I certainly do not know everything about traveling (not even close), but over the past 6 years I have lived in 4 countries and traveled almost non-stop. I have traveled for business and pleasure, alone and with others. I’ve picked up some pretty helpful hints along the way and I’d like to share them with you, starting with how to get to your destination on the cheap, or as cheap as you can.
The first thing about traveling is this, if you want to travel you must MAKE IT A PRIORITY! I’m not saying it won’t take time and effort. All I am saying is that if you really want to travel take small steps and someday you’ll be on your way.
Now, let’s talk about transportation to your destination.
1. Use Budget Airlines!
I know they don’t come with all of the perks, but if cheap is what you are looking for these airlines are perfect. The major things you need to know about budget airlines are…
- Budget airlines are extremely strict when it comes to baggage allowance in both amount and weight, so make sure you follow their policy or your budget flight might quickly become as pricey as a luxury airliner without the luxe.
- These airliners often fly to smaller cities close to a major city, so you might end up an hour from the city center or more. This is something to consider because you will need to pay for transportation to and from the airport.
- Don’t expect anything other than your seat and flight. The bathroom is free to use though.
Here are some common budget airlines:
Europe: RyanAir, EasyJet, German Wings, Wizzair, AirBaltic, WowAir, Vueling, Flymonarch, Norwegian,
USA/Canada: Allegiant, Frontier, Southwest, Sun Country, Spirit, WestJet, AirTransat
2. Do Not Rely on Online Search Engines to Book Tickets
Expedia and Orbitz can be great or they can cause you to overpay. Those big search engines do not often list budget airlines. Here is an example, I searched for a flight on February 4th 2016 from London to Oslo on both Expedia and Ryan Air. The RyanAir flight only costs me $21 each way. I recommend using Which Budget. The site will show you all of the budget airlines flying the route you need.
3. Book Ahead!
This goes without saying, but just incase! The closer to your travel dates the more expensive flights get. The earlier might not always be the better, but booking in advance generally saves money.
4. Search for Deals and Coupons
We have found some pretty impressive coupons for flights before (saved $100 per ticket). We have also stumbled upon an airline that was having a deal to our destination city we just had to alter our dates.
5. Be Flexible With You Travel Dates
Being flexible with your dates allows you to choose the cheapest travel date. Many sites don’t give a price calendar, so try different dates for different prices.
6. Fly Stand-By
If this is still allowed were you are and you are alone/flexible this option can be great. You might sit in the airport for a little longer than you would like, but it can save you serious cash. I would NOT reccomend this if you have flying companions.
7. Fly to a Different City or Country
You would need to take a look at a map for this one, but sometimes you can find a much cheaper flight to a city close by or even another country and then drive or take a train/bus. Once we were going to visit some friends in Vienna, Austria. Flights were more expensive than we liked, so we flew to Budapest, Hungary and took the train to Vienna. We saved a lot of money and we got to see two cities in one go.
8. Book Separate Tickets
Airlines often charge more when buying tickets for groups. If you are flying in a group more than two people (this includes kids) try pricing tickets seperately or in groups of two. If you book and you can choose seats together on the website, excellent and if not call the airline or turn up ultra early for check-in.
9. Don’t Fly!
See if there are any trains, buses or ferries. There are a lot of pros when it comes to not flying. It might be cheaper or simply more conveient. When we drive across Europe with our cats we take ferries for convenience and to save us mileage. We move while we sleep on the ferry and driving is more flexible.
If you do drive I recommend checking which country or state has the cheapest gas prices and gasing up there.
I’m not rich, nor have I married into a wealthy family, but I managed to see more of the world than I ever dreamed I would by the time I was 25. I hope these tips help and if you’ve got any question comment below.