6 destinations to schedule a stopover in when you next travel

Planning a trip that involves a lengthy stopover? Fly with the right airline and you could be crossing two places off your visit list at no extra cost

Take advantage of a stopover stay and check off two bucket-list destinations in one trip. Courtesy Promote Iceland
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Are you constantly thinking that there are too many places to visit but too little time? One way to pack in some extra travel is by doubling up on your next holiday by factoring in a stopover stay. As well as giving you the chance to break up a long-haul journey and avoid hanging around airports for hours on end, a stopover can also be the perfect opportunity to take in the major sights of somewhere you've never been to before. These days, many airlines make it easy for you to do so, by giving you plenty of places around the world where you can essentially get two holidays for the price of one.

Abu Dhabi

If you’ve got friends or family passing over the country then you might want to let them know that Etihad Airways are offering a two-night free getaway in the UAE capital. The promotion runs until the end of the year and offers anyone booking flights by December 1 and travelling before December 31, two free nights in one of 15 hotels across the city. Guests can take their pick from 15 different hotels, including Intercontinental Abu Dhabi, Dusit Thani, Courtyard by Marriott WTC, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, Crowne Plaza and the Radisson Blu depending on which of the city’s iconic attractions they want to be closest too.


Stopping in Singapore? With the brand-new Jewel Changi airport set to open next week you would be forgiven for simply wanting to hang out air-side and explore. But, if you do want to head into town, Singapore Airlines has a package that will cost you Dh122 and includes a one-night stay at a host of hotels across the city, including the highly-rated Peninsula Excelsior. It also gets you free access to more than 20 attractions, including Sentosa Island of Adventure, Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer. For seeing the most of the Lion City’s treasures in the shortest space of time, take advantage of your free access to the hop-on, hop-off bus tour.


Headed across the Atlantic by way of Iceland? Take a couple of days out to explore Reykjavik, where you can soak in natural hot springs, watch geysers erupt or wander along the world-famous black sands of Reynisfjara. If you’re only staying a day or two, try the popular Golden Circle route and you’ll get to see Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir Geothermal Area. Icelandair offers the option to add a stopover that lasts up to seven days at no extra cost, so you could also embark on the iconic Ring Road route, which will take you to Skogafoss waterfall, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the photogenic Hvitserkur Basalt Stack rock.


Stopover in Tornoto with Air Canada. You can also stop in Montreal or Vancouver. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Jchmrt  

If you’ve got a flight with Air Canada that involves a connection of six hours or longer, the airline will pay for you to spend a night in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver. You can also opt to spend up to a week exploring and you can even add a second stopover on your return flight to check out one of the other two cities in the stopover programme. Get ready to explore Montreal’s Botanical Garden and the Notre-Dame Basilica, Toronto’s CN Tower or Vancouver’s terrifying Capilano Suspension Bridge. And, don’t worry if you’ve already got your flights booked, you can add a stopover of up to 96 hours before your flight is due to depart.


Sample traditional Ethiopian coffee with a stop in Addis Ababa. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Jean Rebiffé

If you’re headed west by way of Ethiopian Airlines and have between eight and 24 hours in the city, then you might qualify for a free hotel stay courtesy of the airline. Not everyone is eligible, but if you’re transiting from one Ethiopian Airlines flight to another, have a necessary layover and a passport that’s eligible for a transit visa on arrival (most nationalities are) then you can bed down in Ethiopia’s capital for free. A full 24 hours in the city will give you time to try some of the country’s famous coffee, delve into history at the Red Terror Museum or wander the sprawling length of Addis Mercato, Africa’s largest market. If you don’t have a necessary stop, but want to explore the city, you can take advantage of the airline’s multi-day Addis Ababa vacation packages with no extra fee for breaking up your journey.


Flying on Swiss Airlines and have a Zurich stopover? Take your pick from a huge selection of stopover choices originating from Switzerland’s largest city. As well as getting reduced rates at various three, four and five-star hotels, you’ll also get free travel on trains, buses and boats across the country. There’s the option to stop over for up to four nights, which will give you plenty of time to explore further afield as you can get to almost anywhere in Switzerland within a couple of hours. You’ll also get a free Swiss Coupon Pass that offers two-for-one deals on loads of tourist attractions, including Unesco World Heritage sites, castle entry fees, restaurant deals and discounted walking and city tours.


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