How to make sure a budget flight really is good value for money
If you want to head abroad, but you don’t want to spend a small fortune on your break, booking a flight with a budget airline is definitely the way forward. But with so many added extras on budget flights nowadays, are there any ways to make sure an apparently cheap flight really is just that?
Budget airlines have started charging for debit and credit card transactions, which is highly frustrating since you obviously need to purchase them online. Try and get hold of a Visa Electron or prepaid MasterCard to try and counter some of these costs; on many of the airlines, you won’t pay the extortionate charges of up to £12 per person if you do this.
Online check-in is always cheapest for the airlines. Sometimes this is included in the cost and at other times it costs a little bit extra, but it’s usually far less expensive if you forgo airport check-in where possible. Also, always make sure you print off your boarding pass – the airline could charge you as much as £30 to do it for you at the travel hub, which will really hike up the cost of your cheap flights.
To keep costs down, make sure you only ever take hand luggage with you. While you may think you’re incapable of packing light, you’d probably rather do that than spend huge amounts of money checking in a bag.
The 10kg allowance you get with most airlines is more than enough to pack your underwear, a few tops and bottoms and some essential toiletries.
Once you’ve made sure your flights are as cheap as they can be, you should try and cut down on accommodation costs too, to ensure you have a truly budget holiday. For example, try checking out campsites wherever you’re heading and pitch up some tents to reduce your costs. A tent is definitely one of the best ways to make sure your accommodation is truly as budget-priced as your travel.
Photo credit: Graham Soult