stopover must be pre-booked on the airline’s website or through the online agency that issues your tickets.

In Europe, the Finns offer a good stopover: the Finnair website describes in detail (though in English) how to book it and what you can see in Helsinki. The minimum cost of a one-day stay is 75 euros.

One of the most interesting stopovers can be done in Reykjavik on the way to the USA or Canada. The flight to the capital of Iceland should be operated by Icelandair. A stopover can last up to seven days, and tickets cost the same as without a long stopover. Find details about this stopover on the carrier’s official website.

And, of course, no one is stopping you from planning an interesting and inexpensive stopover yourself if you haven’t found a suitable ready-made option. The main thing is that the flight includes a long connection, and the visa allows you to go into the city.

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