Want to Get a Free Hotel Room? Plan a Stopover

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A stopover isn't the first choice of most travelers. Instead of getting you to your final destination as quickly as possible, a stopover flight can delay your vacation by anywhere from one to five nights. But there's a good reason to reconsider this common airline annoyance: Booking a stopover—a layover lasting 24 hours or more—is one of the easiest ways to snag a heavily discounted hotel room, according to Thrillist.

When planning your next plane trip, see what stopover options are available on the route. Many airlines offer detours to major tourist destinations: Tokyo, Dubai, and Singapore are just a few examples.

After you've booked the flight, just make sure you go through the airline to book your hotel to receive a generous discount. The discount often adds up to hundreds of dollars. If you reserve the flight and hotel as a packaged deal through a travel booking site, the savings can be the equivalent of free airfare or accommodations.

Flyers end up saving big on stopover flights, but the airline's hubs can benefit as well. The stopover itself brings new tourists into a city where the airline is based, and the hotel discounts encourage them to leave the airport and spend money on local attractions.

If you're planning a vacation and want to add an extra destination that won't blow your budget, check to see if the airline you're using has a page dedicated to stopover deals.

[h/t Thrillist]