Gone are the days when the long haul flight to Europe was exactly that – a long haul trip that you’d like to put behind you and replace with memories of fresh croissants and gelato. These days, the skies have opened up to Aussie travellers, who have more choice than ever about how they get to Europe and what they do on the way there. That’s why we’ve pulled together five reasons you need to seriously consider a stop over on your next long haul holiday!

1. Go somewhere new

Instead of dreading a straight 24 hours in a plane to reach your destination, break things up with an adventure along the way. Now the key here is to consider going somewhere new. For a long time, Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai have been the most common places to break up your flight. However, China Southern Airlines offers not only affordable flights, but the chance to see another part of the world. China Southern flies thousands of Aussies to Europe via Guangzhou each week – in peak periods it has up to 178 flights per week between China and Australia. You’ll be stepping off the plane in France, the UK, Netherlands or even Italy in no time, but in the meantime, you can lock in a long lay over and spend a few days exploring the beautiful riverside town of Guangzhou in China’s south. North west of Hong Kong, the ancient city has long been a trade hub, and provides a fascinating glimpse into the trading history that has made China a powerhouse today.

2. It’s really easy

If the idea of hopping off the plane and heading out into the city sounds a little daunting, the good news is China Southern takes care of just about everything, kicking off with a shuttle greeting and a special 72-hour visa-free policy in Guangzhou, so you can head out without the worry if you’re from Australia, New Zealand or the 49 other eligible countries.

3. Lap it up

One of the best things about breaking up your trip is the chance to stretch your legs – the best part is you get to do that in style. China Southern Airlines exclusively offers up to five star standard accommodation in Guangzhou for its long haul transit passengers. Now we’re talking! After a good night’s sleep, head out to explore some of the city’s beautiful attractions – the Buddhist Temple of the Six Banyan Trees dates back to AD 537 and although the banyans are gone, it is still a site to behold.

4. Be refreshed when you arrived

Not only do you get to stretch your legs, one of the big benefits of breaking up a trip is you are more likely to arrive at your final destination feeling refreshed and ready to start exploring Europe’s wonders. The type of plane can also contribute to that feeling of freshness – China Southern is the only Chinese Airline with an A380 aircraft so you’ll have plenty of space, and can enjoy the added benefits of a state of the art ride. You can also rest easy knowing the Airline holds the best safety record in the Chinese civil aviation industry.

5. Get a great deal

Booking early bird deals, travelling outside of the peak season and school holidays and keeping an eye out for sales are some of the pretty common ways to find a great price. Don’t forget to consider the fact that the more unusual routes, like those through China, can be excellent value. If you add in stopovers, particularly those with long layovers, you’ll find even better deals. Keep your eyes peeled for China Southern Airline’s great fares.

Not looking to head all the way to Europe anytime soon? Not to worry! Why not check out destinations closer to home like Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, China and Korea? Check out our China Southern Airlines pages here.