In the world of airline travel, direct flights are the most desirable – and why wouldn’t they be? You get to your destination faster, don’t have to go through the hassle of re-boarding a plane or re-checking your luggage and there’s just fewer things that can seemingly go wrong. The only problem is direct flights aren’t always possible. Sometimes this is because the destination is just too far from your starting point or not a popular enough route. Then again sometimes a direct flight is available but for one tiny problem – it’s really expensive.
Enter the stopover flight. If you’re one of those glass is half empty kind of people, you will look at any flight other than a direct one as being a terrible thing. Getting off the plane once you’ve settled in, having to wait for your flight AGAIN – what could possibly be good about this?
Well, it gives you so many more options for adventure!
If your ultimate goal in travel is to get from point A to point B, then yes, the direct flight is your way to go – but people that live like this, only concerned about their final destination, are likely miss out on a whole host of fabulous opportunities and experiences. Coming home from a long trip where you just want to get home or you need to see a loved one are valid reasons to forego a stopover flight, but if you’ve got a little time, why not branch off the path a little bit?
Take a transpacific flight from Toronto to Asia. Now, depending on your destination and the airline you choose, there are any number of places you could stop in on the way. Going to Korea? Why not have a stopover in Japan? See if you can schedule your connecting flight for a few days later and head out of Narita and see a bit of Tokyo? Only have 8 hours? That still gives you time to check out Narita’s famous temple, grab some ramen and be back in time to catch your flight.
The same goes for getting to Australia from Los Angeles. You could take that really expensive direct flight into Sydney, or you could opt to have a stopover in Auckalnd, New Zealand. Who knows, after a few days of wandering around New Zealand’s North Island you may start to wonder if you made the wrong choice of continuing on to Australia? South Africa from Great Britain? Maybe a stopover in northern Africa along the way?
That’s the beauty of the stopover flight – it’s like getting a bonus adventure tacked on to what is likely going to be an amazing trip. It’s the ultimate in serendipity and if you’re aware of it ahead of time, you can really take advantage of it. So the next time you have a chance for a stopover and time isn’t of the essence, wander off the beaten trail and take advantage of the unexpected!