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Exotic Stopovers, Tours and More | Flying East to S.E. Asia and Indonesia

Stopovers, tours, hotels, and name brand goods are available FREE for the asking all around the world, if you know where and how to find them! If your holiday takes you to Indonesia or some other destination in S.E. Asia, why not add an additional exotic stopover onto your itinerary for free. Read on, I’ll show you how to redeem freebies when you are flying from the East to Indonesia and the rest of S.E. Asia

Airports and cities are more aggressively competing for your tourist dollars. Many major airports now offer onsite hotels, chain restaurants, major brand outlets and some even offer entertainment. If you’re smart and know how to take advantage of these specials, you can get discounts or even free offers. They would rather have you spend your time shopping and touring their facilities and leave a memorable impression on tourists than just get you checked in and on your way.

Singapore’s strategic location often puts it on a traveler’s flight path when traveling East or West. Since this hub could be on traveler’s radar from any continent, I’ve listed it in the previous blog Free For the Asking – Flying West to S.E. Asia and Indonesia as well. If you already read it, please feel free to skip it.

Changi International, Singapore (SIN)

Changi airport in Singapore is one of the shining jewels of international airports and probably the best example of this concept. Changi is a city within a city and if you know where to look there are many free options available to transit passengers.

Stopovers

Singapur SkylineSingapore Airlines (SQ) offers a free stopover in their hub city Singapore (this means you can add a stay in the city without increasing the cost of your ticket). To take advantage of this, simply book yourself a multi-city itinerary. The imprint of Singapore’s colonial past can still be felt in the city today. In Singapore’s circa-1820 Chinatown stands the red-and-gold Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, said to house one of Buddha’s teeth. Singapore Airlines makes this even easier by offering special stopover packages with significant savings on hotels.

Free City Tours

If you have more than 5.5 to 6 hours layover at Changi airport you have the option of two free city tours in Singapore. Be enthralled by the sights, sounds, and colors of Singapore during your transit. Take a walk through history at the Merlion Park. Experience a multi-sensory buzz in vibrant Chinatown or bustling Kampong Glam. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city, with a backdrop of the Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay. For more information, go to Changi’s Free Singapore Tour page.

Free Airport Amenities

If you like FREE MONEY, and who doesn’t, then Changi airports free duty-free voucher should not go unclaimed. Eligible passengers will receive 2 vouchers to be used at participating stores (i.e. duty-free liquor, shops, and restaurants). Each voucher is valued at S$20. To see if you are eligible for the vouchers, check out the Changi Free Transit Voucher page.

While you are wandering around Changi Airport, make sure you stop by the information booth to get your free Wi-Fi password, and ask for directions to the Butterfly Garden, cactus garden, orchid garden and the free movie theater in terminal 3. The Changi App also has an additional page for discounts and other free attractions. After a long day of walking around Singapore and Changi, relax in their free electric massage chairs located throughout the airport.

Doha Intl Airport, Doha, Qatar (DOH)

Voted best airport staff and best airport in the Middle East in 2016 by Skytrax, Doha International offers a world class transfer experience.

Stopover

katara-structure-dohaQatar airlines offers 1 free stopover in Doha, simply add one to your itinerary and Qatar will waive the visa fee. If your itinerary has a forced long layover in Qatar, contact a Qatar agent. In certain cases, as a special service, Qatar Airways will arrange accommodation, entry visas, airport transfers, and meals to passengers facing extended transit times in Doha.

Free City Tours

Enrich every step of your journey with a complimentary tour of Doha, courtesy of Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority. Visit four key landmarks including The Pearl-Qatar, Katara Cultural Village, Souq Waqif, for traditional jewelry, spices and handicrafts, and the Museum of Islamic Art, for its stunning architecture and beautiful seaside park.

Free Airport Amenities

Stop in for a free tasting at the Marmalade market or one of the many duty-free locations. For the chocoholics out there, stop by the Godiva counter and watch master chocolatiers at work. With Doha’s airport app, you’ll get free Wi-Fi and easy directions to these attractions. Doha’s passenger terminal showcases a fascinating selection of art, curated in partnership with Qatar Museums.

Dubai Intl Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB)

dubai skylineDubai International just got bigger. Whether you’re looking for delicious cuisine, world-class shopping, relaxing lounges or inspiring entertainment, Concourse D delivers on all fronts. Forget about bland airport experiences and get ready for a memorable journey.

Stopover

The words ‘first, tallest, deepest, most expensive, lavish, outlandish’ could have been created for this city. Where else would you find a seven-star hotel, visit a series of 200 man-made islands in the shape of the countries of the world, or climb the world’s tallest building? Emirates offers a pre-prepared stopover package to passengers who wish to take a day to see its hub city of Dubai. Emirates also offers a free hotel night with layovers over 8 hours.

Free City Tours

Free tours are not offered in Dubai; however, you can arrange city tours from the airport in conjunction with a long layover. Although not arranged by the airport the Big Bus Dubai does offer discounts and free inclusions with the tour. Choices include a cruise on an Arabian Dhow, a desert sunset tour, and the Sharjah Tour.

Free Airport Amenities

Dubai airport offers 1 free hour of Wi-Fi or upgrades to premium for an additional fee. If you’re feeling a little sticky from traveling and need to refresh a little, Dubai has complimentary shower facilities.

Discount dining options are available throughout the airport and discounts on pharmacy and 1 Free massage at Be Relax spa services. Concourse D now offers live entertainment and visiting chefs creating culinary delights.

Abu Dhabi Airport, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AUH)

At Abu Dhabi International Airport they never stops thinking about ways to make your experience even better. That is why in 2016 they were voted ‘Airport of the Year’ at the Air Transport News Awards, in the 10-30 million passengers a year category. It is because of the many unique products and services they offer passengers that they continue to win these awards,

Stopover

abu dhabi mosqueAbu Dhabi is a city of contrasts. You’ll find the domes and minarets of traditional mosques nestled beside ultramodern skyscrapers; chic five-star hotels near vibrant traditional souks (markets) and futuristic tourist attractions neighboring kilometers of rolling desert dunes. Why not take a break in the capital of the UAE and recharge your batteries whilst taking advantage of some offers with Etihad Airlines Essential Stopover Program: Stopover and enjoy your 2nd night free with your 1st night at a fantastic rate! Plus get 2 for 1 specials on attractions and shopping.

Free City Tours

Free tours are not offered in Abu Dhabi; however, you can arrange city tours from the airport in conjunction with a long layover. Although not arranged by the airport the Big Bus Abu Dhabi does offer discounts and free inclusions with the tour. Choose from a free entry to the Sky Tower, Heritage Village, the Zayed Centre and Etihad Modern Art Gallery. Certain countries are given a free visa on arrival, allowing you to leave the airport and explore the city during you long layover.

Free Airport Amenities

Free Wi-Fi and free public showers are available to transit passengers. Here’s a free service new to me and it sounds like this could speed things up – You can now clear US Customs in Abu Dhabi The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Terminal 3 allows US bound passengers to complete all immigration, customs and agricultural inspections in Abu Dhabi, prior to departure. Upon arrival in the US, passengers are treated as domestic travelers, so you’ll be processed faster at your arrival airport.

*Free Airport Tours: Must Knows
  • You don’t need a visa to take airport layover tours as you’re considered an “in-transit” passenger, although you may need to hand over your passport for the length of the tour. Be sure to check beforehand to ensure that your passport is not from an exempt country, as travelers from some countries are not allowed to leave the airport.
  • Double check for extra costs such as museum entries, which may not be covered.
  • Check what documents you need to board a tour. Commonly you may need to show the airline ticket of your previous and upcoming flight.
  • Consider where to store your luggage if applicable (some tours may not have room or allow you to bring your luggage with you).

In addition to airport tours, always have your dive and/or adventure travel agent check eligibility for offers mentioned and Visa requirements; not all airline passengers and countries are offered the same discounts and/or privileges.

Forced overnight layovers

For an additional list of airlines that give free nights with forced overnight itineraries, additional information can be found here.

Turkish Airlines The airlines offers up to two free nights at a hotel for economy flyers with a layover of more than 10 hours (7+ hours for business travelers).

Adelaar Cruises, Serangan, Bali – Komodo – Bali

Dive and Adventure Holiday Specials

After all this information about freebies and specials, I would be remiss if I didn’t advise you of the opportunities for special offers on select sailings. Visit us at the Paris International Dive show or Boot Düsseldorf for offers on select dates. Adelaar Cruises dive booth and information on these two dive travel venues are available online. We will not have a booth this year at DEMA in Las Vegas however, we will offer the Dive show specials for visitors and partner agents. We recommend you contact your favorite dive travel agent for details or for direct bookings, simply email a photo of your DEMA I.D. with your request (restrictions apply).

Prior to departure, you may want to check out our Pre-dive Checklist with 10 Tips for Diving in Remote Areas. We’ve provided some great tips for items to bring when you are traveling to dive areas like Komodo National Park.