Skip to Content

This flight search hack gets you a free stopover

Planning a holiday soon? Here’s a little flight search hack that can get you a free stopover flight.

When booking flights, you can save thousands using this trick. It will get you a stopover or a multi-stop flight at no extra cost. (Well, apart from the extra in accommodation). 

find cheap flights

Booking flights online? Use these tips to get the best price. Picture: Shutterstock

Here’s how it works. 

First, pick your ultimate destination and the range of dates you want to travel – including the time for the stopover. 

Then look for all the non-direct flights. Where do they stop?

As an example, we attempted to book flights to New York in July 2019. United Airlines had a flight from Sydney to New York with one stop in Houston Texas. On return, the flight stopped at San Franciso and Los Angeles before returning to Sydney. The total flight price was $1464

Now, let’s say you want to travel all around the US on a mega-trip with the kids. You could book a flight to LA or New York return and then book internal budget flights across the US. But you would be wasting your money. 

Instead – book a flight with multiple stops, such as the one above, and use those legs at different times. For instance – spend one week in Houston Texas, one week in New York, a week in San Francisco and a week in LA.

To book this flight, switch to the multi-city search function on booking engines. Add in all those flights and the price is exactly the same – $1464

Flight search free stopover flight

Same price for the multi-destination trip as for the return New York flights. Picture: SkyScanner.

Don’t like the 6am flights? Different combinations of times are available. Up to 20 combinations all had the same price. 

The trick is – you have to choose flight legs that are common. You could also book flights to Vancouver, New York and Toronto for the same price as a return flight to New York. Air Canada commonly stops in Vancouver from Sydney and Toronto and Vancouver from New York. 

Try it for flights Europe with stopovers in Singapore, Bangkong, Hong Kong or Dubai. It won’t always work. But when it does you can pocket that extra cash and use it for your accommodation. 

The great thing about this tick is that it also breaks up long trips for little kids. Shorter flights are far more manageable. 

All sound too hard? Use the chatbot on the page or call one of our Family Travel experts and they can book flights for you. 1300 404 100. 


In-flight hacks for more economy class comfort

Flying with kids – the best tips by age group

Keep up to date with flight sales – weekly flight sale wrap


* Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links provided, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting the work we put into!