Flying high with low-cost airlines: budget air trip tips 

We offer you some tips & tricks on how to fly budget airlines

Flying high with low-cost airlines: budget air trip tips. Source: unsplash.com

Saving some money on a flight may seem easy with budget airlines. However, their clients often face unpleasant surprises. Getting from point A to point B safe and sound requires a little preparation if you’re going to use a low-cost airline.

These few useful tips will save your money and time during your budget air trip.

Take add-ons into account

Budget airlines are able to offer such low prices only because you pay for the bare flight. All the conveniences included in the ticket fares by their more expensive competitors are not taken into account. Do not let yourself be misled by the initial flight price. Make sure you include all the possible add-ons such as checked luggage, excessive luggage weight, changing personal details on a ticket, changing flights, seat selection, food and drink, travel insurance, or even extra leg room. Do not expect a free meal, or a glass of water even during long flights. Moreover, some airlines charge for their online check-in, paying with a credit card, or taking any special sports equipment with you. Check all the additional costs before you book. In some cases, the full price may not differ much from ordinary airlines’.

While booking the flight online, check all the tick boxes to make sure you don’t pay for things you don’t need. Source: unsplash.com

Be attentive, some optional add-ons may be automatically included in the price as recommended ones. While booking the flight online, check all the tick boxes to make sure you don’t pay for things you don’t need.

Be an early bird

An early bird catches the worm – that’s surely true in case of travel bookings. Though the cheapest seats are not released too early, reserving a flight from between four to two months before the trip date usually pays off. After this period, prices will begin to rise.

Go ahead and make all possible online actions before you actually get to the airport. Low-cost airlines may have a limited number of check-in desks causing long queues. You can book and check in for your flight online, print out your tickets at home, as well as take care of any seating arrangements from your personal device. Do not leave those little preparation steps to the last-minute airport check-in. You will save yourself a lot of time and avoid extra fees.

Go ahead and make all possible online actions before you actually get to the airport. Source: unsplash.com

Be flexible

If planning so far ahead is not your option, you can still save a lot buying at the last minute. In this situation, you must be ready to make all your vacation arrangements ASAP. However, if you book your accommodation in advance with a free cancellation option, and pack your bag early, the pressing deadline won’t be your nightmare.

If for some reason, like inflexible working hours, traveling with family, or insecurity, you are not prepared for quick travel arrangements, you can save money by being flexible about the travel date. People travel more on weekends, which results in higher fees. Choose a midweek flight and enjoy a lower price. Furthermore, consider traveling off-season. If you are a tourist, conduct thorough research on your destination place. Stay away from peak-season trips. Not only the flight prices, but also accommodation costs and service fees will be higher. Choose those dates which promise little tourist flow. You can kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, you will save a lot of money. Secondly, you will enjoy the scenery, local attractions and resorts without a tiresome buzz and flashlights of the touring crowds.

Bigger international airports often offer more favorable prices. Source: unsplash.com

Think bigger

Bigger international airports often offer more favorable prices. They have a huge number of competitive airline service providers there, so it’s a win-win for their clients. Check whether the option of taking a short domestic flight plus an international flight from a big airport is more agreeable than a direct flight from your local airport.

Expect the unexpected

Low-cost airlines may be as safe as the others, but that does not mean they are as reliable in terms of travel circumstances. Flights may often be delayed for a long time or canceled. Departure terminals may change without prior warning. A change of plane may require a long shuttle ride.

Always have a backup plan in mind. Arrive at the airport as early as you can. In case of any changes, you will be able to get to another terminal or even airport (if needed) without any hurry or extra fees for the urgent transport ride. Look for a cheap nearby hotel for the instance when your plane is delayed overnight, or for a long period in-between transfer flights. Please, pay attention that budget airlines do not usually offer any accommodation or food services as compensation for your inconvenience.

Even if your trip is quite short, stock up some provisions. Source: unsplash.com

Prepare some food and drinks. Buying water and light snacks at your local store is always cheaper than at the airport or on board. Even if your trip is quite short, stock up some provisions. Remember about possible delays and paid add-on food services.

Use web-tools

There are many awesome web-resources able to compare flight prices for you. Use them and optimize your expenditure. For instance, Adioso or SkyScanner allow you to choose the best fares for both domestic and international flights. However, make sure to use at least a few different comparison sites before booking. Various resources may have limited access to some of the ticket information, so fair comparison requires comparing their results.

Some search engines like Kayak incorporate the price forecast into their search options. This tool uses historical price data and travel trends to predict the possible rises and falls of ticket fares. Though it does not give you 100% certainty, such options may hint whether to buy the ticket immediately or wait for a while before booking. This way, you can travel cheaper without changing your desired dates.

Some search engines incorporate the price forecast into their search options. Source: unsplash.com

Pets matter

Many airlines charge way too much for pet transportation. Sometimes bringing a pet may double your flying costs. Most budget airlines do not allow pets onboard at all. Make sure to check the relevant information while comparing prices and choosing the service provider. Pet fees depend on the transportation type (in-cabin or in-cargo), pet size and type, flight length etc. If you are looking for the most economical travel variants, consider leaving your pet with relatives or friends.

SEE ALSO: 5 apps for personal budgeting