Cheap Way to Fly Far Away
Posted on Oct 15, 2014 |
Everyone who lives in Europe knows about Ryanair, WizzAir, EasyJet, etc. On these airlines you can fly for cheap, but unfortunately not too far. How do people find cheap flights outside of Europe? One flew to Asia for 300,- €, another to Boston for 256,- € return. We found an open-jaw flight Madrid-Lima-Frankfurt with a short layover in Sao Paulo for 305,- €.
Where to find such travel deals?
How to apply them to your travel plans?
How and where to search yourself?
The first thing to do while looking for a cheap flight is to sign up for the following page feeds. Every blog about travel deals has a Facebook page. The easiest and most efficient way is to like a page on Facebook, but it is also advisable to subscribe for the blog. Then just wait for your deal!
These pages often post offers to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America, and even Africa.
Once you have found a good offer you have to make decisions quickly. Often deals are only available for a short period of time. This can be because the offer is limited or because it is an error fare.
Some people might be afraid of booking an error fare as they fear their ticket might get cancelled. Normally there is a general rule about these offers: once your money transaction has been confirmed the sales contract is valid.
But this is not all. The most important thing is to be flexible. If you are flexible, your dream travel deal will appear at some point. There are two sides to flexibility: time and location.
Let's start with time.
It is rarely possible to travel cheap if you have exact travel dates ready at hand. If you must fly exactly on the 23rd of June, and return on the 12th of July, there is little chance that you will find a flight much cheaper than the standard price for the journey. But if you can extend your search to fly sometime in Autumn and return in Winter, or you don't have plans to return anytime soon, it will be much easier to get a perfect price.
The dates of such deals vary greatly. There can be a trip for only two weeks, or for three months, you never know.
For someone who wants to make a long trip, for half a year, or more, it can be a good deal to fly one-way by buying a return flight at a cheaper price than a normal one-way would cost. That was what the Travelling Monkeys did. They booked their return flight, and did not take the flight back. Unfortunately, it is not possible to do this the other way around. If you miss your first flight, the rest will get cancelled.
It is super hard to find cheap flights at certain times, such as around New Year's Eve, or to Goa during the high season. You have to think of traveling other than on common travel dates. If you go to India, do it in a rainy season and spend the first rainy months far away from the beach; there are always places worth visiting. Or find a volunteer opportunity. And when the dry season begins, go to the most beautiful beaches, and enjoy the sun and crowds of tourists.
Flexible in location means that if you travel from Europe, you should be looking for a flight departing from any European country. If you travel to South America, you should look for a flight to any destination in South America.
You have to play around with countries and airports. Travelling around Europe is easy: cheap airlines, long-distance buses, hitch-hiking. Getting from Berlin to Madrid can be a first adventure on the way to the bigger one.
The hardest challenge is to cross an ocean. You can get to Asia by land, but it can be challenging as well. Most would consider crossing some western or central Asian countries harder than crossing an ocean. Even overtaking all those countries via Russia would be one hell of a problem.
You can always search yourself. Skyscanner is a classic. It is the best place to compare prices, or to get an idea how much would a flight to a certain destination normally cost.
Skyscanner is great because you can search connections not only by airports, but by countries as well. The result is not 100% accurate, but it can give you an idea about the cheapest airport connections between two countries, with flexible dates.
Always check the websites of the biggest international airlines directly, as well. They often have interesting offers, and not all of them land on the blogs mentioned in the first part of this post. From our experience, you can often find deals with Iberia, TAM, LAN, Emirates, and Condor.
Another option would be to use the Reisefinder Community
on Urlaubspiraten. There you can ask in a forum for help of the other users. You enter the location of departure and your destination, a time-frame and the maximum price you are willing to pay. As the mask is relatively fixed you cannot choose various countries and dates. However, you have the chance to describe in a free text if you are more flexible.
Just keep in mind: the more flexible you are, the higher the chance somebody comes up with an offer for you.
Unfortunately, the mask of the website only exists in German language. To start a search you have to click on Anfrage stellen
. Everything else you can manage by using a translator. Entering the free text in English language shouldn't be a problem.
You can also often get great deal with regular airlines. One example is "Condor
". This company sells their tickets on a one way basis. This means, that you pay a certain amount of money for the flight there, and a certain amount for the flight back. Booking both flights together doesn't lower the price, like with Ryanair. This means that a one way ticket over the Atlantic, for example, remains relatively cheap. Sign up for their newsletter, if you are planning a trip.
There is at least one carrier that offers low-cost transatlantic flights on a regular level: "Norwegian
". Their cheapest offers are usually for connections between Copenhagen/Oslo and New York/Fort Lauderdale/Orlando.
Always look for the local versions of an airline website. If you want to travel from Chile, check out the prices on the Chilean website of the airline you are planning to fly with first. If from Mexico, on the Mexican, if from India on the Indian, etc. Stay local and you will get the lowest fare. If you don't understand the language, ask someone to help you. It also counts for the case if you are flying to Chile, Mexico, Asia, etc. The more option you check the better price you get.
A very unfair thing happened to Bimbino and Bambina when they booked their flights to Easter Island. They paid 420,- € return each, which seemed to be the best deal. In fact it was not!
Changing the language on the website of LAN airlines redirected them to the German version of the website with totally different prices. Staying on the local Chilean page would have saved them around 150,- € each.
Follow the adventures of the Travelling Monkeys! More stories to come soon...
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