Ever wondered how to get abroad for a little bit cheaper? People keep asking me how I’m able to do it so cheaply. Well, with the addition of a few of these trip tips into your travel prep, you’re going to have a bit more spare cash knocking around!
Skyscanner – The hub for my success. The travel search engine is immeasurably useful in finding cheap destinations and cuts out the majority of the hard work for you. The interface is simplistic, the idea is fantastic. The home screen has the search engine at the top and recommendations below based on what you’ve searched or your location, including popular destinations and weekend breaks.
The perks of skyscanner is you can utilise it not for a specific date but for an entire month, or even the cheapest if you’re as prudent, or sensible, with money as me!
It’s also worth noting that you can have a base country, or base destination and choose to fly anywhere, if you are fortunate enough to randomly pick a holiday! This will open up several new screens that will show the cheapest flights from or to your destination. For this example, I will choose the UK and everywhere in May.
As I’m writing this, this is to plan our trip across to Canada. Why am I going via Iceland I hear you ask? All will be revealed. The next screen presents all the prices for the month you chose which can be slightly misleading, as prices fluctuate and may or may not have been updated. The magnifying glass icon, again misleading, can often have better prices behind it, so it’s worth checking every date in and around the date you require. Once you’ve played around for a bit, it’s time to get booking!
Once checked the flight you want, it will take you to the options of vendors of where to purchase your flight from. It’s always worth checking out the airline before purchasing if you’ve never heard of them. These prices don’t usually include baggage and that may be an additional extra on the parent page.
Skyscanner is easy and handy and as you can see above, it gives reviews on the airlines. It also provides services for hotels and car hire, as if they didn’t do enough for us anyway!
Research cheap routes from your ideal departure airport
The reason I identified Iceland and Canada is that, prior to our arrival in Canada, we are visiting a friend in Alaska. UK – Iceland – America is a cheap way of transit, as opposed to the direct flight and we get to see a couple more locations along the way.
A direct flight from Manchester – Juneau on the day we want to travel costs a minimum of £512 plus baggage. This includes 2 stops and 34 hours of non stop travel.
If you’re wanting to see a bit more and have a bit of spare change lying around, why not extend the trip and get a few more sights and dates in?
Our trip at the moment looks like:
Manchester – Reykjavik – San Francisco – Seattle – Juneau.
The funny part is? It costs around £435 for the flights, excluding baggage (& obviously additional hotels in the other locations!) but we get to see so much more on our way.
Remember, you can search from your base airport and search everywhere, so why not play around with skyscanner and try and find a location that offers cheaper flights prior to your final destination. Budget airlines like Ryanair provide a host or short haul flights that are more than worth taking the time to browse around.
Travel light and eliminate baggage costs – Ah airlines… You think you’ve found a bargain of a flight and then you get stung on the checkout screen with additional taxes, baggage and seats. Well, it’s worth noting that hand luggage is extremely generous and if you’ve got a bag that can fit in the hold, use all the space you can! A lot of airlines allow up to 10kg as well, so you don’t need to hold back.
Also, buying seats to sit next to your friend? I’ve bought plenty of pairs of tickets recently and never paid for my seating. Although you may get the front of the airline if you pay, or not next to the toilet, usually you get a good pair of seats on the aircraft and always next to each other, in my experience.
Is planning ahead going to save you money? Yes & no. Flight prices fluctuate so much that you could’ve bought well in advance, thinking you’ve saved a pretty penny, for the price to drop another £50. While it’s all well and good living life on the edge at the expense of a few quid, it might be favourable to just bite the bullet and get your tickets sorted nice and early for ease of mind. Also, other external factors may influence the price, including exchange rates or recent negative events.
If you do want to go ahead and try and get the best price, you can set up price checks on skyscanner and on various other websites, including kayak.
And another minor one, ask for tap water on the aeroplane! Saves you some pocket change and of course, it eliminates our plastic waste!