When it makes sense to have a stopover or not…
When you fly airlines like Cathay Pacific or Korean Air it is very tempting to stop in their hub city just explore it for one night. However sometimes this can be more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Most tickets you buy will allow for a stopover if it’s within 24 hours. Even if you’re using miles for a ticket, a stopover for 24 hour’s is normally permitted and this can be a fun way to add to a trip’s enjoyment. BUT not always.
American Airlines AAdvantage program will allow any stopover if it’s within a 24-hour period, so using one of their partner airlines like Cathy Pacific or British Airways makes it very worthwhile to see a city that you may never be able to have the opportunity to see again.
There are some cities however with long commutes, distant airports and lots of traffic where 24 hours is just is not enough time to enjoy a destination. A lot of this depends upon how quick it is to get to and from an airport and how easy it is to get around.
The top cities which make it easy to stop over are:
Hong Kong has a fast train from the airport into the city which will get you to where you want to be in about 30 minutes. And once you are in Hong Kong it’s so easy to walk around the entire city by foot. Shopping, sightseeing and food is in abundance in Hong Kong and so it’s a great place for a quick break.
Heathrow is pretty easy now. The Paddington Express takes only 15 minutes to get into the heart of the city and the new Terminal 5 is pretty simple and efficient to negotiate. Take in a show, do some shopping, have a great dinner, stay the night and then go back rested to continue your journey.
When flying Emirates definitely make a stopover in the city. It’s so easy to get around and so efficient, Dubai makes a great stopover destination. Once you arrive you can see the architecture and the beauty of what Dubai offers in an action-packed day.
New York has pretty easy access by taxi from JFK, LaGuardia and Newark but US immigration can slow you down. Once you’re there however New York is easy to walk around and it’s rewarding. Almost any of the avenues and streets will give youthe vibe for what New York is all about.
Whether it’s a bit of shopping, street food, Little Italy or Chinatown, New York really has it all.
And the ones to avoid are:
This is not an easy destination to get to and from the airport. It’s a long Journey and Paris is a big city so it takes a long time to walk around. Trust me in just 24 hours you won’t feel that you’ve really seen Paris so save this great city for when you have enough time to really enjoy it.
It takes far too long to get to the city centre even if you take the fast train. This is another city that just takes forever to find your way around so hold your travels here until you can really see all there is to see.
Tokyo is ultimate no way! If you’re flying through Narita then the airport is just too far to get into the city centre quickly. And it’s expensive. Tokyo is a sprawling metropolis that demands attention, so 24 hours makes no sense.
So if you’re flying Cathay Pacific definitely stop in Hong Kong, if you’re on British Airways make sure you stop in London and if you’re coming through the US on American Airlines, Delta or United stop in New York.
And here’s the final tip to make stopovers easy. In your hand baggage pack an overnight kit with your cosmetics and a change of clothes but check your luggage through to your final destination. Airlines will let your baggage go all the way through if it’s within a 24 hour time frame and this way you can make your stopover as easy and convenient as possible.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.