By Chantae Reden, travel writer.
Did you know that for every long-haul flight you do, you could be seeing multiple destinations – at no extra cost? We’ve run the numbers and found that adding one layover can save up to 50 per cent on the direct fare. With some travel hacking you can turn the layover into a stopover and use these savings to explore an additional destination.
In this guide from Skyscanner Australia, I’ll cover the best money-saving layover routes (and how much you’ll save), how to turn these savings into a multi day stopover in just a few easy steps, as well as my favourite stopover routes and experiences.
But first thing’s first! A layover is the waiting time between connecting flights, ranging 30 minutes to 24 hours. A stopover refers to a stay that lasts longer than 24 hours, giving you more time to visit somewhere new.
Spending a few extra days in a stopover city not only gives you a break from flying, but it also lets you experience a new place at no extra cost. I’ve hiked around geothermal pools in New Zealand, surfed waves on the Gold Coast of Australia, and sampled new foods in China, all because I’ve taken advantage of flight stopovers.
The best money-saving layover routes for Australians
Sydney (SYD) to Seoul (ICN) via Kuala Lumpur (KUL) = 54 per cent average saving
Sydney (SYD) to Tokyo (NRT) via Cairns (CNS) = 52 per cent average saving
Sydney (SYD) to Bangkok (BKK) via Singapore (SIN) = 49 per cent average saving
Sydney (SYD) to Hong Kong (HKG) via Kuala Lumpur (KUL) = 46 per cent average saving
Sydney (SYD) to London (LHR) via Delhi (DEL) = 64 per cent average saving
Melbourne (MEL) to Hong Kong (HKG) via Kuala Lumpur (KUL) = 46 per cent average saving
Melbourne (MEL) to Los Angeles (LAX) via Guangzhou (CAN) = 34 per cent average saving
Melbourne (MEL) to London (LHR) via Beijing (PEK) = 61 per cent average saving
Melbourne (MEL) to Manila (MNL) via Singapore (SIN) = 50 per cent average saving
Melbourne (MEL) to Colombo (CMB) via Kuala Lumpur (KUL) = 40 per cent average saving
How to book a stopover through Skyscanner
The key to a successful stopover is being semi-flexible when it comes to choosing your flights. You don’t need extra points, miles, or memberships to take advantage of Skyscanner Australia’s multi-city search function.
Step 1: Search for flights to and from your target destination
Decide where you want your main destination to be and the date range you want to travel. Head to Skyscanner and type this into the search box. If you’re very flexible, you can select entire “Entire Month” or “Cheapest Month” to get the cheapest range. Click the “Search” button.
Step 2: Look through the results and switch between “direct” and “1+ stop” to see price differences in the results