Travelling on a budget airline may seem like the best way to keep holiday spending in check this summer, but it can be surprisingly easy to get stung by the pricey extras. If you haven’t yet booked your flight for your next timeshare break, here are five ways to ensure you pay as little as possible for your next ticket – and put the money you save towards a mini battery-recharging trip this winter!
1) £35 return flights are possible
Sign up for the airfare sale emails, travel off season (an obvious one but it helps – unless you have school schedules), check the lowest fare per month (easyJet offers this while you’re making your booking online), and remember that weekend flights tend to be more expensive – and that airports are busier on Sundays. When you book your tickets, make sure the prices listed include airport fees and air passenger duty. Always read the fine print and try comparing the same destination airfare with two different carriers – e.g. easyJet and Ryanair both fly from Stansted to Marrakech. Start making both bookings to see what the final price will be before you actually pay for your fare with one of them. Ryanair, for example, charges considerably more for a 20kg suitcase going into the hold than easyJet. And Ryanair’s handluggage limit is 10 kilos, whereas with easyJet so long as your handluggage fits the size measurements, there is no weight limit but you must able to lift it up and put it in the aircraft’s handluggage rack yourself, unaided.
2) Weigh Your Luggage before leaving home – or at the airport before you check in
Overweight luggage can set you back by £100 or more if you’re a large family travelling with heavily packed bags! Make sure you know the weight restrictions and pricing for your airline as different airlines have different rules (as per point 1!)
3) Wear a jacket or gilet with lots of pockets
You could wear your small but heavy-ish or valuable tech items? Instead of squeezing them into your handluggage, pop them into your pockets. Some companies design gilets especially for flying which are lightweight and have a myriad of pockets, large and small, for packing your possessions into them. You may look as though you’ve just gained ten pounds in weight as you pad yourself out, but at least you won’t be paying extra!
4) Print out your boarding pass
Don’t wait until just before you leave home to print your boarding pass (Murphy’s law the printer will jam because you’re in a hurry). Customers who show up without a boarding pass will get charged by certain airlines, Ryanair is one of them and the cost of issuing you a boarding pass can be the cost of cheap flight somewhere else!
5) Take a Picnic
Packs of soggy sandwiches can cost a small fortune on many of the budget airliners, so be sure to pack a picnic. Just remember that you can’t take bottles of liquids through security, so just stick with snacks.