Today is 7 Practical Stopover Trips, and Wed. is 7 Crazy Stopover trips.
Today’s version is practical because it’s a complete roundtrip without open-jaws. The post Wed has the crazy open-jaws.
The reason to break it into two parts is because, as I showed in my post last week on The Roundtrip Hack, there are some crazy cool tricks you can do with open-jaws. For even more context, check out my other United post from last week, The New United Stopover and Routing Rules.
But today’s version isn’t any less awesome. There are some trips I’m relieved to still be able to book.
You may notice that these examples get progressively less practical… but they’re still roundtrips and might spark your imagination.
1) US to Anywhere with 1 stopover in that region
Understand that you can do a roundtrip from the US to anywhere, and have a stopover in that region.
I’ve give three examples, as part of #1.
1a) US to Europe with a stopover = 60k/140k/220k
Chicago to Paris to Rome to Chicago = 60,000 United miles
1b) US to SE Asia with a stopover = 80k/160k/260k
New York to Hong Kong to Bali to New York = 80,000 United miles
1c) US to Africa with a stopover = 80k/160k/260k
Chicago to Nairobi, Kenya, to Cape Town, South Africa to Chicago = 80,000 United miles
I want to reiterate that these are good and possible routes.
2) US to Northern South America, and the Galapagos
A roundtrip from the US to Northern South America is 40k/70k/90k in United miles.
Then include a stopover within Northern South America, and this is a fantastic deal.
Really what I mean is that I really want to go to the Galapagos. But why not also pair it with a trip to Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana or somewhere else in Ecuador!?
You could do Machu Picchu and the Galapagos on one ticket, for 40,000 miles.
Neither Cusco, nor the Galapagos are the easiest to get flights to or from, but I certainly found it bookable with flexible dates.
Plus, it’s just an example, you could do this anywhere within the region.
Houston to Cusco, Peru, to the Galapagos islands, to Houston = 40k
Machu Picchu is a special place… but we’ve already been so I’d probably opt for the Galapagos and somewhere on mainland Ecuador or somewhere new in Colombia.
Also, note that for an extra 10,000 miles you can add an extra stop. So you could do the Galapagos, mainland Ecuador, Peru, and then return home, and it would only be 50,000 miles!
3) The Latin Hopper
Once upon a time I wrote about this ticket, and it’s still alive and well. It’s basically a variation of the last ticket, but you start from either Central America or the Caribbean.
Because it’s only 10,000 miles to go to other regions within Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, and Northern South America. Any flight to and from, or within one of those regions is only 10,000 miles.
Here’s an example.
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Bogota, Colombia – Lima, Peru – Aruba = 20,000 United miles
It would look like this (minus connections):
You could do Cuzco, or the Galapagos, and you could start and end anywhere in Central America or the Caribbean. I just chose San Juan and Aruba because it’s similar to a flight we did years ago, but there are tons of combinations possible!
How I would do it.
Actually, I looked at booking this exact ticket: Belize – Quito – Galapagos – Roatan, Honduras.
Those would all be new places to me, a lot of beautiful places, and there’s a cheap Choice hotel on Roatan, only 6,000 points a night. See Best Use of Choice Points.
I looked, and there’s actually decent options in the Galapagos for airbnb. Plus, airbnb is still giving the extra $50 ontop of the increased $35 referral. See details here.
I proposed that with the Latin Hopper one could take a cheap flight down to the Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America. There are lots of cheap flights with Southwest points, BA Avios, and more.
Then you can start from one of these islands, and hop around South America.
You’ll likely pay just a little more than a roundtrip to South America, but you’ll see 4 destinations!
4) Hawaii to Micronesia
This is a trip visiting three Pacific islands for 50,000 United Miles, you have direct flights, and the taxes and fees come out to $27.66 total!
This is a great trip, and the fact that I haven’t been to Yap or Palau still is killing me. Beat me to it!
Of course, you could also do this trip starting from the US, it will just cost 70k miles instead of 50k.
So the advantage of starting in Hawaii is if you live on the west coast (cheap flight with Avios), live in Hawaii, or like deals. Because the business class Hawaii to Oceania on United is only 80k miles roundtrip. Not much more! It would be 130k from the US.
Anyways, here’s the route.
HNL – YAP – GUM – HNL = 50k/80k
Note that if I wanted to add Yap to Palau, a second stopover, I could for 12,500 extra miles.
5) Japan to Micronesia
Japan to Oceania is only 12,500 United miles each way. Add the stopover, and you got an amazing add on to a trip to Japan for 25,000 miles.
Again, you could do 2 islands, particularly Guam, Yap, or Palau.
Yap and Palau are relatively farflung islands and you could see them both for 25,000 miles.
Think about it. Next April you could do the off-peak award using Alaska miles (flying American Airlines) to Japan and book a ticket for 25,000 miles each way to/from Japan. So 50k for a roundtrip ticket to Japan, and then add on Yap and Palau (or Guam) for another 25,000 United miles.
That’s quite a trip for 75k.
Plus you could do an open-jaw so you return back to Kyoto, or Okinawa, or anywhere in Japan. So you’d see two cities in Japan, and two islands in Micronesia.
6) SE Asia to Australia / New Zealand
SE Asia to Australia (or vice versa) is only 17,500 United miles. This means that you can do a roundtrip, going from one to the other for only 35,000 miles, and get a free segment.
Plus, you could open-jaw so your flight returns to a different part of SE Asia (or Australia/New Zealand).
i.e. Bangkok – Sydney – Auckland – Singapore = 35,000 United miels
7) Northern Africa to South/Central Africa
Northern Africa includes Algeria, Morocco, Canary Islands, Tunisia, Libya.
But most importantly, there are programs that consider the Canary Islands and Morocco as part of Europe!
- AA considers Canary Islands as Europe
- FlyingBlue considers Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Canary Islands as Europe
- Singapore considers Canary Islands as Europe
With the right set up, this could actually be a cheap way to see a lot of Africa.
LPA – ADD – CPT – LPA = 35k/70k
The reason I chose business for this example is because 1) availabity wasn’t great, and 2) because it’s a lot flying.
Let me show you what the actual route turned out to be:
Of course, you can get more direct routes than that, but I thought it was interesting for two reasons. 1) It’s just an odd route to fly. And 2) I think I found a cheaper way to go from Africa to Europe.
Normally South/Central Africa to Europe is 30k/55k/100k for a oneway. But here, with South Africa to Northern Africa (LPA), it prices 17.5k/35k/50k. That is a lot cheaper, and yet it routes through Europe. I could get it to route via Europe on Turkish, Brussels, or Aer Lingus.
Which brings me to the subject of tomorrow’s newsletter.
By the way, tomorrow I’ll be sending out a newsletter on United routes that are a little odd.
If you’re not signed up already, you can do so at the top of the page.
A lot of these flights are all pretty similar to the flights bookable before United’s big routing changes on Oct 6.
Still, I want to show what flights are actually bookable. In other words, spend less time talking about routing rules and how the computer/website works, and more time talking about flying to actual places.
Some of the flights I’ll talk about in two days will be a little different than flights you could book previously. But still the focus will be on actual examples… but next time with open-jaws.