Travel the world for free using the layover hack

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So if you are reading this post I assume you are interested in ways to travel the world for free, yay! My guess is you want to get into the nitty gritty of the HOW to get yourself a free trips. I am going to use the example of Qatar Airways free layover and free visa in Doha, Qatar. Firstly let me explain the mistakes I made the first time round. These mistakes meant I’ve already missed out on two potential free trips to other countries.

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Our new Canadian friends

Realizing my mistake

I recently travelled to Thailand (see more about Thailand here.) It was on this trip I spoke with two Canadian girls. Typically when you are travelling one of the first questions you will ask your new friends is “where were you before this?” This is exactly what I done to my new friends. Their answer shocked me… They had just come from China!

Tip read: Travel the world on a budget

They soon explained to me they scored a free stopover in China on their way from Canada. All they had to do was schedule their connecting flight from China to Bangkok to allow them long enough to go out and explore the Great Wall! How amazing is that? This is something I had not considered before now. I had stopped for a mere 45 minutes in Doha and hadn’t considered spending any time there!

Avoiding the mistake the second time around

This is a mistake I will not make again. I have since booked my tickets to Bangkok with Qatar Airways and have scheduled my connecting flight out of Doha for 19 hours after I land. That is me getting a free day to explore Doha. Now you can book this is as one long flight, but that is the mistake.

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Doha, Qatar

Multi-city flights

The trick is to book a multi-city flight to travel the world… So for me I am leaving Edinburgh to go to Doha, and then 19 hours later i’ll depart Doha to go to Bangkok. If you book a flight to Doha with Qatar Airways the give you a free visa for your stay! Bonus. I would have had to pay my own visa if I hadn’t booked it as two separate flights. The screenshot is not great quality so check out Qatar Airways visa information here.

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Doha visa

This doesn’t work just for Qatar airways, so many airlines had stopovers on long haul flights, and you can choose multi-city flights. I am doing the same trick to get half a day in Panama on my way to Peru, and a day in Amsterdam on the way back.

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Have you got any tips on how to travel the world for free?

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  • Thanks for a great tip. I have to be honest but layovers scare me and i am always in a hurry to reach my final destination thus choosing the least amount of time in-between. Using that time to travel the city is definitely a great idea. However, in my case, being Indian means having to apply and get Visa which can sometimes be a hassle. Nevertheless, I’ll keep this tip handy.

  • I have used layovers to explore a city during the day several times. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to spend the night like this. Doha would be wonderful, so I’ll have to remember this the next time around.

  • This is a usefull tip that I will definaely keep in mind. The china story is so cool, havingto see The Great wall of China or somthing equally amazing totaly for free 🙂 Awesome! My last long haul frlight was from Riga, Latvia to Bangkok. We had a layover in Oslo, Norway but stayedin the airport that time. This was a fun read! Thanks

  • Very nice tip that if we book multi city tickets we get chance to see over one city. Also your quote travel only makes you richer is the best one. We did this when we were coming from Melbourne to hyderabad we had lay over in Bangkok for 24 hours and we took visa on arrival facility and got a chance to roam around.

  • Connecting flights ruin everything sometimes, because of the hectic schedules, I’ve many times got tied up. But on the next travel I am going to go out and explore atleast one site from the city!

  • Layovers are a great way to introduce yourself to a country. I haven’t done it recently but it makes perfect travel sense especially if you want to break up the length of the flight and stretch your legs/get some proper sleep.

  • This is a really great idea. My wife and I have used this as technique to get a night in Miami for some great Cuban food and strolling the beach. We have found the site that lists practically every possible flight to your destination. which makes it easy to find the flights with long layovers. And as a bonus, many times the flights with the long layovers are cheaper than the shorter flights.

    • Hey that one is new to me – thanks so much for the tip! It is a bonus! We love that about it too. More money for yummy food right? 🙂

  • This is a great tip. Really thanks a lot. Layovers are a best way to introduce yourself to a country. I never had layovers, but now its in my mind. Will got for it.

  • I really had no idea about layovers. But after reading your article, I must appreciate this, It is really great for everyone who is visiting a new nation. I have never used it till yet, but will do it.

  • This is a great travel tip! I have read something like this before but I had no idea how to do this. It sounds kinda exhausting because you need to plan very well or else you will miss the opportunity to explore. However, I am still eager to try this.

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