[Pictured above: sunset over the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos.]
My wife and I are travel nuts and, after the arrival of our son, we place more of a premium on scoring a nonstop flight to our destination. We have even driven a few hours to another city—and flew nonstop from there—rather than take a multiple-stop flight.
While brainstorming and searching for the perfect destination, the options (i.e. the entire world) can be overwhelming. We often use 2 criteria to filter the possibilities.
- Weather. If we have 2 weeks off in January, we are usually looking to defrost our nose hair on a beach somewhere. Also, we like to travel in the shoulder season.
- Ease of travel. Generally, we prefer nonstop flights with our little angel, but it’s not quite so simple. For example, a one-stop flight of 4 hours per leg and some layover time might be preferable to an 8 hour nonstop flight. A layover gives the little guy time to run in circles and scream maniacally, or “stretch his legs” as we like to call it.
My small city has only a handful of international flights, so we almost always stop once in the US before flying abroad. We have accepted this. However, we avoid two-stop flights like the plague, meaning we have needed to familiarize ourselves with the US cities that fly nonstop to international destinations. Alas, it has been surprisingly difficult to find a single source that lists nonstop flight options to a particular region, such as Europe, South America, or Asia.
For at least one part of the world (spoiler: it’s Asia) my frustrations may be over. A few intrepid individuals at the “Asia Matters for America Initiative of the East-West Center“—AMFAIOTEWC for short—created this interactive map that brought out the happy travel giggles in me:
Click on one of those cute little blue airplanes and you will see all the nonstop flight options from that city to either the US or Asia. You can also open the sidebar (the square with the arrow at the top left) to see an alphabetical list of cities.
Whoever created this at AMFAIOTEWC, you have my eternal gratitude. It will be quite useful as we contemplate a trip to Asia this winter.
Happy travel planning!