Have you ever been stuck with a brutal layover in the middle of a trip to the other side of the world?
What if we told you that a little trick called the "23:59" travel hack could change the way you travel — so much so that you'll actually be looking to book layovers on your next trip?
Travel expert Gilbert Ott told Narcity all about this incredible and little-discussed travel hack, and he explained how it could be the perfect opportunity to explore an entirely new city.
Ott runs God Save the Points, a popular blog dedicated to providing air travel tips, hacks and Air Miles tricks for frequent flyers and occasional travellers alike.
According to Ott, if you strategically work layovers into your long-haul travel plans, it can be an ideal way of exploring a new city without breaking the bank.
This is where the 23:59 travel hack comes into play.
Basically, the 23:59 travel hack takes advantage of the fact that a connecting flight is anything under 24 hours, while more than 24 hours becomes a stopover, which usually results in a pricier flight ticket.
If you strategically book a connecting flight that is under 24 hours after your last flight, you can essentially take that time to leave the airport and explore the city until your next flight.
If you already have to take a connecting flight, “why not just stay 23 hours and 59 minutes, go to a hotel, have a nice dinner, you know, see some of the city,” Ott told Narcity.
When life gives you layovers, look for the "worst" one.https://www.godsavethepoints.com/using-airline-rules-to-maximize-stopovers/\u00a0\u2026— Gilbert Ott | GSTP \u2708\ufe0f\ud83c\udf34\ud83c\udf0f (@Gilbert Ott | GSTP \u2708\ufe0f\ud83c\udf34\ud83c\udf0f) 1648553280
“At least you can say I’ve been there; I’ve done that,” said Ott.
This way, you can turn “miserable itineraries” into something more meaningful and adventurous according to Ott.
Ott used Doha, Qatar as a perfect example of how to use the travel hack.
Instead of just staying at Doha's Hamad International Airport for 6 hours, you might as well extend the layover to be right under 24 hours and see the gem of a city in the Middle East.
He suggests that If your flight lands mid-day, you should just book the connecting flight for the next day around the same time. This way, you can book a hotel room for one night and spend an entire day exploring a new city at a relatively low cost.
An even better option would be to arrive early in the morning and then leave late at night; this way, you can avoid booking a hotel entirely, saving even more money.
Qatar, along with a handful of other major stopover hubs, actually has a stopover program for situations like long layovers.
“You can actually access free or discounted hotels if you choose to take advantage of the Qatar stopover,” explained Ott.
Countries like Qatar form partnerships with airlines and work together to promote tourism through little travel hacks like this.
In some cases, stopover programs can even take care of things like transfers and transportation at the airport.
Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup games this year, so this might be the perfect time to take advantage of the 23:59 travel hack!