Step-by-Step Guide to Booking Flights with a Stopover

This is your easy step-by-step guide to booking long haul flights with at least one stopover included. I recently booked my own one way flights to Auckland, New Zealand with 4 stopovers along the way. Now I want to help you do the same!

My route is: London – Reykjavik – Boston – Charleston – LA – Auckland.

I will guide you through how to book your own custom flight route with stopovers included.

First of all we need to understand the difference between a layover and a stopover. A layover will normally be when you have two connecting flights and can range from anything from 30 minutes to 23 hours. Whereas, a stopover is typically when you have more than 24 hours in a destination when you are flying long haul.

If you don’t have the time to research your own routes then STA Travel offer some really great deals, especially if like me you qualify for their student/ youth fare tickets. They also have some great round the world flight tickets or one way multi-stop tickets if you are also on your way to completing a working holiday like me! Check out STA Travel’s website here to search for your own one way multi-stop routes to Australia/ New Zealand.

Alternatively you can follow this easy step-by-step guide and search for your own flights!

Step 1: Find out which destinations are typical stopover points for your final destination

In a new tab open up Google Flights or Skyscanner, enter your departure and arrival points and a date for your trip. At this point the date doesn’t matter too much, we are just looking for possible stopover locations. Make a note of the destinations where your flights connect on the way to your final destination.

Step 2: Find out which airlines fly to your final destination

On the same search that you just created you should be able to see which airlines are flying to these destinations. This is really important as many airlines will offer free stopovers in the city which is there base. For instance, IcelandAir are a popular stopover destination for travellers on the way to the USA. Emirates also offer stopovers in Dubai where many of their flights connections are.

Step 3: If there is a destination you are eager to visit find out if a stopover is possible

On my own multi-stop flight route that I mentioned earlier you will see that I am visiting Charleston. This is a city in South Carolina, USA which I really wanted to visit. A couple of years ago I spent a year living and working in this amazing city on an internship and I was desperate to go back and visit my friends. This city is not a typical stopover point, however I knew that Reykjavik in Iceland was a popular stopover point between the UK and the USA. I also knew that direct flights departed from LA to Auckland every day, which was the final destination in my trip.

I did a quick search to see where flights from Reykjavik to Charleston stopped over and found that Boston was one of the options. With the information I had gathered I set up a multi-city search on google flights. I altered the dates until I had found the cheapest flights with the right amount of time in each of the destinations I was stopping in. 

Overall my flights cost a little over £1200. I will be visiting 4 destinations on the way to New Zealand (2 of which I have never been to before!), and I get to visit friends I haven’t seen in over a year! Now it’s your turn… book your own stopover flights by following the 3 easy steps outlined in this post. Let me know in the comments section below where your flight route is taking you, or if your having any trouble post a question and I’ll try and guide you in the right direction! 

Top Tips:

  • To find the best flights at the cheapest price its best to be as flexible as possible with the dates you choose.
  • Don’t forget that Tuesday’s are often the cheapest day to fly on!
  • Set up flight alerts with either Google Flights or Skyscanner, they will send you an email every day and let you know whether the flight route you are looking at has gone up or down in price.
  • Sign up to emails from Jack’s Flight Club here. It’s completely free to sign up and roughly once a week he’ll send a newsletter out with some cheap flight deals, often to expensive long haul destinations.

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