BEST Way to See A Country for FREE!

Typically when booking my travel overseas, I rarely consider flight time. While some may prefer to fly non-stop, I enjoy layovers; long layovers at that! Before you call me nuts, consider this: seeing another country that was never on your initial agenda for FREE!

On booking a trip to Thailand, I had a few options including a non-stop flight, a few hours layover in Taiwan, a 6-hour layover in London, or a 12-hour layover in Seoul, SK! I took Seoul for a few reasons; 1) 3 hours in Taiwan was not enough, 2) I had already been to London, and  3) I have never been to South Korea!

Any layover over ten hours is more than enough time to explore a city. There are so many apps out there that assist with navigating around and finding cool places to visit and awesome food to try! Your passport will get an additional stamp, and you can brag to friends about your “free trip”!

There are a few suggestions you should consider to maximize your long layover or “free trip”:

  • Research the types of things you want to see and do before getting to the destination. Some sights or restaurants may require reservations or buy tickets online ahead of time, which allows you to bypass waiting when you get there.
  • Consider an app like TripAdvisor to find suggestions on sites, restaurants, and museums!
  • Do a Free Walking Tour! One of my favorite things to do; free walking tours are typically available in most major cities. Lasting approximately 2-3 hours, they only ask that you tip the guide at the end of the tour! I had an eleven-hour layover in Amsterdam on the way to Kenya and did a free walking tour. I was able to see all the major sites, including the infamous Red Light District and the Ann Frank Museum. There was even enough time to grab a sandwich and coffee from a cute cafe, walk along the river and make it back to the airport in more than enough time to catch my flight!
  • Look into visa requirements before choosing a country for a long layover. Depending on your residency, you may have an additional process to enter a country or have to purchase a visa in advance.

At one point, if you had a long layover in the UAE, the airline would pay for a hotel for that evening. Not entirely sure if that perk is still around, but it is something to consider!

What are some of the things you do to enjoy the layover in another country?

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4 comments

  1. This is a great idea. Emirates doesn’t do the free hotel as much anymore, but there are other airlines (especially in the Middle East and Asia) that do it too. I think EgyptAir was one of them.

  2. Pingback: Myanmar (Burma): The Quick & Dirty Guide - Rachel TravelsRachel Travels

  3. I love the tip about the walking tour! I’ll have to keep that in mind next time I have a long layover but I’ve definitely learned to embrace layovers and I now see it as an opportunity and not an inconvenience

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