Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by Hipmunk, but the opinions are as always our own.
Admit it, layovers are annoying. There’s nothing worse than a 20-hour flight with a 4-hour layover in some random airport. There’s only so much shopping and eating that can be done before you start wanting to bang your head against the wall! It can easily ruin the start of your trip. But what if it didn’t have to?
I used to hate layovers and tried to avoid them at all costs. But when I moved to Australia it quickly dawned on me that Australia was located so far away from the rest of the world that avoiding layovers was practically impossible. So at first we thought we would just plan well and opt for the shortest layovers possible. It was a good idea in theory, but when we missed a connection flight in Sydney and ended up almost canceling our trip to Brazil, it was clear that it wasn’t the best solution.
A New Approach to Layovers
This past Christmas we tried another approach. Instead of booking flights with the shortest layovers, we strategically planned a few 7-8 hour stops en route to our final destination. And we LOVED IT!
On our way to Canada, we spent 8 hours exploring Singapore and another 7 hours in Shanghai.
Read Next: How to Rock a Stopover in Singapore
What would’ve been a 30-hour flight with two 3-4 hour stopovers turned into a 2-day adventure across 2 different countries. We had dinner in Singapore, spent the night on the plane, and woke up excited to explore Shanghai the following morning. We didn’t have a lot of time in each city, but it was just enough to sample some local food, stroll the streets, take tons of pictures, and even indulge in some shopping. We found a way to turn an annoying layover experience into a part of the trip we actually looked forward to.
Last week we announced our exciting new plans! We quit our jobs to travel the world and have shared a long list of countries we’ll be traveling to over the next 6 months. What we didn’t share is 5 other countries that we’ll be stopping at for 12-36 hour layovers.
We are taking layovers to a whole new level!
It’s taken us hours upon hours of research to try and find the cheapest routes from one destination to another, often taking into account layover cities and airports we would rather avoid. Turns out, there is now an easier way to do the search.
Meet Hipmunk, a lesser-known but very powerful booking engine for flights, hotels, cars, and packages. On the surface, Hipmunk is no different from other search engines, but we’ve recently learned about one of its coolest functions. Its flight search goes beyond the basics and allows you to search flights by specific airline (awesome, if you want to collect frequent flier points), and it allows you to stop in or bypass a specific airport/city. Read more about this #hiphack here
It’s a neat little tool for those wanting to take their flight searching skills to the next level and force the search engine to find you a route that tricks the system. It’s especially useful when flying around Europe where airlines like RyanAir, EasyJet and Norwegian Air are making it easier to hop from country to country.
Good luck with your research!