Most budget airlines are fairly similar to their baggage allowances, but some are more strict than others. In the past, we have emptied and binned a few things so asnot to get a charge for the bags being too big, but other times we have had too much, thinking we won't get through but have.
We have saved so much money on not having checked-in luggage, so if you think you can squeeze your things into one little bag each, then go for it, its surprising what you can get in.
Always check rules on handbags as they can class those as carry-ons and will charge if you cant fit them into your other hand luggage.
Again most budget airlines charge for your seating; otherwise, they randomly select your seats, butwe never pay for seat allocation ( usually, the flights on these kinds of airlines are no more than 4 hours long). When we check-in online together, they allocate us seats together anyway .....not all the time, though; we have had the odd occasion where we were separated, but hey, the plane is not that big, so not too far from each other, and its a chance to meet new people.
When it's time to book flights, it's always better to book in advance. The old 'wait till they are desperate to get rid of the seats' does not happen anymore. The airlines want your money in their bank as soon as possible, so they offer better deals earlier.
Skyscanner is our favourite option as you can type in the flight you want and save your trip, so you will get notified if the price goes up or down and you buy at the right price.
There are many other flight finders, including Google, but we stick with our trusted Skyscanner.
The biggest thing about finding cheaper flights is flexibility. If you are not too bothered about what day you fly, check the prices through the weekdays.
• Fly out of the main seasons, so look for September, October or April, May as you can find some warm sun in these times but not such an expensive flight like in August.
•Look into flying to and from an obscure airport so for example, Exeter to Malta was £5 each way or Newquay to Frankfurt Hahn (an hour and a half outside Frankfurt Main) £15 each way.
• Have a look at not flying direct, during the Oktoberfest in Munich saw a flight direct from a London airport for £300 ish but fly to a different destination close to Munich, grab a train you could save a good amount of £££.
• Don't be fussy about sleep. If you can get a red-eye flight or an early morning, then do it.
• Just a little note for long haul flights, you will be on that flight for a good amount of time, so weigh up the necessity of a cheap flight, will give you an example ;
We found a flight from Gatwick to Bangkok with Air China via Chengdu in China for both of us at £670. We thought, what a bargain !! Only an 8-hour stopover in China will be fine. NO NO NO the aeroplane was dated, my entertainment system was broke ( long journey with just my thoughts haha) and hanging out in Chengdu airport was no fun, it was cold and empty with nothing to do, felt rough by the time we got to Thailand.
For an extra £150 each, we could have got the comfort of an Emirates flight with a lovely stopover in Dubai, which we have also done and will do again.
So if you don't mind suffering a little bit, go for the cheap flights on the long haul as the saved money will go a long way, but if you have the money spare go with a bit of comfort.
OTHER HANDY TIPS
With airport parking, we use the app Your Parking Space, which will find private parking spaces, most of the time in peoples driveways or yards. I did find it a little uncomfortable when arriving for a very early flight had to park my car outside a gate and post the keys through a letterbox, but it is trustworthy.
• If you haven't got a car or don't want to use one, try using National Express or Megabus. They both have great deals, and on the European side, we have used a great company called Flixibus.
• Take an empty bottle through security and then fill it up from the water fountains ( unless you are in an obscure airport and you might find it difficult to find one ).
• If possible, eat before the departure lounge or make your own lunch as in departure lounges the food will be very pricey.
Travelling is all about the experience, flexibility and relaxing; stressing out only causes arguments and tantrums as we have seen and sometimes, being so tired, we have had ourselves. Still, now we have learned to take it easy, and it all comes together, but if somehow it doesn't, blame the man.😂
BIGGEST TIP OF ALL
ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE!!!!
Due to covid and the massive economical impact on airlines, we expect them to recuperate their losses from us the travellers so we will update these tips if things start to change and maybe find some new ways.