By Florin R. Ferrs (Frugal frequent flyer & international airfare expert)
Stopovers are hot right now. Some airfare itineraries are just tailor-made for stopovers, because, let’s be frank, there are some cities in this world that are great and happening for short visits of 24 to 48 hours, but could be potential drags on longer stays. I recommend adding a stopover when your airline ticket connects somewhere interesting, most discounted airfares allow at least one free stop over at the foreign connecting hub. Here are some of my favorite stopover cities, and the airlines that offer stopovers there. A good short time is guaranteed for all.
Top five Stopover cities: Dubai, Seoul, London, Taipei, Mexico City.
Dubai: This is the city that practically invented the shop till you drop stopover with an amazing Duty free shopping mall right inside the airport. Take a courtesy shuttle into town and check out the tallest building in the world, Dubai’s old town island at the Burj or go skiing in Dubai’s indoor Skiing slope. You can’t go wrong with a stop in Dubai. Get off in Dubai the next time you fly to Hyderabad or other Indian sub continent destinations on Emirates.
Chill Out Skiing Indoors in Dubai
Seoul: Seoul has lots of soul, especially for 48 hours. The Korean tourist Board and Asiana are offering free shuttle busses from Incheon Airport into downtown Seoul and a Seoul City Tour Bus hop on & off bus, this is the best way to explore the wonders that Seoul has to offer, from restored medieval Korean temples nestled in city parks, to the excitement and wild nightlife of a 21rst century Asian megalopolis. Get off in Seoul the next time you fly to Asia on Asiana.
London: London was made for a perfect stopover. Jump on the hop on and off bus, this tour now includes fun activities off the bus, like walking tours and river boats. If you are on a budget, London offers a great subway card that covers the underground, buses and river boats. The British Museum and the National Art Gallery are free as well as catching the changing of the guards in front of Buckingham Palace. For a real treat, take a river boat to the nearby suburb of Greenwich and admire the Maritime Museum and the prime Meridian mark (zero degrees longitude). In the evenings, a green laser shoots out from the royal observatory and floats over the ‘City’ of London’s glass towers. This is one of the best vistas in town. Get off in London when you fly on Virgin Atlantic or British Airways.
Taipei: We could give you 101 reasons to stop over in Taipei, but one is good enough: Taipei 101, the second tallest skyscraper in the world. And by the way, the food is amazing and the locals are super friendly. So, get off the plane the next time you fly to Asia on China Airlines, you will be glad you did.
Mexico City: Take advantage of Aeromexico’s stop in Mexico City on the way to the beaches of Cancun and Cabo San Lucas and get off in Mexico City for a cultural and gastronomical feast. Mexico City rivals Rome with its wealth of architectural treasures, both Aztec , Spanish and even Hapsburg and French. The Museums alone are worth the stopover, but you will be glad you did mostly because the food in Mexico City is second to none, from regional Mexican delicacies to Japanese cuisine with a Latin twist. Get off in Mexico City the next time you fly on Aeromexico.
Don’t fly over, make a stopover and see the world for less.
Don't Fly over. Make a stopover!