How to Book Multi-City Flights (and Why You Should) - Thrifty Traveler
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How to Book Multi-City Flights (and Why You Should)

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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 than one city on your next trip abroad, book a multi-city flight itinerary through Google Flights. You’ll get to see multiple destinations 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.

 

What is a Multi-City Flight?

If you’re not familiar with multi-city itineraries, this is a great place to start. Here’s how they work: instead of booking a roundtrip flight to and from one destination city, you can fly into one city and out of another. Booking a multi-city trip instead of a simple roundtrip flight can get you to more than one city for a very comparable price. Plus, you won’t have to backtrack back to that first city you landed in if you’re looking to see more of the country or continent you’re visiting.

 

multi-city flights example

 

Booking a multi-city flight may seem like it would be more expensive than a roundtrip flight, but it’s typically not. In fact, booking a multi-city itinerary is often much more affordable than booking two one-way flights.

If you’re planning to visit more than one city during your next trip, definitely compare costs and consider booking a multi-city flight instead. Fly into your first destination, use transportation like one-way flights, trains, or buses to get to your next destinations, and fly out of your final city.

 

Why You Should Book a Multi-City Trip

 

See More on One Trip

Don’t limit yourself to seeing only 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:

 

multi-city booking

 

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). Book a cheap one-way flight, hop on a train, or take the bus to your next destination without having to back-track to that first city you flew into.

And you can do more: use a multi-city itinerary instead to book three flights and close that open-jaw itinerary into a full trip, like so:

 

multi city booking

 

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. Several airlines offer the ability to build in a free (or cheap) stopover for up to seven days. Check out all the airlines with stopover programs.

For example, 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 than a simple roundtrip flight would cost. Why not see Tokyo too while you’re in Asia?

 

tokyo stopover

 

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!

 

stopover

 

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.”

 

multi city

 

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).

 

multi-city

 

Otherwise, select “Add Flight” to create a multi-city itinerary:

 

multi-city flights example

 

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.

 

multi-city flights example

 

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. 

 

multi-city

 

Instead, try searching first for cheap date ranges of roundtrip flights. Then hunt around to find the cheapest itinerary in multi-city searches.

 

Bottom Line

Want to see more than one city on your next trip? Spice up your travels (and travel planning) with a cheap multi-city flight. It’s a cost-effective and savvy 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. Use Google Flights’ multi-city option to search and book, and you’ll be on your way to multiple destinations in no time!

Want to learn all of our best cheap travel tips and tricks? Start learning with our Thrifty Traveler University online lessons.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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