How to Score a Free Hotel From an Airline (or at Least a Free Tour)

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Whenever I am looking to book a ticket, one of the first websites I go to is Skyscanner. Often, this means that I will end up booking my ticket through a third party website. Which means I will sometimes have a long layover somewhere to help curb the costs. (I don’t know why this curbs costs, but whatever)

On our recent trip to Brussels, we had a 13-hour layover in Istanbul going there and a 23-hour layover coming back. That’s a looooooong time to be sitting in an airport when you don’t have lounge access. So once the ticket was confirmed, I began looking online to see if the airline or the airport offers a free hotel say.

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6 Ways to Handle In-Flight Meals With Picky Eaters

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Anyone who has ever been on a plane can tell you that airline food isn’t the best. Sometimes you can luck out and get a pretty good meal or two. One of the best airline meals I’ve ever had was on Air New Zealand where I got shepherd’s pie and on another flight I got some chicken and rice dish that made me ask for seconds. (I really did ask the lady for more)

But some of the meal options can leave you and your little ones a bit cranky on a long haul flights. So I’m offering some suggestions on how I’ve survived long flights a picky eater.

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Traveling While Black: 5 Countries Where I’ve Experienced Racism

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When you’re Black your whole life, you learn how to pick up on things. You develop this keen sense and assess spaces to determine whether you’ll be accepted or not. It’s like a sixth sense in figuring out who is cool with you. Sorta like gaydar but for racism.

Traveling while Black has been something we’ve all lived with but only recently began speaking out about. Whether it’s being mistaken for random celebrities, being propositioned while waiting for a taxi, to being verbally and even physically assaulted – it’s what travelers who look like me encounter every time we travel (and sometimes even within our home countries).

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Our 2 Days in Brussels

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Brussels is one of those cities that you’ve heard about, but it never is really on your list of places to visit. At least this was true for me. With the exception of waffles and fries, I didn’t really know much about the European city. But when a flight deal calls, I come running!

I found a flight from Addis Ababa to Brussels for about $370 and saw I could catch a train to Paris and Amsterdam from the centralized location and booked it back in March. My experience flying Turkish Airlines back in February was pleasant, so I wasn’t worried about the experience. And the added long layovers were appealing as it would allow us to visit another city in the process.

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Brussels: A Food Tour

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We were in Brussels for only 2.5 days and I can’t tell you one landmark or historical site that we saw. Okay, that’s a lie. We actually saw quite a lot despite being completely focused on eating anything fried and delicious that we could get our hands on.

We took a City Sightseeing Bus and saw most of the city during one of the full days. We got off a couple times to explore the area and even stumbled upon a museum dedicated to musical instruments around the world. We paid the extra 2€ and got the audioguide where we were able to listen to the actual musical instruments being played.

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We Ended Up With a Free Tour of Istanbul and It Blew Our Minds!

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So, we are headed to Brussels and I noticed that my ticket had a 13-hour layover. I tried to get a free hotel from Turkish Airlines, but that didn’t work out. (More on that later) But we were offered a tour of Istanbul for free99! So we took it. I mean…what else were we gonna do in the airport for that long?

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