Imaging how many flights you have had from point A to point B without even thinking about the cities in which you had layovers. In Europe, you might have stopovers in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and more, and never really thought about the fact that these cities’ magnificent sights and cultures lay just outside the airport walls. What if you have extended layover, a great way to take in additional cities and countries during your travels.
The idea is simple: With an extended layover, you can turn a two-hour layover in a beautiful city into a day or more of exciting travel time in that city. An extended layover is typically a bonus—something to add to an already scheduled trip—and travelers who have flexible travel schedules and who want to see as many countries and cities as possible usually get the most out of extended layovers.
How can you do this? You can create a multi-day stopover (that is an extended layover) all on your own. Here we go through 2 methods you can do this on your own.
Method 1: Build your own extended layover
Step 1: Search from your origin to your final destination
Let's say I want to fly from Toronto, Canada to Melbourne, Australia. Let's pop that into Skyscanner for March 27.
The cheapest result is $880 CAD. We can also see from the results that Los Angeles is a common connecting point from Toronto to Melboune. With that in mind, we can make a multi-day stopover out of our layover. Why don't we have an extended layover and spend 3 days in Los Angeles while we're there?
Step 2: Use multi-city search to extend layovers into stopovers
We can go back to Skyscanner and use the multi-city search function to extend that layover into a trip. We put in our original departure date of March 27 from Toronto to Los Angeles, but then set the second flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne on January 30.
The resulting cheapest flight is $1,111 CAD. So for a difference of just $231, we now have a 3 days trip in Los Angeles before heading over to sunny Brisbane.
For this trick to work, you must book the flights together using a multi-city search like the one offered by Skyscanner. This ensures that the entire trip is bundled together and served by partnering airlines, which gives you the best price
Method 2: Use a stopover search engine
As you can see, it can be a lot of manual work to find a stopover. Thankfully, there's an all-in-one tool for finding stopovers called AirWander. Simply enter your origin, final destination, and number of days you wish to stopover. AirWander will return a list of destinations you can stop in, along with how much more or less you are saving vs booking a regular connected flight. As you can see in the picture, in our case we will save $172 less if you have a 3 day stopover in Los Angeles..
You can toggle the number of days you’re able to spend on a stopover to see what your best options are, and Airwander shows you how much you can save or pay extra. You can pick a destination, or leave it or your dates open-ended for recommendations.
Searching all those routes on your own would take hours—and I know because I attempted it. Spend a few minutes checking Airwander instead, and you can spend the rest of that time planning fun activities in your stopover city.