Whether you’re an Aussie expat like us or you’re a local hoping to stretch your pounds as far as possible, we’ve put together five tips that we’ve learned about cheap travel from London. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to travelling to a destination, and while everyone knows about popular websites like Sky Scanner and GoEuro we’ve discovered a couple of other tricks that’ll leave you with more cash to splash when you’re there.
BA’s last-minute flight deals
Has the office given you Friday off work? Starting to get a bit fidgety working the nine to five and need a spontaneous weekend trip to cure the travel bug? British Airways have a page on their website solely for last minute holiday packages, where if you’re travelling with a friend you can get incredibly cheap hotel and flight deals. Think Amsterdam for two nights for £99 per person or Prague for the weekend for £113 per person. Simply pop in your dates and BA will give you a list of all the available locations for that period, that change (we assume) depending on which flights aren’t full that week.
Note: Other budget airlines also offer similar services, but we’ve had some dodgy experiences with delays/ cancellations and when you’re only going for a few days you don’t want to risk losing any precious time!
Flight subscription services
Fill your inbox with promo emails you actually want to see by signing up to a flight subscription service. Offering entry-level memberships for free and charging a fee for more premium services, websites like Jack’s Flight Club and Hacked Flights scour the internet for airline specials and deals and deliver them to you all in one convenient place. They also let you know about the cheapest time to book flights to popular destinations, so if you’re one for planning ahead you can get insanely cheap flights to places like Australia for £500 return.
Catching a bus around the UK and Europe is a fantastically cheap way to travel, but it can be a little boring be stuck on a bus for 10+ hours at a time. It’s not a secret that organised bus tours like Contiki, Busabout and Topdeck are a fab way to see loads of Europe in a short amount of time, but what you might not know is they also do short trips from and returning to London. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing the Christmas lights twinkle on Amsterdam’s canals, you can do so for £399. Want to celebrate the New Year in Berlin? Head to Contiki’s website and book yourself a trip for £325.
Discount package websites
You can get some pretty great holiday packages on sites like Secret Escapes and Groupon, for everything from a weekend away in the UK countryside to an arctic adventure in Iceland. Whether you want a quaint spa weekend away in Cornwall for £79 or you’re keen to hit the slopes in luxury on a five-star ski adventure for £699 (including flights, accommodation and a four-day ski pass), there’s something for everyone. Check the details of each deal as often you get little perks like complimentary champagne in your room, airport transfers or even lounge access.
Travelling during the week and off-peak
Booking and travelling during the week and off-peak are two of the easiest ways to see as many places as possible for less. Skyscanner analysed their booking data for the last three years and found that by booking on a Monday you’ll pay less than any other day of the week. Avoiding flying on weekends is another great way to save some cash, with Sunday not surprisingly being the priciest day to fly. Some cities are beautiful year-round, so if you don’t mind a little chill try visiting cities like Amsterdam and Paris in the off-peak winter months rather than waiting for the popular spring/ summer period.