Business travel can be more pain than pleasure. But it doesn’t have to. Sweeten the deal for yourself by taking advantage of airline stopover programs.
Here’s a look at some of the opportunities to mix work with play.
TAP Air Portugal
There’s a reason Portugal was voted the best city break destination. With the Portugal Stopover spend up to five nights in Lisbon or Porto without a stopover fee. The Portugal Stopover app is like a personal tour guide, hipping you to the hot spots for history, culture, dining and more. You’ll be entitled to discounts on hotels and attractions. For sure you’re in for something special if stop in Porto, with its to-die-for wine, cobbled, narrow streets with shops and cafes and Lisbon which so artfully merges the old and new so seamlessly it’s poetic. Lisbon is home to Livraria Bertrand, which opened in 1732 and is the oldest bookstore in the world. Then there’s the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a magnificent monastery that is in Lisbon’s Belem district. The list goes on, you’ll leave wanting to come back.
You’ve heard the buzz about Istanbul. Check it out for yourself. Turkish Airlines’ Stopover in Istanbul makes it irresistible. If you decide to hangout in Istanbul en route elsewhere for more than 20 hours, you can stay in a five-star hotel for two days on Business Class trips and in a four-star hotel for one day one Economy Class trips, free of charge. There are some 10 hotels to choose from. Those with a connecting international flight in Istanbul with a layover between 6-24 hours, Turkish Airlines offers a free TourIstanbul service to discover the city. Top spots you won’t want to miss include the Basilica Cistern, Chora Museum, which was a church during the Byzantine era, Bayezid II Mosque, and the Arastar Bazaar. Take a cruise on the Bosphorus, the narrow strait of water separating the Asian and European continents. Feast your eyes on palaces, restored Ottoman villas, and waterside homes of Istanbul’s power brokers.
Customers traveling from Washington D.C. or New York, Canada or Israel to Africa, Europe, the U.S., Israel or Canada can take advantage of the Belgium Stop Over program. You can stay one to five days in Belgium before you continue to your final destination. Brussels Airline partners with Belgian tourism offices so it can include a hefty package of free activities and museums in 14 Belgian cities. Belgium is worth a look-see, with beaches, the Ardennes and its woods that are ideal for hiking, as well as places to soak up culture and history. You know what else its known for? Chocolate and beer. You can’t go wrong. Foodies will love the cuisine, especially fries that Belgians proclaim to be the best in the world. Then there’s the medieval art, architecture and more. All Belgium cities are within an hour of one another, so you’ll be able to see a lot in a short period of time.
Aren’t you curious about Abu Dhabi? No doubt you are. Settle it now. With Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi Stopover you can stop over for two days in Abu Dhabi. You get a discount on your first night’s accommodations and your second nights stay is on Etihad. Fly on a confirmed Etihad Airways economy class ticket connecting through Abu Dhabi and extend your time with a two-night stay. Take advantage of a variety of tours that likely includes one of your sweet spots, be it a desert safari, the Grand Mosque of Sheikh Zayed, the Louvre Museum, Emirates Palace, shopping the markets and beyond.
Talk about an offer you can’t refuse. When flying between Europe and Asia via Helsinki, touch down in Helsinki and tarry for a bit, say five hours or five days, it’s your call with Finnair’s Stopover program. Go for an ebike nature tour of Helsinki, take the extended RIB speed boat cruise archipelago with an island stop, relax in one of the public saunas, enjoy a guided art tour, explore free museums, browse the bookstores and experience the cafes and nightlife.