How to Book Multi-City Flights (and Why You Should)
Round-trip flights are the go-to for most travelers. It’s simple to fly in and out of the same cities.
But if you’re looking to see more on your next trip abroad, book a multi-city flight itinerary through Google Flights. You’ll get to see more than one city and often get more bang for your buck by flying into Amsterdam (AMS) and back home from Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), for example.
Read on to discover the beauty of multi-city trips, and how you can book one easily.
Why You Should Book a Multi-City Trip
See More on One Trip
Don’t limit yourself to seeing one city on your next trip. Consider booking a multi-city trip and see more on the same vacation. Grab a cheap bus, train, or flight between cities and you won’t have to return to your first stop to catch your flight home.
These multi-city trips to see more than one city work particularly well within Europe and Asia, where getting between cities and even countries is often cheap.
Close an Open-Jaw Itinerary
An open-jaw itinerary means you have booked a flight from City A to City B, and then from City C back to City A. If you’re looking to book an open jaw itinerary, you can create one with a multi-city trip, like the one here:
Sometimes, these open jaw flights can save you quite a bit. You’ll just be responsible for finding your own way from City B to City C (in this case, Amsterdam to Paris).
But you can do more. You can use a multi-city itinerary instead to book three flights and close that open-jaw itinerary into a full trip, like so:
This multi-city trip would get you from City A to City B, City B to City C, and City C back to City A. Save yourself the trouble of getting back to your original city and book an open-jaw or multi-city trip.
Build in a Free Stopover
If you haven’t used a stopover to see two cities for the price of one, you’re in for a treat. A few airlines offer the ability to build in a free (or cheap) stopover for up to seven days.
If you’re flying Icelandair, you can stopover for up to seven days in Iceland on your way to your final destination, or on your way home. Read our guide to booking an Icelandair stopover.
When flying ANA, you can stopover for up to seven days in Tokyo for just another $100.
If you’re flying TAP Air Portugal, you can stopover in Lisbon or Porto for up to five days for free. Or stopover in Doha, Qatar for free when flying Qatar Airways. Flying Aer Lingus? Spend up to a week in Dublin for free!
Other airlines that have less-publicized stopover programs include JAL, Hawaiian, EVA Air, Fiji Airways, Hong Kong Airlines.
Some airlines’ stopovers are easier booked directly through their website. However, you can build a stopover in Google Flights by creating a multi-city itinerary and booking through one of the airlines above.
Less Expensive Than Booking One-Way Flights
It’s starting to change, but one-way international flights can be expensive. Generally speaking, booking a multi-city trip will be much cheaper than booking separate one-way flights – especially to Europe. Keep it all together by creating a multi-city itinerary!
How to Book a Multi-City Trip
Booking a multi-city trip is easy: Start with Google Flights. Select “Multi-city” instead of “Round trip.”
From here, two sets of boxes will show up. You can fill in your cities here if you’re booking an open jaw itinerary (city A to B for flight one, and city C to city A for flight two).
Otherwise, select “Add Flight” to create a multi-city itinerary:
You can add as many flight legs as you want by selecting “Add Flight.” Then, start searching to see your options!
If you’re looking to book a free stopover on a certain airline, filter to only see results on that airline.
And keep in mind: Selecting the cheapest itinerary may take trial and error. Try out different dates for each leg of your itinerary to see if prices drop on certain days. Unfortunately, one of the best features of Google Flights doesn’t work with multi-city searches: It won’t display the cheapest dates in green.
Instead, try searching first for cheap date ranges for roundtrip flights. Then hunt around to find the cheapest itinerary in multi-city searches.
Spice up your travels (and travel planning) with a multi-city booking. It’s an elegant way to see two (or more) places for the price of one trip. And it’s just as easy as booking a round-trip fare.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.