Low cost airlines are not what they used to be! In this day and age, they keep coming up with all kinds of tactics to increase their profit margin – some of which stand within reason, while others are sleazier and completely defy logic. If you are a budget conscious traveler, then you must pay close attention to several technicalities while booking your flight.
And we don’t mean just the basics, such as booking with as much advance as possible. To put things another way, there are specific tricks that can be used to make sure that when it comes to the bottom line, the total cost of your flight is actually low. And here they are:
Skip Luggage Check-in
In the last few years, most low cost airlines started charging an extra fee to let you check your luggage into the plane’s cargo hold. In some companies, the cost of checking in a single briefcase can be higher than the actual cost of the ticket!That’s why many people are now choosing to fly with a simple back-back they can carry with them on the plane’s cabin, this skipping extra charges for luggage.
It may seem tricky to carry all your stuff in a simple backpack, but let’s face it… most people tend to pack things they don’t really need to take. If you are realistic regarding your clothing needs, the average 10-kilo (20 pounds) of cargo you’re allowed to carry with you on board should be more than enough to pack everything you need during an escapade of just a few days.
Use Your Heavy Coats’ Pockets
In line with the previous point, here’s another trick you can use to maximize the stuff you manage to carry with you on board: wear it! Make sure you wear your heavier garments during the flight, so it won’t take up the precious available room in your back-pack or add too much weight to the bag you’re carrying with you on the cabin. Wear multiple layers, and use your pockets for extra storage space: for cables, booklets, documents, and all kinds of small accessories that will fit without making you (too) uncomfortable.
Fly During the Week / Off-Season
Most people tend to travel during the weekend or holidays, which naturally means that prices usually tend to be higher during these times – it’s the law of supply and demand. As such, you can usually find much lower cost flights available during the week and off-season, if you look for them. It may take a little schedule juggling so you manage to benefit from one of those flights, but the reduced price tag will certainly be worth your trouble.
In the same reasoning, do your best to stay flexible with your bookings. Ideally, you should adapt your traveling plans to the available flights, and not the other way around. The price of low cost tickets varies wildly from one day to the other and across different weeks, so if your work schedule allows doing that — keep an eye out for the lowest available tickets and seize them whenever you find them.
Say No to All Extras
Low cost airlines are famous for trying to squeeze money out of customers in all manner of creative ways, from trying to sell you food on-board (or even lottery tickets), to trying to charge you for just about anything they regard as a “perk”, such as the ability to choose a seat in advance. If you want to keep your costs down, just be adamant in saying NO to each and every possible “offer” they try to run by you. Remember, you’ll only be in the plane for a few hours, and once it’s over — that’s when the actual fun begins. Better save your money for then, right?
Think Beyond the Flight
A common pitfall of low-cost flight adepts involves failing to think beyond the flight. Sure, that ticket may come out almost for free, but have you looked where will the plane land? Because it it’s too far away from your actual destination, you may end up spending much more cash in the last leg of your trip than during the actual flight! Many secondary airports are actually quite far from their designated cities, which usually implies considerable spendings renting a cab or airport shuttle. As such, it’s a wise move to look how much it will cost to go from the airport to your final destination and add those numbers as part of the flight cost, while shopping around for low cost flights.
This advice is brought to you by the folks at UK Holiday Places; we hope these tricks will help you travel more while spending less!