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How to Book Flights with Free Mini-Stopovers

Last night I landed in Florence. I had four layovers on the way here, which doesn't sound like a positive thing at first, but I booked them intentionally. Very frequently, if I have a long flight, I'll book tons of long layovers and actually leave the airport on each one.

My first layover was in Newark for almost five hours, so I rented a car, drove to see my family in New Jersey for a couple hours, and then headed back to the airport. My next flight brought me to Lisbon for two hours, which was a layover I couldn't avoid, but was too short to enjoy. It was early in the morning when I landed, and it was a short flight to my next destination, Amsterdam, so I got there early as well. I had twenty-two hours in Amsterdam, so I checked into my airport hotel, dropped off my stuff, and headed downtown.

Downtown I had some lunch , visited the Rijksmusem to see the Vermeers (I'm on a pointless quest to see all 34 Vermeers), visited the Van Gogh museum, had dinner, and then walked around the red light district before heading back to the hotel.

The next morning I woke up early again and headed to Zurich, which I was warned was incredibly boring. I managed to take the least direct train downtown, which gave me a mini tour of the outer edges of the city, I walked down the main shopping street, wandered through old Zurich, ate a couple Swiss chocolates, spent a lot of time down by the water watching the swans, took some pictures, and then headed back to the airport to work in the Swiss Air lounge. After eight hours total in Zurich, I headed to Florence.

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