Getting out of town doesn’t have to break the bank. There’s always a way to do it on the cheap; it’s just a matter of being open to new plans. Here are some tips that might help:
Pay in the local currency
Sterling has fallen in value, fast. But that doesn’t mean you have to get trash deals – check the exchange rate, go to the airline’s local site (alitalia.it or Norwegian.no, for example) and find out whether paying in the local currency gets you a better deal.
Leave no trace
Airlines are sneaky. They know when you’re keen. When your browser asks whether it’s alright to “install cookies”, the airline can tell how many times you’ve visited their site, and they’ll boost their prices accordingly. Go incognito and clear your cache!
Get on top of social media
Follow budget airlines on Twitter, like them on Facebook and get them on Instagram. Ryanair, for example, sell off lots of discounted tickets in “flash sales” on Twitter – but you’ve only got an hour or so to book them.
If you’re not bothered where you go, Skyscanner lets you search for the best deals “everywhere” in your chosen date range (or using all dates for the absolute cheapest fare), while kayak.co.uk has an “explore” button with a world map showing the cheapest return flights to every destination.
If flying isn’t your thing you should look out for Eurostar Snap. It’s a rather fabulous way for them to fill any undersold services by selling “AM” or “PM” tickets on your chosen date from £19. You don’t find out which train you’re on until the day before – it could be the 05:58 or the 11:39 – but for £19 who’s complaining?
Catch the bus (and get the first tickets)
Megabus operate throughout western Europe, and they sell international tickets from £1. You need to check for availability every day and get the first ones that go on sale. They operate in the US and Canada too.
French Ouibus and German Meinfernbus also serve Western Europe and beyond from just a few euros, so it’s well worth a night on the road if you’re city-hopping.Related shops: Happyjourney.co.uk, Sunnyrentals, OnTheBeach, Homair, Villas4you