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For some frequent flyers, nothing but nonstop will do. But there’s another segment of the traveling population that basks in the excitement of a mid-journey pit stop — and the savings that can accompany a more roundabout route to get to one’s final destination. That’s where Cleverlayover comes in.
Founded in 2015 by a quintet of Harvard Business School students, the, well, clever travel meta-search engine helps its customers save money by patching together a series of flights — many through ultra-low-budget carriers that aren’t part of any major airline alliance and likely won’t show up when you search on a mega site like Expedia — to get you to your final destination at the best price possible, even if it takes a couple of days to get you there. But with the growing popularity of stopovers, Cleverlayover has added a great new feature that lets customers easily turn a long layover into its own mini-vacation.
The process for turning a layover into a stopover couldn’t be easier: after typing in where a journey will begin and end — along with the desired dates of travel — customers can simply toggle a button to extend their layover, and even cite how many days they want to spend in a given city.
To test it out, I asked Cleverlayover to take me from Santa Fe to Malta; the best price, not including a stopover, was $1,606, and took me from Santa Fe to Denver to Toronto on United Airlines, from Toronto to Rome on Air Canada, then from Rome to Malta via Air Malta (and back again). When I repeated the search, but requested to spend three days in Rome, the route changed — I went from Santa Fe to Dallas/Fort Worth to London to Rome on British Airways, then Rome to Malta on Ryanair — but doing so, and spending three days in Rome, actually saved me $50 on airfare (the cost was a grand total of $1,556). Meanwhile, the best price Kayak gave me for the straightest shot flight from Point A to Point B, which included two stops and more than 35 hours of travel time, was $2,094.
While it may not be the easiest or fastest way to get to your destination, budget-conscious explorers who have the power to sleep upright would do well to see what kinds of deals they can find. Just be sure to wear your comfiest travel outfit and, if the savings are substantial enough, invest in a Priority Pass so you can enjoy a little lounge time in between.
Featured image courtesy of Cleverlayover.
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