How to Visit Two Countries for the Price of One

October 9, 2017

 

I've travelled around the world to many countries and its not because I had lots of money.   I got to visit some of these countries through a commonly overlooked technique I will share here.  It's a trick I learned years ago, that has gotten me what I call free trips but technically they can be called extra trips.  It's through booking flights with extended layovers.  Yup.. That's it. Now, the catch is that you have to already be prepared and planning to travel somewhere.   

 

Use a flight search engine to find the cheapest prices.  I use JetRadar which compare flight prices from multiple vendors.  When looking up your flight, you will enter all of your flight details such as departure location, destination, and duration of trip.  Then you must choose the connecting flight option.  You don't want to choose a direct flight.  You want a connecting flight., but not more than two. That's where you will get the second trip.  When you click search, you will get a list of available flights.  Usually when you scroll down the list, you will start to see options with connecting flights with long layovers in countries on the way to your destination.  Normally one would avoid these types of layovers.   However, sometimes if the layover is long enough, the country is interesting enough, and its at the right time of the day, it can allow you a full day or more of time to explore the layover country.  

 

I did this a few times and recently on a trip to Bali.  While searching for my ticket, I found a flight with an 18 hour layover stop in Ghanzhou, China.  The flight was to arrive in China at 7:30am in the morning which would give me a full day to explore China before my departure to Bali.  It was perfect.  I was able to go visit a few tourist stops in China and get some tasty authentic Cantonese food.  Another plus that is often not known is that airlines must provide free hotel accommodations in the host country if the layover is 8 hours or more!   So you can literally, book a hotel, take a nap and or shower and then head out to explore the new country.

 

You also want to make sure that the layover country does not require a visa for entry.  If a country has an airport with frequent layover flights, they will most likely not have a visa requirement or they will offer what is called a transit visa.  This will allow you into the country for a limited time.  Countries often make these types of entries easy as it bring tourism dollars.  Over the years, I have travelled to Amsterdam, Morocco, China, Dubai and the UK on extended layover trips.   Don't overlook the chance to get two trips for the prices of one.

 

 

Summary of Steps to How to Squeeze a Second Trip Out of Your Vacation

 

1. Decide where you want to go.

2. Use JetRadar to search for the cheapest flights.

3. Remember to select connecting flights option.

4. Choose the flight with a long layover in a country you are interested in visiting.

5. Make sure the country doesn't require any visa.

6. Book your flight.

 

 

  

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I'm Jamel.  After 15 years of working in HR, I quit my day job to pursue my passion of traveling the world with my camera and exploring the spirituality, food and culture of people in exotic and not-so exotic places.

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