I like to go to new places, but I don’t have much spare cash so generally look around for the lowest cost way to travel.
Here are a few things I’ve learned in my time flying with budget airlines.
Don’t assume that one airline will be cheaper than another; always compare a few different ones.
I use Skyscanner, and if you have dates in mind but no particular destination, then you can enter ‘everywhere’ and find the cheapest options.
If don’t have an airline on your doorstep, consider an ‘open jaw’ flight, where you fly out of one airport and back into another. This can often significantly reduce flight costs.
Do check where your cheap ticket will be landing, as the budget airlines may land at airports which are out of the way – check transfer costs if this is the case.
Watch our for additional costs
Your ticket may be cheap, but watch out for extra charges.
These airlines will try to sell things like insurance and car hire, which can often be found more cheaply elsewhere.
One thing which I do pay extra for is to chose my own seat – if you do this early then it doesn’t cost much and stops you being stuck in the middle seat whether you want it or not.
If you can, then travel with hand luggage only, as you’ll have to pay extra to put luggage in the hold.
And if you really must put a case in the hold, book it well ahead – if you leave it until the airport, then the charge may be more than your ticket!
Check the size of hand luggage which your particular airline will allow – otherwise you’ll end up paying to put it in the hold. There is usually a weight limit for hand luggage, but there is only a limited amount you can carry in a small bag anyway. I make it a rule never to take a carry on bag which I can’t lift to put in the overhead storage by myself.
Check in online
Follow your airlines instructions for checking in online, and make sure to print your boarding pass well ahead of your journey.
Some airlines, particularly Ryanair, will charge a hefty fee for printing it for you at the airport.
Avoid pricy inflight food
Budget airlines won’t give you free food or drink, so it’s worth considering taking your own snacks on board.
It’s also best to avoid airport food if you’re on a tight budget, as this can also be expensive.