Cutting the Cost of Air Travel
Budgeting for a holiday can be tricky. Unless you opt for an all-inclusive break the aspects such as accommodation, transport and dining can add up to unexpected costs and leave you feeling anything but relaxed. Air travel is one of the biggest holiday expenses but there are several ways to save money when it comes to organizing your flight.
Booking a Flight
Low cost airlines are giving consumers more and more options these days. If you’re flying short-haul within Europe, be sure to compare popular destinations like Barcelona with more unusual Eastern capitals such as Tallinn in Estonia. If you’re set on one particular location, price comparison sites can be a good way of finding out which airlines have the best deals to your chosen destination.
The good news is that many locations around the world can now be reached for impressively low prices. Popular destinations in Asia are becoming more accessible, with cheap flights to India in 2013 in abundance and airlines going to places like Sri Lanka opening up new direct flights from London only this year.
Getting to the Airport
Taking a taxi to the airport is tempting, especially if you’ve got an early start, but by planning ahead you could take advantage of a cheaper transport option. Some low cost airlines provide their own minibuses from coach and rail stations, which typically cost very little. Alternatively, try national coach services which operate round the clock to various UK airports, avoiding the need to stay in airport hotels.
On the Plane
Shopping online and choosing ‘no-frills’ airlines should save you a significant amount of money. Bear in mind, though, that many of these airlines cut costs by limiting baggage allowances and online refreshments. To avoid being caught out at the check-in desk find out about the baggage allowance for each person beforehand and ensure that you have stuck to it. Weight and size guidelines should be published on the airline’s websites or in your booking literature.
To avoid spending money on expensive in-flight snacks take a sufficient amount of food onto the plane with you including treats for kids so that they won’t be tempted by the goodies in the in-flight catalogue.
The best way to get the deals when arranging a flight is to be flexible. Although this is not always possible, booking your tickets midweek or even flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday can get you significant savings if you can manage it. Book your connection such as bus and train travel at least three weeks ahead where possible and try to arrange any car rentals before you arrive as well, to take advantage of online discounts.