how to fly to the champions league 2019 final on a budget

With both Spurs and Liverpool through to the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday 1st June 2019, flights to the Spanish capital from the UK have sky rocketed:

Jesus wept.

Therefore, I’ve pulled together a load of different ways that you can get yourself over to the final for less.

If this helps you at all, feel free to help a gal out by giving me a follow on either YouTube, Instagram or Twitter and I promise even more top money saving tips when it comes to your future travel.

Right. ONWARDS!

I’m going to take you through five different options. Click on what you’re after to head straight to that section:

  1. The cheapest flights from London, Liverpool and Manchester that only require up to one day off
  2. The cheapest flights from London, Liverpool and Manchester if you can be flexible with your dates
  3. The cheapest flights leaving from alternative UK airports
  4. The cheapest flights to alternative Spanish airports
  5. WILDCARD – Do it yourself and fly from as little as £119 each way

Scenario One

THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS FROM LONDON, LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER
(that only require up to one day off)

The headline here is that the only way you’re going to be able to pull this off for under £500 is to do a one stop flight.

For all of these one stop flights, I haven’t included any overnight waits but warning – there are some long layovers…

I didn’t say it was gonna be pretty.

From London
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June
£379

From London
Sat 1st June – Mon 3rd June
£284 (there’s also a flight with a 4 hour 55 min return for £349)

From Liverpool
Sat 1st May – Sun 2nd June
£504 (just nipped over from £499 this morning – genuinely this was the best deal I could find!!)

From Manchester
Sat 1st May – Mon 3rd June
£498 – Rising quickly – last night’s best price was £379 (though the flights included longer layovers).


Scenario Two

THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS FROM LONDON, LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER
(if you can be flexible with your dates)

London – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £812 (08/05 price £710)
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £379 (08/05 price £418)
Thurs 30th May – Weds 5th June – £287 (08/05 price £288)
Thurs 30th May – Thurs 6th June – £268 (08/05 price £291)
Weds 29th May – Mon 3rd June – £532 (08/05 price £465)
Weds 29th May – Tues 4th June – £156 (08/05 price £143)
Weds 29th May – Weds 5th June – £56 (08/05 price £63)

Liverpool – see details

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £481 – 1 stop (08/05 price £437)
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £244 – 1 stop (08/05 price £303)
Thurs 30th May – Weds 5th June – £380 – 1 stop/direct (08/05 price £378)
Weds 29th May – Mon 3rd June – £355 – 1 stop (08/05 price £311)
Weds 29th May – Tues 4th June – £201 – 1 stop (08/05 price £194)
Weds 29th May – Weds 5th June – £618 – direct (08/05 price £588)
Weds 29th May – Weds 5th June – £265 – 1 stop/direct (08/05 price £252)

Next direct and cheap(ish!) flight is:
Mon 27th May – Mon 10th June – £371

Manchester – see details

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £344 – 1 stop (08/05 price £475)
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £870 – direct (08/05 price £866)
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £320 – 1 stop (08/05 price £303)
Thurs 30th May – Weds 5th June – £240 – 1 stop/direct (08/05 price £231)
Weds 29th May – Mon 3rd June – £397 – 1 stop
Weds 29th May – Tues 4th June – £240 – 1 stop (08/05 price £223)
Weds 29th May – Weds 5th June – £153 – 1 stop/direct (08/05 price £146)
Weds 29th May – Thurs 6th June – £120 – 1 stop/direct

Next direct and cheap(ish!) flight is:
Tues 28th May – Thurs 6th June – £210

View this post on Instagram

Lots of fun recording a World Service doc in Madrid this week 🎤👤👂 Unfortunately didn’t get to see too much, but caught enough glimpses to persuade me to revisit in the future🤞 Here’s my thoughts: ✈️ Very cheap flights from the UK (mine were 30€ return booked 3 weeks ago) 🚇 40 min metro into the city centre – and only 3€ on top of your standard fare 💳 10 tickets for the metro work out at just 1,20€ each – very cheap for such an efficient and wide reaching service 🏠 One bed Airbnb apartment, 1 min from Bilbao metro, cost £62 a night and was really nice! Small room in a 3 star hotel was around the same price. 🍤 Great seafood – and great tapas too! So many restaurants to choose between with really affordable prices (shout-out to the lunchtime Menu Del Dia where I got paella, chicken, wine and pudding for 11€!!!) 🍷 Wine on most menus started around 3€ – and I wasn’t intentionally choosing cheap places 😊 Really relaxed vibe – found it more slow paced than Barcelona – and unlike other capital cities, locals are known for their friendliness! 🇪🇸 Speaking English is not a given. At all. But I see this as a perk. I really enjoyed trying out my VERY BASIC Spanish and everyone was so helpful, and we had a right laugh as they tried to teach me new phrases! ☀️ 13 degrees and blue skies in Jan? I will take that!! Have you been to Madrid? What did you reckon? Have my ‘glimpses’ steered me wrong?!! #travel #instatravel #travelgram #wanderlust #citybreak #cheapholiday #budgettravel #europe #madrid #spain #visitspain #visitmadrid #radio #producer #picoftheday

A post shared by Chelsea Dickenson (@howmanyholidays) on


Scenario Three

THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS LEAVING FROM ALTERNATIVE AIRPORTS

Whilst flying from your nearest airport may be the most convenient, have you thought about travelling within the UK first to get the price down?

This is also one for those Liverpool and Spurs fans that don’t reside in London or Liverpool!

Now there were quite a few good deals to be found here but since Tottenham qualified, many have been snapped up – GODDAMIT!

FRIDAY 31ST MAY – SUNDAY 2ND JUNE

One stop
Bristol – £375 (includes overnight layover) (09/05 price £375)

FRIDAY 31ST MAY – MON 3RD JUNE

All one stop
Edinburgh – £335 (08/05 £364)
Southampton – £450 (08/05 price £417)
Bristol – £394 (08/05 price £383)

SATURDAY 1ST JUNE – MON 3RD JUNE

All one stop
Cardiff – £332
Birmingham – £358


Scenario Four


THE CHEAPEST DIRECT FLIGHTS TO ALTERNATIVE SPANISH AIRPORTS

VALENCIA

  • 1 hour 40 train from Valencia to Madrid – around £80 return for 1 adult
  • 3 hours 40 drive from Valencia to Madrid – car hire as cheap as £5 a day!

London to Valencia – All direct (these have FLOWN up since Spurs qualified)

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £429 (08/05 £572)
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £586 (08/05 £797)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £546 (08/05 £574)
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £293 (08/05 price £396)
Sat 1st June – Sun 3rd June – £1118!!! (08/05 price £570)
Sat 1st June – Mon 3rd June – £637 (08/05 price £492)
Sat 1st June – Tues 4th June – £590 (08/05 price £314)

Liverpool to Valencia – One stop

Fri 31st May – Tues 3th Jun – £415 (cheaper option for overnight layover)

Manchester to Valencia – One stop

Fri 31st May – Fri 7th June – £289 (cheaper option for longer durations)

East Midlands to Valencia – Direct

Tues 28th May – Tues 4th June – £254 (08/05 price £136)

Bristol to Valencia – Direct

Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £468 (08/05 price £466)
Fri 31st May – Fri 7th June – £254

Edinburgh to Valencia – Direct

Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £185

BILBAO

  • 4 hours 10 min bus from Bilbao to Madrid – prices from around £50 return
  • 4 hours drive from Bilbao to Madrid – car hire as cheap as £7 a day!

London to Bilbao – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £341 (08/05 price £452)
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £768 (08/05 price £761)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £494 (08/05 price £358)
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £255 (08/05 price £126)
Sat 1st June – Sun 3rd June – £516 (08/05 price £522)
Sat 1st June – Mon 3rd June – £494 (08/05 price £281)
Sat 1st June – Tues 4th June – £228 (08/05 price £79)

Manchester to Bilbao – All direct

Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £469 (08/05 price £485)

Bristol to Bilbao – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £509 (08/05 price £474)
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £199 (08/05 price £170)

Edinburgh to Bilbao – All direct

Weds 29th May – Sun 2nd June – £260 (08/05 price £261)

BARCELONA

London to Barcelona – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £273
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £143
Thurs 30th May – Weds 5th June – £81
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £320

Liverpool to Barcelona – All direct

Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £454

Manchester to Barcelona – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £633
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £323
Thurs 30th May – Weds 5th June – £272
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £742
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £431
Fri 31st May – Weds 5th June – £380

Birmingham to Barcelona – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £599
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £341
Thurs 30th May – Weds 5th June – £261
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £531 (note that morning flight back!)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £531

Bristol to Barcelona – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £354
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £171
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £437
Fri 31st June – Tues 4th June – £254

Cardiff to Barcelona – All direct

Tues 28th May – Tues 4th June – £72

Glasgow to Barcelona – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £268 (note that 1215 flight home!)
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £227
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £315

East Midlands to Barcelona – one stop/one direct

Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £364

Newcastle to Barcelona – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £477
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £336
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £167
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £551
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £410
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £241

Edinburgh to Barcelona – All direct

Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £351

SANTANDER

  • 4 hour 7 train from Santander to Madrid  – around £75 return for 1 adult (but they don’t run often so check those times!)
  • 5 hour drive from Santander to Madrid – car hire as cheap as £8 a day!

London to Santander – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £280 (08/05 price £241)
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £121 (08/05 price £109)

Edinburgh to Santander – All direct

Weds 29th May – Sun 2nd June – £176 (08/05 price £150)
Weds 29th May – Sun 5th June – £107 (08/05 price £82)

SEVILLE

  • 2 hours 30 min train from Seville to Madrid for around £110 return
  • 5 hours drive – car hire from only £7 a day

London to Seville – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd Jun – £392
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th Jun – £225
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd Jun – £607
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £344

Manchester to Seville – All direct

Weds 29th May – Mon 3rd June – £403
Weds 29th May – Weds 5th June – £225

Bristol to Seville – All direct

Tues 28th May – Tues 4th June – £54

East Midlands to Seville – All direct

Tues 28th May – Tues 4th June – £117

Edinburgh to Seville – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £257
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £143

REUS

  • 6 hour overnight bus from Reus to Madrid and 7 hour bus back to Reus around £70 return (they don’t run often so check before booking)
  • 6 hour drive from Reus to Madrid – car hire as cheap as £17 a day!

London to Reus – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £313 (08/05 price £313)
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £339 (08/05 price £321)
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £419 (08/05 price £395)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £364 (08/05 price £319)
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £199 (08/05 price £174)

Manchester to Reus – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £292 (08/05 price £292)

East Midlands to Reus – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £340 (08/05 price £311)
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £336 (08/05 price £305)
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £158 (08/05 price £138)
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £428 (08/05 price £419)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £364 (08/05 price £364)
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £219 (08/05 price £239)

Birmingham to Reus – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £174 (08/05 price £174)

Glasgow to Reus – All direct

Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £206 (08/05 price £205)

Leeds to Reus – All direct

Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £255 (08/05 price £141)

MALAGA

  • 2 hours 45 mins train from Malaga to Madrid for around £116 return
  • 5 hour 20 min drive from Malaga to Madrid – car hire as cheap as £1 a day (erm, wtf lads?)

London to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £146
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £456 (1100 flight – 2240 is £604)
Fri 31st May – Weds 5th June – £179

Liverpool to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £752 (1000 flight)

Manchester to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £605 (1050 flight – 2110 flight is £649)
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £577
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £396

Birmingham to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £407
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £511 (1225 flight – 2120 is £680)

Southampton to Malaga – All direct

Fri 31st May – Weds 5th June – £280

Norwich to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £453

Leeds to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £468 (1205 flight – 2135 £563)
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £448
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £523 (1205 flight – 2135 flight is £622)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £473
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £298

Glasgow to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £456
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £324
Thurs 30th May – Tues 4th June – £187
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £422 (1325 flight – 2045 is £488)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £354
Fri 31st May – Tues 4th June – £248

Exeter to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £196

Edinburgh to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Sun 2nd June – £355
Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd June – £235
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £435
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £315

East Midlands to Malaga – All direct

Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £473

Bristol to Malaga – All direct

Thurs 30th May – Mon 3rd Jun – £275
Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd June – £399 (1210 flight – 2350 flight is £630)
Fri 31st May – Mon 3rd June – £369

Belfast to Malaga – All direct

Fri 31st May – Sun 2nd Jun – £440


Scenario Five

LASTLY – DO IT YOURSELF AND SAVE EVEN MORE

Okay, so for all of these I’ve done a standard ‘whack it in Skyscanner and hope’ jobby but actually, you can save even more if you have a little play around with these ‘one stop’ options yourself.

To do this:

  • Open a new browsing tab – we’re going to call this tab one – and go to Skyscanner and in ‘From’ type in your departure airport
  • Next, in ‘To’, write ‘Everywhere’
  • Select the date you’d like to travel to Madrid
  • This will bring up a list of countries in price order – leave this open
  • In a new tab – this will be referred to as tab two – again, go to Skyscanner but this time, write ‘Madrid’ underneath the ‘To’ box
  • In the ‘From’, you’re going to look back at that lovely list of cheap countries in tab one
  • For example, for London, my results show that flight to Germany start from £10 so I’m going to go back to tab two and enter ‘Germany’ as my departure country and hit search
  • Straight away it tells me that I can fly from Berlin to Madrid for £54 and from Hamburg to Madrid for £56 – pretty good – and so now I head back to my London list in tab one to see how much they’re coming up as
  • Hamburg is pretty pricey at £125 but Berlin is coming in at £44
  • Next, return to each of your tabs to inspect the flights you’ve found to see if they could work together
  • You want to check that they’re getting into the same airport and that you’ll have enough time to get on your connecting flight
  • Here’s what I found:

London to Berlin

Berlin to Madrid

From the above, I think the £80 LTN flight at 1325 and the £39 TXL flight work well. They both use the same airport – so no having to change – plus there’s more than enough time to make my connection. And at £119, it’s a pretty great price too.

This option simply does not come up on Skyscanner – or if it does, it gets lost in the results. In fact, these are the cheapest one stop options it comes up with:

Now, this was just my first try and so with this method, there’s huge potential to save even more money when booking your flights to the Champion’s League final in Madrid!

And remember – this way, you also don’t have to fly from and back into the same airport so check all the options to be in with a chance of bagging super cheap flights.

Good luck!


I hope this has helped you find a flight that works for both your budget and your schedule. If you end up booking something, let me know so I can holiday vicariously through you.

And if you’ve found this useful, give me a follow over on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter for even more cheap travel tips.


I have used affiliate links throughout this article. They don’t charge you more, but if you book through them you’ll be helping me to continue my cheap travel booking hobbies – and make me feel better about spending about 8 hours researching this!! For total transparency though, I’ll have you know that after 2 years, I still haven’t made enough money from affiliate links to actually withdraw anything 😂😂😂

how to stay in luxury accommodation in Iceland on a budget

Here’s how you can stay in this luxury home in Iceland for just £27 a night.

With Iceland not being known as a ‘budget destination’, we were quite ready to spend our week traversing the ring road in pretty basic accommodation.

So imagine James’ face when we turned up here:

It is genuinely one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed in.

But a place like this is likely to set you back hundreds of pounds a night, right?

Wrong.

Here slides in one of my favourite websites: Love Home Swap.

Love Home Swap is what it sounds like – a website that allows you to swap your home with other people across the globe.

Yet, if like me, you think ‘who in their right mind would swap their luxury pad for my gaff?’ then don’t be put off just yet, because they offer an alternative service that for me, has worked an absolute treat.

It’s called a points swap. Quite simply, instead of swapping our home, we swapped points to stay at this beautiful cabin in Iceland.

So how do I get points?

On joining the website, you’ll be allocated points. At the time of writing, these are the current rates:

Lite – 0 points
Standard – 200 points
Premium – 500 points

With my refer a friend link, you get 25% off your first year which brings the Premium membership to £9 a month. You do have to pay in full so this will set you back £108.

Whilst this can feel like a lot, let’s take the Icelandic home of DREAMS you’ve seen above as an example.

On Love Home Swap, it’s 220 points a night meaning that with the Premium membership, you can ‘afford’ to stay there for two nights.

Two nights = 440 points
Premium membership = £108

Therefore, the nightly price would equal £54 costing just £27 each if two of you were staying.

It’s worth saying that this place sleeps SIX (two doubles and two single beds), so if you were heading there with a group, it would be just £9 a night each.

Absolute madness.

Do I have to add my home when signing up?

Yes you do! The crux of this website is swapping your home with someone else, yet the points swap allows you to get started without having someone come and stay at your place.

Do I have to pay up before I’ve booked the place?

You do have to sign up before you can confirm a home but you will get a two week free trial when you sign up that allows you to message people and get something in place before you spend your money.

This is exactly what I did when I used Love Home Swap for the first time for a trip to New York. And look where we ended up!

How likely is it that we’ll find a place?

It depends on where you’re going. Big cities and popular tourist destinations will tend to have more options, but a lot of it does come down to whether the owner has availability, whether they’re wanting to do a points swap (some don’t offer this) and whether you have enough points!

I found it really difficult to find a place in New York and it took me four weeks (I had a month free trial) to bag my place. However with Iceland, I actually found four different places that would accept my points, so it all just depends!

Whatever you find, just make sure you put a reminder in to cancel your membership before your trial is up so that it doesn’t end up costing you a thing.

From my own experience, Love Home Swap’s customer service is brilliant and they were in constant contact with my during my free trial to see if they could help.

How easy is it to cancel?

You’re in touch with a real person by email and so cancelling would be very straightforward if that’s what you needed to do. You can also reach them by phone.

What tips would you give for finding a swap?

Love Home Swap is a community. Whilst they do now have some places that allow you to book ‘instantly’, this isn’t like booking a place on Booking.com or Airbnb. These are largely people’s homes and therefore you may have to wait a little longer for a response and you can’t demand services in the same way that you could with a hotel.

Also, you book homes through messages so my top tip would be to be personable and warm. Tell your potential hostees about yourself. Why are you visiting the area? What are you excited about? What do you like about their home?

If they’ve got five different people offering the same deal, what would make them choose you over the others?

Also, especially if you sign up for the Premium service, you get access to the site’s dedicated ‘Swap Team’ who can find places that match your wants. Use this! It’s their job to help and it will make your search so much easier.

Do you offer a discount?

Why YES I DO cheers for asking pal 🤣 Love Home Swap have a refer a friend scheme that’s open to all their members which gives mates 25% off the prices online. This is genuinely the cheapest way for you to sign up:

2 weeks free trial and 25% off

What do I get in return? 3 months free membership! Cheers lads.

Are you getting paid to tell me all this?

No. I’ve been a full paying member of Love Home Swap for two years and will continue paying whether people use my link or not. In my second year I paid £180 for my standard membership and having already stayed four nights in Napa and two nights in Iceland, it’s more than paid for itself already.

I’ve used all my points up, what do I do now?

I would absolutely recommend getting involved with the Love Home Swap community and accepting points swaps of your own! We’ve had a few people stay at our place when we were away and the points we’ve earned have allowed us to continue our cheap travels.

I don’t fancy home swapping – can I still do an Icelandic road trip for a similar price?

Absolutely. I already had two guesthouses lined up if Love Home Swap didn’t work out.

The first was Centric Guesthouse in Reykjavik .

£33.50 a night each for a double room with private bathroom.

We would have then got on the road first thing in the morning and made our way over to do the Golden Circle.

The second night would have been staying properly nestled into the Golden Circle route in Flagbjarnarholt (catchy) at Elin Guesthouse.

£30 a night each with a shared bathroom, but this property had an outdoor hot tub!

Sure, they’re not as fancy as where we ended up but both are clean and highly rated. They also have access to a shared kitchen meaning that you can really keep costs down when you’re on the road.

Coming up, we’ll be staying in a similar guest house so check back for what we made of it!

7 day iceland ring road trip for cheap – flights, car hire and supermarket prices

I’ve enjoyed frolicking around, making the most out of £5 flights but recently I realised that I was eager for a new challenge.

And what better place to flex my money saving muscles than Iceland?

Renowned for its beauty – and the price tag that comes along with it – I thought it would be the perfect destination to do on a budget.

The challenge (which I do indeed accept) is to get flights, accommodation, 4×4 car hire, petrol, food, drink and activities for a 6 night road trip around Iceland’s ring road for less than £600.

In the first video, we nab flights with Wizz Air for £57.98 each, a 20kg suitcase for £29.50 each (we shared!), 4×4 car hire via Northbound for just £78 per person and our first supermarket shop for £28.50 each.

Total spent so far = £193.98 each

Total left = £406.02 each

FLIGHTS

We flew with Wizz Air from London Luton for £57.98 each. Being Wizz Air club members (€29.99 a year for two people) we saved around £15 each but we could have flown for just £55 without the discount (£39 with!) the week prior – alas, the flights didn’t work for James’ work!

Is it worth joining Wizz Air’s discount club?

If you’re planning on more than one trip per year with them and you’re travelling with the same person, then yes. They also do a group membership for €59.99 where the member + 5 companions get discounts so if you often travel as a family or social group, it’s definitely worth looking into.

The flight itself was more than fine. Wizz Air has a very similar offering to Ryanair so sure, it’s not luxury, but for the price you really can’t complain.

As we were travelling in the winter, we decided to add on one 20kg suitcase which cost £59 – ouch. However, as well as helping to keep us warm with the numerous jumpers packed inside, it also made financial sense as I was able to pack some food bits and towels that we’d later get charged to hire at the geothermal pools.

CAR HIRE

I usually jump straight onto Skyscanner yet I quickly realised that it wasn’t bringing up any local rental companies. Some googling later, I found Northbound who consistently offered the cheapest prices.

Northbound are a broker, so they’ll scour a whole host of local companies to bring you the best price.

As we were there during some pretty icy weather, we definitely needed a 4×4 and I quickly found a Suzuki Jimmy for just £156 for 6 days. At just £26 a day, I think that’s unreal value!

One tip – if you’re searching from the airport, make sure to change your pickup destination to their local office as this can often save you even more money.

On arriving at Keflavik Airport (that’s Reykjavik’s international airport), we looked out for our name on a board and were greeted by a very friendly fella from Lava Rentals. Two minutes later, we were in their minibus and five minutes after that, at their Keflavik office.

We lucked out being the first to be served at the desk (there were around four people behind me) and five minutes later we were in our car and ready to go.

We were honestly so impressed with speed and efficiency of the people at Lava Rentals and would definitely recommend the whole process!

It is worth saying that I reached out to the folk at Northbound asking for more info after noting their cheap costs, and they gave us a Dacia Duster. Lava Rentals show this model online at £40 a day but I bet you could find it cheaper via Northbound‘s site.

All in all, we saved around £60 by booking with them over Skyscanner. NOT TOO SHABBY PALS!

SUPERMARKET COSTS

Finding cheap flights and a cheap car was simple enough, but I quickly realised that if one thing was going to catch me out, it was going to be the cost of food on the road.

I knew that we’d be cooking most of our meals but I was nervous about the prices and whilst I’d watched numerous videos about what to expect, I did feel that this area could be my downfall.

My top tips here are to:

  • Make a food plan at home
  • Work out what you can bring from home (small packets of salt, pepper, etc.)
  • Make a list of everything you need to buy

List in hand, we rocked up to the Netto which was just 400m from the hire car company. The other budget supermarkets are Kronan and Bonus – the latter being undeniably the cheapest – yet as we were fast approaching 9pm, Netto was one of the few places still open.

This is what we ended up buying in our first big shop:

ItemQuanitityISKGBP
Beef mince500g936£5.99
Bags140£0.26
Tortellini pasta1 pack498£3.19
Frozen pizza575g679£4.35
Semi skimmed milk1 litre182£1.16
Orange juice1.5 litre299£1.91
Heinz baked beans400g can99£0.63
Heinz baked beans400g can99£0.63
Red kidney beans in chilli400g can189£1.21
Fusili pasta500g199£1.27
Schwepps tonic2 litre339£2.17
Ham1 pack (6 slices)309£1.98
Sour cream and onion crisps165g pack230£1.47
Spring onionBunch205£1.31
Iceberg lettuceHalf (220kg)94£0.60
Bread1 loaf 820g479£3.07
Coca cola1 litre239£1.53
Salad tomatoes365kg127£0.81
Carrots500g389£2.49
Onions635g98£0.63
Potaotes1.15kg277£1.77
Strawberries250g579£3.71
Chopped tomatoes400g can179£1.15
Chopped tomatoes400g can179£1.15
Red pepper200g96£0.61
Mystery item I can’t rememberN/A156£1.00
Bananas4 (740g)181£1.16
Leek1 (400g)144£0.92
Lemon(1) 190g64£0.41
Lime(1) 95g46£0.29
Lime(1) 90g43£0.28
Skyr yoghurt500g277£1.77
Butter400g459£2.94
Eggs10 pack498£3.19
TOTALS.8907£57.00

Overall, I was super pleased by how affordable most things were. Yes, a little pricier than normal but no where near as bad as I had built it up in my head! I also could not believe that Heinz baked beans were cheaper there than in the UK – MADNESS!!!

The list definitely helped and I found this particular Netto (this one!) had a really good range of items. Everything I looked for, I found!


A great start to the trip – and the money saving – but how will we fare further down the line??!

£5 flights to gothenburg

I know I say this all the time but I genuinely wasn’t planning to go away but when I stumbled across some £5 flights to Gothenburg (cheers Ryanair), I simply could not resist!

That and James had NEVER been to Scandinavia before so we basically HAD to go. Right?!

Now, all things Scandi are known for being chic and… Well, bloody expensive. But the good news is that Gothenburg is probably one of the cheapest places you can visit if you want to get your Nordic on.

Finding your own £5 flights is super simple – watch from 1 min 39 secs to find out how!

the best places to drink beer in munich – with local recommendations

Before we crack on with the beer chat, if cocktails are more your thing, scroll down to the bottom for my list of recommendations that come straight from the locals!


Thanks in large part to the city’s larger than life annual beer festival, Oktoberfest, Munich is the go to destination if you’re looking to sink a few pints.

Oktoberfest serves beer from six breweries, coined ‘the big six’ which each brag lively beerhalls, alive with cantankerous singing and the oom-pah-pah of their raucous bands. Each welcome in rafts of tourists hoping to nail the true Bavarian experience.

And whilst we definitely wanted to do this as well, we were also really keen to find out:

  • Who serves the cheapest pint in the city?
  • Are there any microbreweries in the city?
  • Where can you drink beer whilst also enjoying Munich’s trendy bar scene?
  • And what historic pub features a ploy to make newbies buy the whole bar a round after one simple mistake?! (Niche? Never!)

So here we have it then. Our alternative beer tour of Munich:

Augustiner-Keller

Keeping things traditional, we started at Augustiner-Keller which pours the city’s oldest pint (well, not literally). The brew dates back to 1328 when the Augustinian Monks decided to craft a bevvie that was safer to drink that the polluted water at the time. Nice one lads!

Cost = €7,80 for 1 litre

It was a really nice beer – super delicious – and I tell ya, 1 litre at the start sure goes straight to your head!

The crowd was a nice mix of tourists and German families and friends, enjoying lunchtime together. Out of all of the beerhalls, this is thought of as a more ‘local’ experience.

The food was also excellent – proper traditional German fare – and I may or may not have accidentally ordered six sausages… (Back on the quorn when I’m home – honest).

Whilst we visited in Winter, this is a great place to come when the sun is shining as their beer garden has 5,000 seats!

Cafe Kosmos

Next, we headed to Cafe Kosmos which we heard was a great place to nab a bargain beer.

Cost = €1,30 for 0.3 litre.

It wasn’t a particularly special taste but if you’re on a budget, what a winner.

Its ‘rough around the edges’ feel lends to the laidback vibe and the array of Barbie dolls featured throughout were entertaining in the least…

A real local spot with a shit ton of character.

Stehausschank

This place was our favourite.

There used to be a load of standing bars across the city but this is the last remaining and it’s exactly what it sounds like. A bar. Where you stand.

This place doesn’t seem to have any place online but we simply searched this and headed to the place marked on Google Maps. Do not get it confused for one of the new standing bar additions, Giesinger Stehausschank.

Now there’s something VERY IMPORTANT you need to know about this particular bar and that’s on approaching the hatch where you order you beer, do NOT ring the bell next to it.

This is because whoever rings the bell is BOUND to buy every single person in the standing bar a beer. It’s written clearly to the side of the bell, but only in German, so I’d love to know the number of tourists who have got this wrong! Hahaha.

Fortunately, we were saved by a wonderful local who basically shouted ‘DO NOT TOUCH THE BELLLLLL’ as my hand wavered up towards it. What a hero.

They serve Giesinger beer which is NOT one of the big six – but we’ll explain a little more about them later.

Cost = €3,20 for 0.5 litres

We particularly liked this place because it was so tiny, you simply had to chat to the other people there! I’d found out about this place on a Time Out list yet one local said she was surprised to see us in there – so perhaps it’s not quite as popular as the other usual haunts?

Hofbräuhaus

View this post on Instagram

Ein Prosit

A post shared by Kaytie Lee (@kaytiemlee) on

Here we go then.

Known as the ‘world’s most famous tavern’, Hofbräuhaus is a beer institution and whilst we knew it was a top tourist destination, we still wanted to check what all the fuss was about.

I was particularly wowed by its gorgeously painted ceilings but in all honesty, it was JUST TOO BUSY. 

We did managed to find a table but it took a while to get someone’s attention to order and it was really missing the local feel for us.

Cost = €4,70 for 0.5 litre

It is worth saying that there’s normally a Bavarian band playing music which I’m sure would liven things up – but they seemed to be a on a break when we were there.

I’d still recommend going along, but try and head there at an off-peak time so you can experience it before it becomes overrun! 

Giesinger Bräustüberl

Remember I mentioned that beer that wasn’t part of the big six? Well this is where it comes from!

Giesinger is a smaller, more modern, brewery which makes a whole host of craft beers. Whilst it may not be an official beverage for the yearly Oktoberfest, it’s a brilliant alternative if you’re hoping to sample the city’s wares.

Cost = €3,50 for 0.5 litres 

Having read online that they sometimes turn tourists away over locals, I was a bit nervous on whether we’d get a spot (especially on a Saturday around 6pm) but we got lucky and got the last two seats at the bar. I think the fact that we wanted to eat too, definitely helped.

You can book ahead here, so I’d deffo recommend this as it’s not as central as the other spots (we uber-ed it there in 10 minutes for around 8 euros).

They’ve got a huge choice of craft beers – their own, and many more – so it’s definitely a great spot to check out.

Trisoux

Having necked around 5 pints already, James proclaimed that he was ‘full up’ of beer and so for our next spot, we wanted somewhere that not only served beer, but cocktails too.

Trisoux was recommended by a local via Instagram and it was a really cool bar that was filling up with friends meeting for an early evening beverage or twelve.

Cost = €4 for 0.5 litre

What was great was that the beer on tap was Löwenbräu which, you’ve guessed it, is another big six player so it was a great way to sample that without being squished into a beerhall. It felt quite sophisticated in fact!

James, instead, went for a sherry and soda.

Seriously. 

I’m disgusted.

And thus endeth our alternative beer tour!

Alternative local recommendations

Before you go!

As mentioned above, I did reach out to a few Munich based instagrammers to get their insider tips and the three who got back to me were so helpful.

In general, they all said they avoided the ‘beer’ drinking places but they gave me a raft of bars that they’d hang out in instead.

Here’s what they had to say:

Tobi

Daniel

Charlie

Thank you so much to all three of them for sharing their knowledge – go and follow them to if you’ve found their lists helpful!

the ultimate checklist for finding cheap flights

Finding a cheap flight is a complex beast.

One time it may be a 10 minute job, the next you may spend hours going round in circles, feeling like you’re the main character in a heist movie.

Attention!

This post is a little epic (Homer eat your heart out) as I wanted to compile all the information in one place so I definitely recommend saving for when you’re about to book and then clicking on the scenario that’s most relevant for you:

The first five are fairly straightforward but the latter is my ultimate checklist.

This is something I’ve added to over the years and that I use to squeeze out extra deals. It’s literally all my trade secrets in ONE PLACE 🙈😂

So if you’re somewhat travel savvy already, then I’d head straight there.

Unless, like me, you love this kind of thing, this is a bit of a long read and so remember to bookmark or pin this article so that you can pop back when booking any flights in the future.

Pin me on Pinterest!

This post does include some affiliate links. They won’t boost the price for you, but they will help me to continue running this site!


Before we get cracking, here’s a few things to bear in mind off the bat:

  • Always do your searches in private or incognito mode so that sites don’t inflate prices that you’ve searched repeatedly. This isn’t always needed, but it doesn’t hurt to use it as standard.
  • If you’re spending more than £100 per ticket, always book on a credit card as you’ll have payment protection if the seller goes bust, or the product isn’t as described

Scenario One

WHEN YOU’RE FLEXIBLE ON DATES AND DESTINATION

Option one:

  • Head to Skyscanner, type in your departure airport, click on ‘whole month’ and then select ‘cheapest month’ for your dates
    • You can also type in just your city, e.g. ‘London’ or country, e.g. ‘United Kingdom’, and tick ‘add nearby airports’ for even more options
    • If you’re overwhelmed by results, try selecting whole months instead
    • Good to know: Skyscanner vets all of the travel agents they use and monitor them closely.
Screenshot 2019-02-20 at 16.52.58

Option two:

  • Similar to Skyscanner, you can use Kayak’s flight page to search ‘Anywhere’, however more fun is their ‘explore‘ function which can be accessed by clicking on ‘explore’ in the homepage’s menu (this may be hidden in ‘more’) and pop in your date range and duration
    • Here you’ll gain a map view of potential destinations which is a great visual tool!
    • (Skyscanner actually has a map view too but… I prefer Kayak!)
Kayak

Option three:

  • Head to Ryanair’s Fare Finder – yes, you can only search their flights but the search options are AMAZING. If only all sites had this functionality!
  • First things first, get past the initial page as you can really tailor your search on the next page
  • What I love is that not only can you search ‘anywhere’ and ‘anytime’, but you can also look at the next 3 months and, my favourite, date ranges!

Option four:

Lastly:

  • Before booking, check your chosen flights on momondo – sometimes they’ll find cheaper prices, though this tends to be for long haul flights
    • momondo seem a bit more relaxed on the travel agents they use (hence, the greater range of prices!) so if you’re feeling nervous, check their rating on trustpilot

Scenario Two

WHEN YOU’RE FLEXIBLE ON DATES BUT KNOW THE DESTINATION

Option one:

  • Head to Google Flights, type in your destination and click ‘reset’ on the dates to reveal a calendar that clearly shows you the best prices
  • Don’t worry if you don’t know your trip duration, the calendar shows all options so just ignore this at the bottom
  • What is fantastic about Google Flights is that once you’ve selected your dates, you can also add in a range of filters including bags, stops and times that really help when you need to be specific.
  • It also suggest tips, such as the fact you can fly the same route Premium for £753.
  • Google Flights is amazing for spotting patterns of when cheap flights land however, they often do not show the cheapest prices so once you have your dates, remember to check against Skyscanner and momondo

Option two:

  • Head to Skyscanner, type in your intended destination, click on ‘whole month’ and then select ‘cheapest month’, or, if you know what month you’d like to travel, select that instead
Skyscanner Destination
  • Similarly, you can try Kayak’s flight page which allows you some flexibility on your dates but personally, I prefer Skyscanner’s offering
  • However, there is a weekend option which is good for finding those annual leave friendly flights
  • Also, I really like the explore option that allows you to search a map
  • The explore function also has a ‘holidays’ option that lets you search school holiday dates

Lastly:

  • Once more, before you book, do check your chosen flights on momondo as you may be able to get a cheaper deal here

Scenario Three

WHEN YOU’RE FLEXIBLE ON DESTINATION BUT KNOW YOUR DATES

Option one:

  • Head to Skyscanner, type in ‘everywhere’, and then pop in your dates
Skyscanner flex dest

Option two:

  • Head to Kayak and peruse their explore function to visualise where you could go on a map!

Lastly:

  • Again, remember to whack in your chosen details into momondo as you may save a few bob using this site

Scenario Four

WHEN YOU KNOW YOUR DATES AND THE DESTINATION

Option one:

  • Head to Google Flights, fill in what you want and use their clever filters to navigate the best price once you’ve added all your preferences – check in bags, departure times, stops, etc.
  • This is handy as other search engines may only allow you to search these extras once you’ve selected a flight and so if a particular airline has a cheap fare but an astronomical price for luggage, you’ll be able to spot that using Google easier
  • Once you have this knowledge, or if you simply want the cheapest of the cheap, head on over to Skyscanner and momondo to double and triple check the costs

Lastly:

  • As flight prices can go up and down, it can be sometimes difficult to gauge if you’re getting it for the cheapest price possible. Whilst there’s a lot of theories about when is the best time to book, on a Sunday for example, but it often comes down to market demand – which can be very hard to plot!
  • However, a more scientific way to gauge this is using apps and the Hopper app uses stats to tell you whether to pounce or wait it out
  • I’ve used the app for over a year now and I will admit that I have totally ignored it’s warnings, and gone on to find cheaper flights, HOWEVER, what it is very good for is flagging when you’ve found a KILLER deal – particularly on long haul
  • I’ve also picked up that in general, the closer you get to the date of departure, the more expensive it’s going to get. Just because a flight isn’t sold out, doesn’t mean they’re going to flog the seats for cheap. I once paid £355 (okay fine, work paid) for a last minute flight to Luxembourg and when I got on board, there were only 10 other people on it!

You still with me? Good. Because now is the time to reveal all those little tricks I’ve picked up over the years that can save you hundreds of pounds.

They won’t all work for your specific trip, but what I hope they’ll do is help you develop alternative methods that will not only help you save money, but make you feel like a TOTAL TRAVEL GURU!


Here we go.

THE ULTIMATE CHEAP FLIGHT CHECKLIST

  • Find your accommodation first
    • Well. This isn’t what you expected, was it? But before we get down to the nitty gritty, I wanted to just pop my head up and go ‘yes cheap flights are brilliant and all that but…’ – do not let a cheap flight distract you from the fact that accommodation tends to be the biggest cost when going away.
    • SO. Do have a look at that first because if it means paying an extra £50 for your flight, it will be well worth it if your accommodation is £300 cheaper for that period
  • Top tip: It can be hard to find when hotels are cheap so why not look at Airbnb instead? Whilst there’s lots of choose from, I recommend their ‘Plus‘ range (the creme de la creme of Airbnbs) or try googling ‘best Airbnbs in New York‘ (replace with city of choice, obvs). These places do get booked up quicker but you can use their availability calendar as a starter for dates, and have the peace of mind that you’re staying somewhere lush
  • Oh go on have another tip: the Airbnb app displays the prices in a calendar format but the website doesn’t so definitely get that bad boy downloaded for the easiest way to see prices

OKAY I’M READY TO CHAT FLIGHTS NOW.

  • Check nearby airports
    • Sometimes ticking ‘search for nearby airports’ isn’t enough – you need to manually search for alternative airports
    • For example, did you know that you can reach Birmingham International airport for as little as £7 and it’s only 1 hour and 10 minutes away from London?
    • I used this trip when I needed to find a cheap flight from New York to Miami. Everything was so expensive, but then I discovered that I could fly from Long Island (just over an hour’s train away from NYC) for just £30! I saved myself so much money.
  • Book a multi-city trip to fly from/return to a different airport
    • Travel jargon alert – when you fly from and back from different airports, this is called an open jaw flight
    • If your flight is coming up pricey, it may be that one of your legs is much more expensive than the other. Therefore, why not look to see if you could swap the pricey one to/from a different location?
    • I did this when flying to a wedding in Perugia. The flight out was £30 – SOUND AS A POUND LAD – but the flight back was £270. WITH RYANAIR. I was horrified. So instead, I looked at other Italian airports within a two hour radius and not only did I find a flight back from Rome for less than half the price, it was also BUSINESS CLASS 💁‍♀️💁‍♀️💁‍♀️ (could literally not be more smug).
    • What’s more, the train from Perugia to Rome was a chilled two hour £10 trundle through the Italian countryside with a bottle of prosecco. As I said. Smug AF.
  • Turn your connection into another destination with multi-city
    • Does your long haul flight have a stop? Then why not turn that stop into another destination?
    • Using the multi-city function, enter the flight details that you’ve been presented with flight by flight but instead of a measly 3 hour stopover, change the date so that you can spend some time in that destination instead.
    • So often this will cost the same, or even, if you’re lucky, even cheaper!!
  • Flying to an International hub? Super serve your holiday by adding another destination!
    • If your destination also happens to be one of the world’s largest airports – think Atlanta, Beijing, Dubai and Los Angeles – there could be a chance you could add on another destination for not much more
    • I wrote a blog post about how you can super serve a trip to Dubai by adding in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Vietnam for less than £100
  • If flying to multiple destinations, try flying with the same airline
    • You can get a cracking deal by flying multi-city, but often only if you’re flying with the same airline
    • Why not check out where else the airline you’re flying with goes to and try adding that in a multi-city search
  • If flying with multiple airlines, try booking your flights individually
    • Got a connection and then continuing with another airline? Try popping the flights into multi-city and also individually as one way trips, just to check you’re getting the best possible deal
  • Flying one way? Try searching for a return
    • Yep – sometimes it’s cheaper to purchase a return flight than just one way. Madness.
  • Searching for two people? Try searching individually
    • There may be one ticket left at the cheapest price, so check how much it would cost if you selected the tickets individually in case it adds up to less
    • You could also try booking the cheap rate simultaneously – but most websites won’t be fooled that easily!
  • Not travelling on your own? Make sure you’ve changed your search to reflect it
    • It can be easy to search for prices on the preset of ‘1 adult’, but strangely, you can sometimes get cheaper rates when you’re booking more than one ticket so give that a go too
  • Go on a holiday someone else can no longer make
    • Transfer travel is a site that lets you book unwanted holidays and the great news is that the price you see INCLUDES the name change fees
    • There’s flights, hotels, package deals and even bus and train fares on here!
    • I also really like that some people tell you why they can no longer go – one fella lamented that it was intended as a romantic getaway but they’d unfortunately broken up… 🙈😬🤣
    • I haven’t used this site yet, so can’t vouch for it, but I am SO INTRIGUED
  • Go for a dump
    • I mean a FUEL DUMP obviously (I’m 29 and in desperate need of a better sense of humour)
    • As well as referring to when a plane needs to dispose of fuel, the secret meaning is when you have a connecting flight, but you sack off the last flight and leave halfway through
    • For example, you may find a cracking deal from Inverness (oddly, Inverness often gets airfares cheaper than the rest of the country!!) but you could do with jumping out at London Heathrow on the way back
  • Well, you could technically do this as long as you didn’t check in any luggage
    • Now, this is FROWNED UPON but it’s very unlikely that an airline would take action about you not turning up for your final flight (though some have!) since people miss them all the time, but definitely read up on it before you do this
    • Skipplagged is site that exploits this, though they’re pretty US centric
    • It’s definitely worth saying that you cannot join a flight midway through – you can only ‘dump’ the final leg!
  • Check the departures and arrivals board of your wanted destination
    • If you know exactly where you want to go, it’s definitely worth checking to see what flights are coming in and out. This is because new airlines, or new routes, can sometimes take a while to filter through
    • I saw this recently when looking for flights for a friend travelling to Shenzhen in China. Neither Skyscanner or momondo showed me that a new route served by Shenzhen Airlines was a whopping £300 cheaper than the direct options they were giving me (they are finally coming up in the search results now!)
  • Try foreign search engines
    • Search engines local to the destinations you’re heading may be able to offer you a better a deal – but remember to book with a card that doesn’t charge you a foreign transaction fee
    • When travelling around Vietnam, I came across Baolau‘s search engine and not only did it offer train fares, it consistently offered plane fares for less money than the likes of Skyscanner – and having just checked, it still does!
    • Baolau also works if you’re travelling around China, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines or Indonesia
  • Try booking in a currency that’s seen a sudden dip in value
    • This is quite a new tip I’ve heard about but I like it in theory! The thought is that if a currency dips, you could try to book a flight in said currency and save a lot due to the conversion rates
    • It’s likely that airlines will be across this, but if you’re quick, you might just catch them out!
    • Of course, remember that when booking in a currency different from your own, you may incur a foreign transaction fee so check what rates you have on the card you’re purchasing with!
  • Check business class
    • Now this sounds WILD I know, but sometimes, just sometimes, someone makes a blunder and you might find a better class of seat for the same or less money – it’s happened to me ONCE where it was £25 cheaper to fly business than economy with British Airways. Absolute insanity mate.
The best thing about business class? THE LOUNGE.
  • Double check how much it would cost you to upgrade
    • Often, you can only select different classes for a return journey if you’re booking direct with the airline (which often costs you more that third party travel agents) however, do double check as I once missed a £100 upgrade to Premium Economy when booking with TravelUp (booked via Skyscanner) for a 12 HOUR FLIGHT from Mexico City which I wasn’t allowed to add on after purchase
    • When I got to the check in desk, they said it would cost me £800 to upgrade. I was FEWMIN’
  • Check vouchers and promo codes
    • Now, money off and promo codes aren’t the norm when it comes to booking flights but some third parties, such as opodo, do often flaunt these from time to time so it can be worth a quick google
  • Book an error fare
    • An error fare is exactly that – when someone makes a f*ck up and you reap the benefits
    • You can technically find these yourself but it will take a lot of man hours without the certainty of finding a deal so instead, take a look at the sites listed next who will flag error fares as and when they arise
    • Also heed their advice on booking them – they’re not always honoured!
  • Check Secret Flying
    • Secret Flying is my FAVOURITE website when it comes to a place that compiles the best deals, open jaw flights, error fares – the works! The only problem is that there is just too much on there 😂
    • What’s more, most of their deals are completely free to access
    • My tip would be to sign up for daily emails as you can choose your departure location
    • Also, the search options on their website is pretty helpful
  • Sign up for Jack’s Flight Club
    • Jack’s Flight Club also compiles the best deals out there. There’s a free option that will get you one or two deals a week, but as a paid member (which I’ve been for three years running – it costs £35 a year), you’ll get sent ALL the deals and lists of weekend friendly flights
    • What I will say is that I will rarely see a deal via Jack’s Flight Club that I haven’t then seen for free on Secret Flying, HOWEVER, they do send you an email as and when the deal is found and since you have to react quite quickly to them, I do find this really convenient
    • If you’re on Three, there’s currently a 30 day free trial for the premium service on their rewards app, wuntu, but remember to set a reminder to cancel
  • Sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights
    • Scott’s Cheap Flights is a similar offering to Jack’s Flight Club.
    • I’m not a paying member of this one so alas, I cannot comment further!
  • Check Airfare Watchdog
    • Airfare Watchdog is yet another option, but if you’re searching for that particular flight, it may be worth checking in with what offers they’ve got there as well – JUST IN CASE
  • In general, I find that once one group reports a cheap deal or error fare, they all start circulating it so don’t be overwhelmed by the choices. Perhaps choose just two and check those more often
  • Seen a great deal but it doesn’t fit your dates?
    • All these cheap flight groups are amazing but they may not list all available dates or, if they do, they may have missed one
    • Head to Google Flights and add in the locations and dates that have been given as an example
    • Do not worry if Google Flights aren’t showing the same cheap price – this is normal, as you tend to get the best prices by checking with other websites
    • However, what Google Flights is amazing for is spotting the patterns. So, if the example dates are showing up as say, £400, you can then hit ‘reset’ on the dates, scroll through the calendar and look for other £400 dates
    • Then, whack those newly found dates into Skyscanner and momondo and hopefully they’ll also show the same bargainous price!
  • In general, I find that once one group reports a cheap deal or error fare, they all start circulating it so don’t be overwhelmed by the choices. Perhaps choose just two and check those more often
  • Need a specific fare? Set price alerts
    • If you’ve already download the Hopper (the app that uses stats to give you hints on when to book) and have decided to wait it out, it’s worth setting price alerts on the routes you’re after
    • On Skycanner, you can find this to the right labelled as ‘Get Price Alerts’ after you’ve made your initial search
    • They’ll then email you when prices change – be that up, or down
  • Need bags? Know the airlines that offer them for free/cheap
    • With more and more airlines (we’re looking at you, Virgin and BA) offering fares without bags, if you need to add in some luggage, that cheap rate may not be so cheap after all
  • Google Flights allows you to add in carry on bags to your search
    • Otherwise, keep scrolling through your results on the lookout for an airline that offers bags as standard.
    • A few to look out for are Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Etihad
  • Whilst on the face of it, Ryanair has one of the worst baggage policies since they only allow you a small personal item on board HOWEVER, you can make it work for you since you can add a 10kg piece of checked luggage from £10 each way (used to be just £8 – the scoundrels!)
  • Ignore the ‘upgrade to plus’ nonsense, select a basic/standard fare and on the next page, you’ll be give further bag options
  • This means that from just £20 return, you can go wild on 100ml+ products and even pack a bottle of voddy (no?? Just me???)
  • easyJet also offer a ‘Hands Free’ service where you pay £6 (or £14 for a group of 3 to 6 people) to drop your cabin bag at an easyJet Bag Drop before security – where you’ll receive a tote bag for the items you’ll need on the flight
  • The idea behind this is that you don’t have to drag a case around with you but the total winner is that since it’s BEFORE security, you can have liquids over 100ml in there
  • What’s more, your bags will be tagged as ‘priority’ so will be out first
  • If you have a Pay Monthly deal with Three, you can currently get this service for free but only for the flight departing the UK
  • Bag Drop is not available on all flights so check and book ahead!
  • Lastly, if you’re flying from London, it may be worth checking British Airway’s Holiday Finder as they offer a free checked bag for all flight + hotel deals (they also have a really fun search engine that lets you search destinations by temperature!)
  • Check British Airway’s Holiday Finder
    • As mentioned above, not only do you get a free checked bag if you book with British Airway’s Holiday Finder, you can also get a cracking deal
    • A few times I have found the price of the entire deal to be cheaper than the flight alone –  winner – however, do always check the costs individually because on the flip side, you could end up paying more
    • As well, you can pay just a deposit on bookings over £300 from £75 per person
  • Check package deals
    • Now, I love making life hard for myself so I’m not always a huge package deal fan BUT, after my mate managed to blag flights and a five night stay in a 4 star New York hotel for just £600, I realised that I was probably missing out on a cracking deal or two
    • My favourite place to check is lastminute.com
  • Buy a ’round the world’ ticket
    • Genuinely thought these only existed in 50’s fiction but no, they are indeed a real thing!
    • Skyscanner have done an impressive job of summarising here and have given these following reasons for why you should book one of these rather than doing it yourself via multi-city:
      • Your trip is less than a year
      • You’re not bothered about flying with budget airlines (like Ryanair or AirAsia)
      • You have a set travel plan
      • You’re buying tickets on behalf of a group or family
      • You’re part of a frequent flier programme and collect miles and perks
  • Get a free upgrade – sign up for frequent flyer programmes
    • Now, I wish I could tell you how to nail this but alas, the last time I got a free upgrade was 13 years ago – BLIMEY!
    • However, one thing you must do is sign up for the frequent flyer programmes. Not only will you collect points (that one day may equal prizes in the form of free flights), but you’re just giving yourself that boost up for being selected for a free upgrade
    • Obviously, you’ll be up against all the frequent flyers but HEY, this is a very free way to get your foot on the ladder!
  • Fly for free with points
    • Now, I’m not the best person to talk about collecting miles as I’m a total floozy and will cast aside all brand loyalty to save money
    • However, there are credit cards out there that will reward you with free miles but first things first – DO NOT GET ONE UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO PAY IT BACK MONTHLY
    • As someone who’s not so good with money, I was wary of this so ended up signing up for the American Express Gold card (I’m not gonna link to these as I do not want to encourage anyone to get into debt!) because it is in fact a charge card rather than a credit card meaning that I HAD to pay it off every single month
    • I got 10,000 points by spending (and paying off) £1k in 3 months and with my spending throughout the rest of the year, I earned another 15,000 points which I transferred out to Virgin miles
    • These were the very ones I used recently to upgrade to premium economy for £78 when flying to LA, which would have cost me £800 otherwise
    • So yes, it can work, but be wary and check additional fees
  • Top tip: If you travel by train a lot for work or fun, always book with Virgin Trains as you can add in your frequent flyer number and earn airmiles!
  • Another top tip: Shop with Tesco? You can turn your clubcard points into points too!
  • Is there another form of transport cheaper?

Right. I need a bloody drink. And so do you if you’ve got to the end of that.

Overall, I hope that’s given you some ideas about how you can make your money go further when it comes to booking flights.

Got any more tips? I’d bloody LOVE to hear them so please comment below.

And remember to let me know if you use any of these so that I can holiday vicariously though you all!

Learnt something new? Amazing! If you’d like to say ‘thanks’, you can do so by sharing this post, and by following me on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter!

the ultimate warsaw guide | practical tips you must know before visiting poland’s capital

This ultimate guide to Poland’s capital will clue you up on transport, accommodation, activities and so much more – so you can spend less time faffing, and more time enjoying your trip!