Free layover – Solomon Islands to Papua New Guinea
There aren’t too many ways to get to PNG, Papua New Guinea, but the most cost effective is via the Solomon Islands or Cairns, Australia. I was able to arrange for an airport pickup by my Airbnb host who gave me a safety brief and explained how PNG provides a lot of raw resources to Australia, hence why only business travelers visit from Australia. I was definitely an unusual and unexpected, but welcomed guest. I got a brief tour of downtown Port Moresby and tagged along for lunch at a waterfront cafe before settling in at what felt like a self sufficient compound equipped with solar panels and racks of makeshift battery storage, sufficient to power a large AC unit. We chatted with an Indonesian guest and discussed travel options within the country. To my surprise, none of the cities are connected by road and little matched up with what I learned from the Sri Lankan hitch hiking traveler in New Zealand.
Some small government run airlines lack sophistication with pricing, so if you see two cities, it’s possible to buy one multi-segment ticket with an extended layover, essentially halving your flight expenses.