travel bargains, free stopovers, free city tours, indonesia

Travel Bargains, Free For the Asking

Travel Bargains, Free For the Asking

Exotic Stopovers, Tours and More | Flying West 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 and other travel bargains when you are flying from the West to Indonesia and the rest of S.E. Asia (freebies traveling from the East will be in the following blog; stay tuned).

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, sometimes 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.

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.

Stopover
singapore skyline

Singapore skyline

Singapore 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 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.

Incheon Intl Airport, Seoul, Korea (ICN)

Incheon Airport boasts an impressive résumé, having been selected by the Airports Council International as the world’s best airport in air service quality for six consecutive years, best airport in Asia-Pacific, and best small airport.

Stopover
Gyeonngbokgung palace seoul korea

Gyeonngbokgung palace seoul korea

Going through Seoul via Korean airlines, why not add a little sojourn in the city of Seoul? Korean airlines waves stopover fees in 1 direction for their international passengers. Seoul is a city of infinite discoveries. The ancient capital of an ancient land, Seoul is a city where the traditional and the cutting-edge exist side-by-side in perfect harmony.

Korean Air does not have anything official on their site, but multiple people have reported about them giving a night at the Hyatt Regency Incheon (fancy!) to passengers with involuntarily long layovers.

Free City Tours

Don’t have the extra time to stop over but have a long layover and nothing to do? Depending on the length of your layover, there are 7 city tours available. Notable sights include the Oceanside Haedon Yonggungsa Temple (pictured above), Incheon Grand Bridge, Shinpo Market, Namsangol Hanok Village, and Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Free Airport Amenities

Although not exactly free you also have a casino and golf course on the airport grounds available for you to kill some time. The shuttle that operates to these venues is free, so how much you spend at the casino is up to you! You can also take a spin around the ice skating rink. Although free to use, there is a small fee for skates, gloves, and helmets (approx. $5). But for goodness sake, be careful, you do not want to hurt yourself before your dive holiday.

Taoyuan Intl Airport, Taipei, Taiwan (TPE)

Home to China Airlines and EVA airlines with their Hello Kitty planes, Taoyuan airport is relatively small, although a third and fourth terminals are planned, and a rapid transit system currently under construction will link the terminals underground. More shops, gardens and airline options are on the way.

Stopover
chiang kai shek monument taipei taiwan

Chiang kai shek monument taipei taiwan

On select flights, EVA offers free stopovers in Taiwan. Taiwan is a small island nation with traditional Chinese temples, hot springs resorts, and dramatic, mountainous terrain. Taipei, the countries capital, is known for its busy night markets, Chinese Imperial art at the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101, a 509m-tall, bamboo-shaped skyscraper with an observation deck.

Free City Tours

Go see the city free! Taipei offers two city tours, daily morning tours visit a pastry factory, showcasing Taiwan local cakes and pastries followed by a visit to Sanxia, a bustling town with narrow, winding streets and brick buildings, many of which are over a century old. Alternatively, spend the afternoon at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall; the majestic hall towers over 25 hectares of landscaped gardens, graceful pavilions, and ponds, then relax at Longshan Temple, which houses hundreds of statues of Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian deities. It is a great place to get centered before your next flight.

Free Airport Amenities

Free Wi-Fi, free showers and numerous garden lounges, including a library and of course…the Hello Kitty lounge.

Tokyo Narita Airport, Tokyo, Japan (NRT)

Narita is once again hosting events that highlight unique aspects of Japanese culture to help travelers deepen their understanding of Japan and encourage them to visit again. Events will change monthly so check the official web page for information.

Stopover
Narita San Garden Tokyo

Narita San Garden Tokyo

Japan Airlines offers free stopovers in Tokyo and Osaka, when booking on your own, just use JALs multi-city booking tool and select “make stopover”. One of the coolest things to do in the city is to explore the Asakusa neighborhood, particularly if you are interested in Tokyos traditional culture. Some other options for sightseeing include the historic Imperial Palace, chaotic and iconic Shibuya Crossing or visit stunning Meiji Shrine.

Free City Tours

Narita offers 2 types of city tours to choose from. There are guided tours lead by local guides who get you safely to and from the airport and who help ensure that you are able to experience the warmth and hospitality of Japan or you can opt for a self-guided shopping tour that allows you more time to shop as well as provides special offers and discounts. Note: You must pay your own public transit costs and entry fees where applicable. There is also an assortment of add-on tours.

Free Airport Amenities

Rassurants travelers lounges are free of charge and showers are 50% off. Free Wi-Fi is now available, and although not free for approximately $2.00 you can get a 10-minute full-body electric massage. For the best views and fresh air, visit the observation decks on top of terminals 1 and 2. Animal lovers should stop by the Pet in Royals hotel lobby to watch the pets play while mommy and daddy are away.

*Free Airport Tours: Must Knows

  • You do not need a visa to take airport layover tours as you are 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 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 hotel nights with forced overnight itineraries, more information can be found here.

Air China Those with an overnight layover in Beijing are offered a free “transit hotel” stay.
China Eastern Airlines The airlines covers transit and one nights worth of lodging for passengers who purchase their tickets on the official website and have a forced next-day domestic or international connection from Shanghai, Kunming or Xi’an.
China Southern Airlines International flyers with a layover between 8-48 hours are covered with a hotel, as well as those traveling domestically with an overnight layover.
Thai Airways Those with connecting international flights with 6-24 hours of transfer time are eligible for free hotel accommodation.
Malaysia Airlines Any pair of passengers flying certain international routes can choose to stop over in Kuala Lumpur and the airline will comp a one-night hotel stay.

Adelaar Cruises, Serangan, Bali

Dive and Adventure Holiday Specials
Adelaar Cruises dive booth

Adelaar Cruises dive booth

After all this information about freebies and specials, I would be remiss if I did not 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 have provided some great tips for items to bring when you are traveling to dive areas like Komodo National Park.