Up, Up and Away – Travel Hacks for Cheap Flights
Yesterday I saw a flock of birds move across the sky. Upon further investigation, namely a pair of binoculars and excited pointing, these birds were revealed to be flamingos. A pink cloud against sunset’s last blush.
The birds are starting to move, and so shall I. As the desert begins to bloom the birds fly north for the spring. I plan to follow.
My flight schedule the next month looks like this: Morocco-Spain-Poland-Paris-Corsica.
Flying in the face of polite conversation, I’m going to be clear. For transparency’s sake. All up these flights cost me less than $154 US dollars. Without wings to carry me, I relied on a few travel hacks to find these cheap flights.
Air travel has a certain romance about it. Even once you take airport security, airline food and Ryan air into consideration. The sky remains a bastion of freedom – above the clouds, transcending the ordinary. The problem is that this freedom comes at a price – both to our wallet and the environment. Whilst I haven’t reconciled the former, I have figured out a few tricks to find cheap flights. Hereafter, lessons in aeronautics, or economics, or travel hacks…
whichever takes you fancy, really.
Norwegian are, by far, my favourite budget airline. Right now, they have $170 AUD flights between Sweden and Bangkok. This means that I can fly return to Australia for less than $800 dollars.
They offer more than just cheap flights. I have always found them to be friendly and efficient. When I have flown with them I have never been delayed.
Scandinavian design extends to their fleet. On the long haul flight between Stockholm and Bangkok the plane was brand new, with rainbow windows (actually a thing). This plane also had back of the seats entertainment systems with all the best music and movie that Scandi culture can offer.
You have to buy your own food on board. I actually like this because they offer far healthier options than regular airlines. Salmon salad, yes please. Bonus points: Their inflight magazine is actually cool.
I have found that Norwegian’s cheap flights often don’t show up in SkyScanner. It is better to go straight to their website and look at the low-fare calendar.
Change your Skyscanner Settings
Ok, so I know that this sounds weird: when you are using Skyscanner in Europe, change you currency and language to Swedish. The site still uses the same format, so it’s not to hard to navigate. Use google to see the prices in your currency.
For a long time, my boyfriend and I were confused about why flights were always cheaper on his computer. Turns out, when I changed my settings to Swedish, I could find the same flights. On the other hand, when flying in South East Asia, we found better flights when our setting were Australian.
This has happened time and time again. I don’t know why, but I have saved up to 20 dollars per flight by doing this.
Delete Your Cookies – The Travel Hack of Myth and Legend.
I have no proof for this trick, except that it has worked in my experience. This is a piece of wisdom that you will often hear backpackers impart at hostels across the globe. It makes sense. Tickets are priced by demand. If you keep checking the same flight, the airline knows that you are interested, and the price will go up. You can avoid this by changing your internet settings to delete all cookies.
Timing is everything
The collective wisdom of the internet holds that flights are cheapest six weeks before they take off.
In my experience, what works even better is flexibility. If you keep your plans lose, you can make the most of those crazy-cheap one-off flights that pop up from time to time. The secret to finding these are in using the ‘anywhere’ and ‘whole month’ options on Sky scanner. Write anywhere as your destination and they will show you all of your options, ranked by price.
After all, spontaneity is what freedom and thus flight, are all about.
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