I love cheap flights. I’ll never get an upgrade to first class, or earn any air miles or whatever they are called now though. I’m just too tight. But I remain smug and happy in the knowledge that I am getting a great deal, whilst I sit with my 6’3″ frame squeezed into a ludicrously small economy seat.
The real beauty of a cheap flight is that it paves the way for countries to be explored so cheaply. Because once you have a bargain flight you can go in search of bargain accommodation too. And then the bargain eateries and the bargain tours. All courtesy of the internet. Before you know if you have put together your own super cheap tailor made adventure.
I am off to Barcelona early next year. I plan to fly one way and then make my way home from somewhere else. The cost of flying one way from London Stanstead to Barcelona?
Suddenly my trip to Europe is looking like a no-brainer. I plan to fly back from Geneva. The cost?
These two flights are with well known budget airlines RyanAir and Easyjet. But there are many other airlines that fly cheaply within Europe, so the options are immense. I tend to use Skyscanner to drill down and get more options.
When using budget airlines it is important to follow the rules. This mainly means travelling light, with a correctly proportioned carry on bag. Do your research beforehand to avoid getting hit by additional charges.
Such great deals are not limited to Europe though. I have seen a growing popularity for “Open Jaw” flight deals. No doubt these are nothing new, but they are fairly new to me. An Open Jaw flight is a journey which starts and ends in different countries. You then need to arrange your own travel to the start and/or end point, though it is a good idea to ensure that the journey either begins or ends in your own country.
I am a big fan of the Holiday Pirates website which is a great source of cheap holidays and flights. They often list some superb Open Jaw flight options. For example, at the moment they have a suggested flight starting in Madrid, going to New York and then returning to Manchester. The cost is GBP£194. Add to that a flight from Manchester to Madrid, available from RyanAir for less than GBP£30, and you have yourself a really cheap flight to New York, with the added bonus of having the chance to see Madrid.
Obviously this extra layer of complexity does not suit everybody – but to the bargain hunters like me it provides some very tempting deals.
It is fairly easy to design your own Open Jaw flights. I often use Opodo but other sites now offer this option too.
Do you have any tips on finding great flight deals? Feel free to share, either in the comments section below, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.