Travel Tips: How to get a free mini city break through smart flight booking

Rachel PearsonWritten by | Travel Tips

mini city break

This is a quick tip but an incredibly simple one to include mini city break, which will completely change the way you travel and see the world.

It’s rare that someone would book a long haul flight for a mini city break, unless of course you happen to be super rich or maybe you’re agoraphobic, have poor taste in food, think cinema screens are way too big and therefore love being on planes.

If you’re flying across the globe it makes sense to go for a decent length break but often we can exhaust our list of things to do or start repeating ourselves when we have 10 days in one location. There’s only a certain amount of free stuff to do in tourist destination so the longer we stay somewhere, the more we spend.

Todays’ travel tip is how to turn a long haul flight into a mini city break, it’s so incredibly simple and shouldn’t cost anything:

  1. Pick you long haul destination and do a flight search. For this example we’re going to pick a flight from London to Bali and we’re searching through travelsupermarket.com
  2. Look for the quickest flights there available. This is easily done by going into the filter and looking at “outbound duration”. For Bali, the quickest journey is 15 hours.
  3. Using the filter, add between 14 to 24 hours to the minimum flight time depending on how long you want to stay in your mini break city.
  4. Select 1 stop flights. not selecting this will mean you might have 2 or 3 stopovers which will add up to 14-24 hours (not fun!)
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the filter options to “Via Airport”.

Here will be a list of airports. The ones with the price next to them are options for a layover that will be at between 15 and 24 hours.

Make sure you keep the layover under 24 hours. This is because there is a big difference between a layover and a stopover. A layover is when you have less than 24 hours in a city or airport waiting for your connecting flight. If it goes beyond 24 hours it because a stopover flight and booking those are a lot more expensive.

By increasing your journey time by to up to 24 hours you ensure that you have a smooth, 1 stop connection with the added bonus of a quick mini city break in a far off place.

Let’s go back to our example. We’re flying to Bali and the quickest flight is a 1 stop flight lasting 11 hours. We’ve told the search engine we want a flight of at least 30 hours and we have the following options:

  • Connect in Singapore: arrive at 7:30am, fly out 7am the following morning
  • Connect in Bangkok: arrive at 4pm, fly out 10am the following morning
  • Connect in Hong Kong: arrive at 1:15pm, fly out at 10:10am the following morning

Prices can vary but if you’re smart and search carefully it’s not difficult to find a long layover flight either the same price as a 1 stop flight or a very similar price. It’s also a much better alternative to paying the premium of direct flights as a long layover will turn a boring super long and boring direct flight into two shorter flights with a mini holiday in between.

Layovers are great fun; if you don’t believe us then explore our website and see for yourself. We have used this trick dozens of times to get a fun mini city break to add to our trip:

We took a 23 hour layover in Miami on our way to Orlando. We sipped bespoke cocktails whilst watching a thunderstorm from the 26th floor of the Conrad hotel, then hit up Little Havana, went to the beach, did a food tour and visited a national park. You can read more about it here and here.

We did a 23 hour layover in Toronto where we both sailed under and flew over Niagara falls and visited an ice wine vineyard. You can read more about it here.

There was the 21 hour layover in Abu Dhabi where we slept on our overnight flight from London to Sydney. Our whistle stop tour of Abu Dhabi including seeing the Sheik Sayed Mosque, flying over Dubai on a seaplane and then relaxing in the 50 degree heat at a beach club before heading back to the airport and getting some more sleep on our overnight flight to Sydney. You can read more about it here.

Or there was the time when I flew from Belgium to England via Croatia. Sure, it would have made more sense going direct. But not only did I save £20 flying 666 miles in the opposite direction, I also got to walk among the roman ruins, eat Ćevapčići and drink Ožujsko. Then to end the day, witnessed the sun set over the Adriatic sea whilst being serenaded by the sounds of the sea organ.

I can honestly say all of these experiences during a mini city break were a lot nicer than being overcharged for water and fast food inside a generic airport terminal and trying to pass the time waiting for a connecting flight.

One of the keys to travelling is enjoying the journey as well as the destination. This is a simple, cheap, and smart way to do both.

We’ve used travelsupermarket.com for our example but another great option is kiwi.com. For more info on how to use kiwi.com to build your unique itinerary, check out our article on kiwi.com here.

Happy travels!

Last modified: 5th September 2017

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