I love a good deal; I shop at thrift stores for most of my clothes and get the rest from friends or the lovely amazon warehouse. I love being able to save money without having to compromise on what I want. Luckily I was raised by my amazing father who first introduced me to Thrift Stores as I feel it gave me a stronger appreciation for the items I own. So, when I got older and wanted to start traveling more, I looked at the cheapest way possible to get where I wanted to go. This is a great method as it allows you to see places you never thought to visit before, but it has downsides as well. Today I want to talk about the downfalls of Budget Airlines (specifically those that fly to Europe) and how to get the most out of flying with those airlines.
Bring your own water bottle
If you aren’t already carrying around a water bottle everywhere you go because it’s good for the environment, think about investing in one for when you fly. Most budget carriers will charge you $2-5 for a beverage on your flight, if you plan a little ahead usually you can find a plastic water bottle for around $1 or so after going through security. But the best option is to bring your own and fill it up whenever you deem necessary. I purchased a 4 pack of collapsible water bottles so I could give them out to friends and carry it without hassle.
Pack a snack
The most expensive part of flying is the airport/airplane food and it tastes horrendous. So, save yourself the struggle of snacking down on an overcharged Big Mac and pack TSA approved snacks. Then when you get to the airport use the extra cash to buy yourself a well-deserved coffee.
Let the Airplane Gods pick your extras
I know it can be scary not knowing where you sit, or if you’ll be stuck in a middle seat for a long haul but give a moment to the airplane gods before check-in and roll the dice. I do this whenever I travel solo to save the extra cash and only once in the past few years have I taken a middle seat. Save your money and live in the unknown.
The hardest part of budget airlines, at least for me, is the baggage fees. Most of the time they can equal out to the price of the plane ticket or close to. If you need to purchase bags, do so as you book your ticket, usually, it is at this time they give a deal. But otherwise read into what a personal bag truly is, read the dimensions posted on the website and live like a minimalist for your vacation. The 5/4/3/2/1 method is one I believe in, although it isn’t for everyone. Check it out and purchase a backpack that can fit under your seat so you can sneak by the extra fees. I recommend the Osprey Porter 30L as it is made for the backpacker and has confirmed photos on Amazon of other travelers using it as a personal bag.
I rave about my Patagonia Black Hole MLC, and I’m currently using it for my 10-week trip to Spain but for shorter trips I do feel 45L is excessive, at least for me. I recently purchased another travel school bag, the Patagonia Chacabuco Pack 28L because I wanted to be able to do a comparison of all my travel bags, so be on the lookout for that post! Thinking you’ll do shopping while you’re there? Get a compression bag that will fit in the backpack and pay the fee on the way back with the two bags.
Sign up for Email Alerts
If I have learned anything in my years of online shopping, it’s that there is always a discount code (even with airlines). When you’re looking at booking a flight sign up for the airline alert emails! You never know what you will find, I know I didn’t expect to find a roundtrip ticket to Paris in 2 months for $262 but when Wow Air emailed me a 40% discount code I jumped on the deal. This price is of course without bags and seats and that’s where they get you, as the bags and seats were not 40% off.
Finally… remember to be FLEXIBLE
Traveling with a budget airline means you’re getting the best deal possible but this can also include giving up on some of the luxuries we imagine with travel. But compromising on a few things can lead to a cheap and amazing European vacation. All you need is to be okay with opening up to the possibilities. A few extra hours in an airport terminal might seem like a pain but use that time wisely catching up with emails or writing a post for your blog (like I currently am) and the time will fly by.
I hope you enjoyed reading my tips for getting the most out of Budget Travel, and if you enjoyed it please remember to like, comment, share, and join the family! Thank you for reading and if you want to learn more about travel and minimalism, make sure to check out a few of my other posts!
Until next time,