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We want to go to Japan. We've checked some flights, and reached an interesting conclusion. First, a normal round trip:

But then:

So, if I take the cheapest options, I can fly directly to Tokyo for $880, or combine a trip to Madrid and Tokyo for $820 - this is both cheaper and more fun.
Even if I take a "better" flight to Spain it might reach $920 for the combined trip - still well worth it (extra $40).

I've looked and found a similar concept called hacker fare, and also this related question: Is there a flight search engine that combines flights from different airlines?
In my case, unlike hacker-fare, I want two round-trips, and I don't particularly care where the "layover" is - it could be any nice city.

Is there a tool that can help me plan such a trip?
For example, showing the two round trips, or showing bulk data to/from popular destinations?

  • How is this different from travel.stackexchange.com/questions/26780/…? – JonathanReez Apr 5 '17 at 17:09
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    @JonathanReez - The main difference is that I want several days at the connection, so I don't really care if the hours match between the two round trips. For example, I can arrive to Madrid at 14:00 and leave at 13:00 (on another day). This seems as "bad" by the hacker-fare tools, but makes no difference in my case. – Kobi Apr 5 '17 at 17:56
  • Even if the long way around is $820 versus for $880 for direct, I doubt you'll come out ahead once you've factored in the cost of accommodation for 3+3 nights in Madrid ... – Henning Makholm Apr 5 '17 at 19:42
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    @HenningMakholm That's not the point, you get a trip to Madrid essentially for free, staying 6 days there on another occasion would cost the same as far as accommodation/meals/visits are concerned but with $300 in airfares on top of what you are already paying for your trip to Japan in any case – Madrid holiday or no Madrid holiday. And assuming the length of the vacation is fixed (which is the case in the example, if you look at it carefully), you are simply trading time in Japan for time in Madrid so you would have spent 6 days worth of accommodation no matter what. – Relaxed Apr 5 '17 at 19:51
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Matrix is your best bet for this type of stuff, and it will still be a sub-optimal two-step optimization:

  1. First I'd try to find the intercontinental leg of your flight, i.e. the one that brings you to Tokyo, and we are basically free to start from anywhere. I once asked a similar question
    Flight Search from anywhere to a specific destination
    but for caveats explained below, I suggest another trick: In Matrix pick an airport that is central, i.e. if you were looking to have your stop-over in Europe use FRA and select the Nearby option, choose maximum radius and hit Select all. enter image description here
    This gives you a list of cheap intermediate destinations.

  2. In a second step you can now (manually) filter those for how much you would like to spend time there and for how cheap it is to get there, using the search tool of your choice.

I'm afraid this does not answer your question in the sense of is there a tool? but it is the best solution to your problem. If you are asking me explicitly for the tool, two sites I presented in a different answer, azair and kiwi, would be good tools, but they fail for intercontinental travel and looking this far ahead.

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