Over the years, when the Facebook travel photo albums start to pop up, I constantly get asked by my friends how I can afford to do as much travelling as I do – my answer “How can you afford not to?!” – JUST KIDDING! 🙂 I typically explain how I got this amazing deal on my travel and the research that goes into planning to see the world on a budget which is typically quite easy and very affordable! The lowest price I’ve paid for flights have been £8 (to Gothenburg) with other prices not that far off! Here’s how I’ve been able to score some amazing deals on travel:
1.) The main point – Skyscanner. A lot of people are probably very aware of what Skyscanner is and how to use it however, people use it to look for very specific travel itenaries which can be somewhat limiting when it comes to looking for great deals! As per the rules to follow when you travel, one of the most important things to do is to be flexible and once you’re willing to be – follow the next steps on Skyscanner –
a) Select your outbound location (i.e. the “From” field) – Put in your whole country here e.g. instead of London, I’d put in the UK – there’s usually a connecting train or something to most airports in your country. Unless of course you’re from the USA, Canada or Russia which are huge land masses in which case, I would probably limit it to a smaller geographical area (e.g. New York State in the US). The whole point is not to select a specific airport and instead, be flexible on the choices of airports to fly out of.
b) In your outbound location (i.e. the “To” field) – Put in Everywhere. You’re starting to get the picture now right? Effectively, your search will be for flights to everywhere in the world from locations near you.
c) Select “Return” or “One-way” – choice is entirely yours! 😉
d) Next in the dates field select either a whole month that you’re interested in looking for or the whole year! I typically search for the whole year! This was you get to see pretty much all flights available in the next 12 months which is important for the next step! Select the number of people you want and hit search!
e) On the results page, now you have a list of flights to various locations across the entire world and you can then apply your flight budget price limits to filter out which places you’d like to go to. There are no hard and fast rules here – a flight from England to Amsterdam is a lot cheaper than one from England to Tokyo for instance and so you’d have different budgets for both so you should just apply something that seems reasonable to you. You might need to tweak things at the next steps to ensure the dates are the best possible ones for you and perhaps select an airport you prefer but effectively, you’re presented with a whole list of choices of what could be the destination of your future adventure!
2.) Next – accommodation! I thoroughly recommend places like Booking.com, Lastminute.com and Opodo.com as there are really great for presenting you with a whole range of options for accommodation. What you then find is that the prices can be quite similar on all of them so look out for the ones that have deals going on. Hotels.com for instance typically emails with up to 20% off (typically 10% off) hotel stays which can help cut costs down even further. Better still, if you will be travelling with friends sites like airbnb.com and roomorama.com are amazing for searches for a house/apartment to stay in and typically cheaper for large groups so that’s always recommended if you’re a big enough group.
3.) Finally – travel insurance! Typically it’s cheaper to get annual travel insurance than planning to get it each time you go as after about 3/4 trips, you’ll already have broken even on the annual insurance so definitely get annual insurance if you plan on travelling quite a bit in the next 12 months.
Remember, you don’t always have to travel during work days (which requires you to use your holiday time) – you can always travel away at the weekends! Having this restriction only means you have to look more often on Skyscanner but it’s very doable and makes the work week even more enjoyable when you know you will be jetting off on holiday come Friday! 🙂