The second addition to this Budget Travel post is all about the flights. Buying flights can be frustrating and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out the tips below to make purchasing flights a lot easier and cheaper.
I buy a lot of my tickets only one-way. I do this because I never know where I want my trip to end. I might have an end-date to my trip, but I might want to go somewhere else in that time and I don’t like to be tied to a return ticket. But for beginners, one-way tickets can also be cheaper. Check if there is more than one airport close to your destination and check flights to-and-from with that airport as well. It might be cheaper to buy one-way from one airport and cheaper to fly home from the other airport. Google Flights is my go-to website for cheap flights when I have a lot of flexibility and where I found that cheap flight to Europe!
Buy on a Tuesday
Go during shoulder season
Shoulder season, a.k.a slow season means cheaper prices. I went to Europe end of April until the end of May and I got a flight ROUNDTRIP for $440 including taxes. Accommodation was cheaper, tours were a bit cheaper and a LOT less touristy and I didn’t have to wait in line for anything. If you’re wanting to go to Australia or New Zealand, March and October are great months to go to miss the tourists and can save a bit on the flight price as well.
Before you go
I pack at least three different times for a trip. I start with a big pile and slowly dwindle it down to a smaller one. I find this important because I need to travel light. If you travel with checked luggage, a lot of flights charge you an arm and a leg now for it. Try to keep it to a carry-on. If not, keep it light and as small as you can. Only pack essentials as you can always buy clothes on your trip. Always pack your chargers/electronics/makeup as they are quite pricey in many parts of the world.
I say pre-plan because I love making lists. But if I pre-plan a trip, I can at least set out a budget. Then I go back to the ‘free activities’ list and plug it in to the itinerary to save money but not skimp on adventures. I feel a lot more confident with a bit of planning, knowing that there are places I want to see and things I want to do, but I don’t book them. You never know what will happen when you travel so I rarely book in advance for activities unless it’s something that has a few months wait. Like Macchu Picchu or something.
Connect with others
Get online, call your friends, send emails, do what you can to connect with others who are traveling! There’s plenty of websites, apps, Facebook groups, travel forums, you name it that can connect you with other people in your future destination. A couple of my favorite blogs are The Blonde Abroad, and Nomadic Matt. They supply you with a ton of info for travel on all spectrums.
Free Wi-Fi is a huge plus for me since I work every day. I must have it. It also allows me to stay connected to fellow travelers easily and makes posting on Instagram and Facebook convenient. You shouldn’t pay for internet. EVER. TIP: Libraries have free internet. If you need it, go there!
There you go! I think this should get you off to a pretty good start. Remember, as much as you can plan everything around budget travel, the most important is that you actually buy a ticket and go. Happy travels!