You may not have had a shower in a few days, are sleeping in a bed-bug infested dorm bed and are down to your last pair of pants – but one luxury that you do have as a backpacker is TIME. Whereas a two-week holiday-maker is forced to take the quickest, most direct route to their next destination, you can leisurely make your way there by bus, train or ferry – taking days, or even weeks to arrive in your chosen destination. And every backpacker knows how rewarding slow travel can be – you can indulge in your journey, enjoy scenery you otherwise would have missed or interact with locals in opportunities that would never have arisen if you’d have taken a direct flight.
And what’s the best thing of all about slow travel? It can save you tons of money.
But what if you don’t feel like sitting on a bus for 27 hours going from Vientiane to Hanoi? How can you make the most of your flexible schedule, explore as much of SE Asia as possible and save money?
Introducing Quest Organizer!
Recently we discovered an amazing new flight search engine called Quest Organizer which allows you to add stopovers into your flight journey. This means that not only do you get to add an unplanned destination into your travel itinerary, you get to save money as stopover flights are often much cheaper than direct flights. Particularly in places like SE Asia where accommodation is incredibly cheap, you’ll end up enhancing your adventure for the same price, or even cheaper than a direct flight!
So what exactly is a Stopover?
A stopover is not a layover, which is a pretty common phenomena in the flying world. Layovers are flight connections that are less than 24 hours. If you’re lucky, you may have time to grab a taxi and run round the city (if it’s nearby) before rushing back to the airport to catch your next flight. But mostly, you will just waste this time in the stuffy (and always ridiculously expensive!) airport lounge.
The majority of airlines don’t even mention that stopovers are available, and the few airlines that do (IcelandAir, Singapore Air, Japan Airlines and Emirates) treat the stopover as a ‘bonus’ so that tickets are even more expensive! So, the only way to book a stopover that will save you money, is to manually create a series of one-way flights to multiple destinations to reach your final one. Now this can take a lot of time and effort, but don’t worry – this is where Quest Organizer comes in! It will search for flights from multiple airlines to get you to your destination for a cheaper price – that’s extra bang for your buck!
So how did Quest Organizer begin?
When Polish backpacker Ela and her American boyfriend Douglas were travelling in South America on a shoestring budget in 2014, they discovered that the cheapest flights that they could find were ones that included a stopover. With time on their side, but little money in their pocket, they took advantage of factoring interesting stopovers into their trip in order to see much more of South America than they had planned.
However, they found that they were spending a lot of time trawling the internet searching for individual flights from multiple airlines. For example – when trying to find the cheapest route from San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro – they would do many individual flight searches, (for example San Fran to Bogota / Bogota to Rio etc.) After a few days, they would find a cheap flight with a city in-between that they could visit for a few days.
‘There must be an easier way to do this?’ they thought.
When they spoke to other travellers they met on the road, many of them had no idea that they could save money by booking flights with ‘multiple destinations’, or that this was even possible. Fellow backpackers were amazed by this awesome travel hack that Ela and Douglas had discovered. The couple decided that they wanted to help others like them to discover and access this money-saving, adventure-enhancing trick!
The idea of Quest Organizer was born – an easy to use search engine that turns any flight into a multi-city adventure. Within a year, the idea became a fully functioning website that helps thousands of travellers to save money and enrich their travels. Like all good ideas, Quest Organizer was born out of a notion that there was something missing in the travel world.
“I wish that we would have had Quest Organizer ourselves when we were travelling in South America!” Says Ela. “It would have saved us loads of time. And this is exactly the service that we we want to provide for other budget backpackers!”
How can Quest Organizer enhance your journey?
The site combines two shorter one-way flights of all the possible airlines to create a stopover on the way to your final destination. Using an algorithm, Quest Organizer does calculations to find the optimal stopover for every route. The calculation is based on price so you will get a list of the cheapest cities to stop along the way!
Check out this example of a flight from London to Ho Chi Minh City.
On this flight in January 2016 you save $110 USD by spending 6 days extra in Bangkok on your way to Ho Chi Minh City. And you’re literally getting a FREE FLIGHT!
Quest Organizer connects non-partnered and low-cost airlines, so in this example, your first flight is with Air India and your second flight is with Jet Airways.
Check out this interesting infographic made using data from Quest Organizer of the best stopovers depending on where you are travelling to and from. (I bet you never knew that you could make a stopover in Istanbul when flying from Europe to Asia – AND save money on your flight!)
Try Quest Organizer out for yourself!
So, if you haven’t guessed already, we think that this is an awesome tool for backpackers and we highly recommend anyone to give Quest Organizer a go and see for yourself what exciting destinations you can add to your trip and how much money you can save!
This is a sponsored article.