The first rule of international travel is, whatever you do, don’t leave your passport on your dresser, where you of course could never, ever forget it. The second rule is, always fly direct, because layovers are vacation-killers. Except -- hold on a sec. Have you heard of the stopover? Picture a layover so long it goes back around to actually good. Airlines in the States still haven’t caught onto this practice, so American travelers might still be wondering whether the two-for-one deal is, in fact, all that. The answer: Yup. It’s real, and it’s spectacular.
The setup is this: You book a flight to your ultimate Point B with a stop on the way in the big hub of a given overseas airline. Great, you’re used to that. But instead of racing to get through the airport in 50 minutes, schlepping your carry-on through another security checkpoint, talking yourself out of some $26 fancy chocolates, and wondering if dinking around the airport in this new foreign land “counts” as having visited the country (sorry; it doesn’t) -- instead of all that, you just ... leave. You hail a cab. You book a hotel. And for no extra cost, you kill a day or three or seven before returning for your connecting flight.