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Layover flights allowing you to briefly visit new cities can add an extra dimension to travel. If you want to discover destinations through layovers, specialized search tools and techniques help find routes stopping in your target cities.

This guide will walk through the best ways to customize flight searches and reveal layover options for exploring exciting new places.

If you’re short on time, here is a quick summary: Use flight search tools like Kayak and Google Flights to filter layover options by city.

Expand airport and date searches to maximize layover potential. Consider open-jaw tickets to build in a layover city.

Use Flight Search Engines for Layover Filtering

When it comes to finding flights with layovers in your preferred cities, flight search engines are your best friend.

Platforms like Kayak and Google Flights offer convenient filters that allow you to customize your search based on layover cities.

By utilizing these filters, you can easily narrow down your options and find flights that meet your specific preferences.

Kayak and Google Flights have filters for layover cities

Kayak and Google Flights, two of the most popular flight search engines, provide users with the option to filter their search results by specific layover cities.

This means that you can easily specify the cities where you would like to have your layovers, allowing you to explore new destinations or make the most of your layover time in a city you already love.

Enter your origin, destination and preferred layover city

To make use of these filters, simply enter your origin and destination airports, and then input your preferred layover city in the appropriate filter field.

The search engine will then generate a list of flights that include layovers in your desired city.

This makes it incredibly convenient for travelers who want to make the most of their layovers by spending time in their favorite destinations or exploring new ones.

Flexibly adjust dates to reveal more options

To uncover even more flight options with layovers in your preferred cities, don’t be afraid to play around with your travel dates.

By adjusting your departure and return dates, you may uncover flights with layovers in your desired cities that you may not have found otherwise.

This flexibility can open up a world of possibilities and help you find the perfect flight itinerary.

Expand Airport and Date Searches

When looking for flights with layovers in your preferred cities, it’s important to expand your search options.

By doing so, you increase your chances of finding the best routes and deals. Here are a few tips to help you expand your airport and date searches:

Search within a radius of your origin and destination

Instead of limiting your search to specific airports, consider expanding it to include nearby airports within a certain radius of both your origin and destination.

This opens up more possibilities for layovers in your preferred cities.

For example, if you’re flying from New York to London, you could also search for flights with layovers in airports like Boston or Philadelphia, which are within a reasonable distance of your starting and ending points.

Increase date range to find the best layover availability

Flexibility is key when it comes to finding flights with layovers in your preferred cities.

By increasing your date range, you allow for more options and increase your chances of finding flights with layovers in your desired locations.

For example, if you’re set on having a layover in Paris on your way to Rome, expanding your date range by a few days could reveal more flight options with layovers in Paris.

Try nearby and alternate airports to open more routes

Don’t limit yourself to just the main airports in your origin and destination cities. Consider nearby and alternate airports as well.

Some smaller airports may offer flights with layovers in your preferred cities that larger airports don’t.

For instance, if you’re planning a trip from Los Angeles to Tokyo, try searching for flights with layovers in airports like San Francisco or Vancouver.

You might find more available routes and potentially better deals.

Remember, when expanding your airport and date searches, don’t forget to compare prices and flight durations to ensure you’re getting the best options for your trip. Happy searching!

Consider Open-Jaw Tickets

When searching for flights with layovers in your preferred cities, one option to consider is booking open-jaw tickets.

Open-jaw tickets are a type of airline ticket that allows you to fly into one city and out of another, without having to return to your original departure point.

This flexibility can be advantageous if you want to explore multiple destinations during your trip.

Book as round-trips with a layover city as the open jaw

One way to find flights with layovers in your preferred cities is to book round-trip tickets with the layover city as the open jaw.

For example, if you want to visit New York City and Los Angeles, you can book a round trip ticket from your departure city to New York City, and then another round trip ticket from Los Angeles back to your departure city.

This allows you to have a layover in both cities and explore them during your trip.

Lets you fly into one city and out of another

Another advantage of open-jaw tickets is that they give you the flexibility to fly into one city and out of another.

This can be particularly useful if you want to visit different cities or countries without having to backtrack to your original departure point.

For example, you can fly into Paris and then fly out of Rome, allowing you to explore both cities without the need for additional flights or transportation.

Adds a built-in long layover for exploring

One of the perks of booking open-jaw tickets is that it often allows for a built-in long layover in the layover city. This means you can deliberately plan for a longer layover and use that time to explore the city.

Many airports offer city tours or have easy access to public transportation, making it convenient to explore the layover city even if you have limited time.

This can be a great way to add an extra destination to your trip without incurring additional costs.

Research Visa Requirements

When planning a trip with layovers in your preferred cities, it is crucial to research the visa requirements for each country you will be visiting.

This is especially important if you plan on leaving the airport during your layover.

Failure to comply with visa regulations can result in denied entry or even being detained at the airport, which can be a stressful and time-consuming experience.

Ensure you have necessary visas for layover countries

Before booking your flights, make sure to check whether you need a visa for the countries where you will have layovers.

Some countries require a transit visa, which allows you to stay in the airport for a short period of time without leaving the international transit area.

Other countries may require a tourist visa if you plan on leaving the airport to explore the city during your layover.

It is important to note that visa requirements can vary depending on your nationality, so be sure to check with the respective embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.

Some locations don’t require visas for airport layovers

Fortunately, there are countries that do not require visas for airport layovers, allowing you to explore the city without the need for additional paperwork.

For example, many European countries, such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands, have transit visa exemptions for certain nationalities.

This means that you can leave the airport and explore the city during your layover without obtaining a separate visa.

However, it is important to check the specific requirements and duration allowed for each country, as this can vary.

Check if visas are needed for leaving the airport

Even if a country does not require a visa for a short layover, it is essential to check if a visa is required if you plan on leaving the airport.

Some countries have specific requirements for travelers who wish to exit the airport during a layover, even if it is just for a few hours.

For example, if you have a layover in China, you may be eligible for a visa-free transit if you meet certain criteria, such as having a valid passport, an onward ticket, and a confirmed seat on a connecting flight.

It is important to research and understand these requirements to avoid any complications during your trip.

For more detailed information about visa requirements, you can visit the official websites of the embassies or consulates of the countries you will be visiting.

These websites provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding visa regulations, processing times, and application procedures.

Remember to check the visa requirements well in advance of your trip to allow for sufficient time to obtain any necessary visas.

Factor in Layover Length

When searching for flights with layovers in your preferred cities, one important factor to consider is the length of the layover.

By taking into account the duration of layovers, you can optimize your travel experience and make the most out of your time in the connecting city.

Search tools can filter layovers by duration

Many flight search engines and travel websites provide filters that allow you to specify the desired length of layovers.

By using these search tools, you can easily find flights that fit your preferences.

Whether you’re looking for a short layover to minimize travel time or a longer layover to explore the city, these filters can help you narrow down your options.

Longer layovers provide more exploration time

Opting for longer layovers can be a great way to turn a simple layover into a mini vacation. Instead of rushing through the airport, you can plan ahead and use the extra time to explore the city.

Visit famous landmarks, try local cuisine, or immerse yourself in the culture of the layover city.

Longer layovers can add an element of adventure to your journey and make it more memorable.

Remember to include transport time to and from airports

While longer layovers may provide more time for exploration, it’s important to factor in the time it takes to travel to and from the airports.

Consider the distance between the airport and the city center, as well as the availability of transportation options.

This will help you plan your layover activities more effectively and ensure you have enough time to make it back to the airport for your connecting flight.

Remember, finding flights with layovers in your preferred cities requires careful consideration of the layover length.

By using search tools, taking advantage of longer layovers, and factoring in transport time, you can create a travel itinerary that allows you to explore new destinations while en route to your final destination.


With the right search approach, layover flights can help you discover new places on the way to your final destination.

Utilize flight search tools to build layovers into your route, research visa needs, and maximize your layover duration.

The small effort to find stopover cities is rewarded with new experiences in additional global destinations along your travels.

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