Budget Travel

Fly to Europe for Under $70 From the East & West Coast! (& The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Low-Cost Carriers)

What’s the Deal?

WOW Air has one way flights from East and West coast to Europe for as little as $69.99 this spring!

Coming back to the US will be more expensive, but still cheaper than most One-Way tickets to Europe. Return flights start at $189.99.

 

Departure Airports:

  • San Francisco
  • Boston
  • Miami (Starting in April 2017!)

 

Destinations Include:

  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Bristol, England
  • London, England
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Frankfurt, Germany

 

Keep in mind that WOW Air is a budget airline, so this price only includes flights. Extras like selecting seats, checking bags, and stowing a carry on in the overhead bins incur extra charges.


HOW TO SURVIVE A FLIGHT ON A BUDGET AIRLINE

Since discovering RyanAir’s 9 Euro one-way flights, I’ve fallen in love with low-cost carriers. They make travel far more accessible for a wider range of budgets, create competition in the commercial airliner world, and make you a more savvy shopper. Although they’re slightly uncomfortable sometimes, they still leave extra cash in your wallet that could be spent on epic activities at your final destination. Now that you’ve booked a low-cost carrier, how do you get the most bang for your buck?!

 

THINGS TO DO AHEAD OF F-DAY (FLIGHT DAY)

 

Check luggage and Carry On restrictions

Each airline has different rules when it comes to allowable sizes of luggage. Most incur a hefty additional fee if it’s too big or heavy. Some even charge a fee if it goes in the overhead bin.

 

Choose when to ‘splurge’

Choosing seats on most Low-Cost carriers isn’t a huge cost. Sometimes the difference between being cramped for 6 hours and not is about $15. Personally I prefer to get the BBC (Budget Business Class; yes, I just made that up) and find that it is worth it if the flight lasts longer than an hour.

Check in FAR in Advance

If you show up to the airport without checking in you will have a BAD time. This is one $60 mistake I made once, that will not be made again. Even having to pay $60 to check in was getting off lucky; there are multiple horror stories of people getting bumped off the flight because it was overbooked and budget airlines operate on a ‘first check-in, first serve basis’.

Print Your Boarding Pass

This is another $80 lesson learnt the hard way. ALWAYS make sure to print your boarding pass AND keep a copy on your phone just in case it might get lost.

Book All Extras in Advance

Snacks, seats, and luggage all exponentially become more expensive as you get closer to take off. Do your wallet a favor and buy them when you purchase your ticket.

Double Check Airport Locations

Budget airlines have to save money at all costs, so a lot of the airports they fly into are far from the cities they say they’re flying into. For example, London Stansted airport is about an hour and fifteen minutes (by car) to London. Map out the transportation your final destination well in advance.

Purchase your Own Travel Insurance + Car Rental

In-house Budget Airline insurance choices are usually limited and expensive. You’re better off paying for a company that specialized in travel insurance that’s more inclusive and well-known. If you’re under 25, you cannot rent a car through RyanAir’s car rental agency. EVEN THOUGH YOU VERIFY YOUR AGE AND IT DOESN’T SAY IT ON THE SITE. To add insult to injury, they won’t refund you. It’s much less of a hassle to just go through alternative methods for car rentals.

 

THINGS TO DO ON F-DAY

 

Only Take a Carry On

For years I have struggled with being a notorious over-packer. The cost of checking a bag is more than the actual plane ticket on some of the low-cost carriers. It’s best to just bring a small bag with the absolute necessities. You’ll thank yourself when you’re trying to make it up the stairs to the hostel you’re staying at and you packed minimally. Helpful Hint: If a budget airline says you’re only allowed ONE bag, they mean ONE BAG. Not a carry on + a purse/briefcase; ONE BAG.

Wear Larger Items on the Plane

Giant puffy coats take up a lot of space in small bags. No matter the weather at your departure airport, wear it. This will save valuable room in your bag without sacrificing long-term comfort at your destination. Large shoes? Wear them. Thick socks? Wear them. Giant Scarf. Wear it. Bonus points if you have a ton of pockets to put your things in. Be sure to make it to security with lots of time to spare.

BYOF (Bring Your Own Food)

Luckily that 1-bag restriction for carry ons doesn’t apply to plastic bags full of things purchased inside the airport. Although food is still expensive in the airport, it’s usually cheaper than what can be purchased on-board the flight. Do yourself (and your stomach) a favor and buy delicious treats before takeoff. Little known fact: you can bring food from home on a flight! Just make sure it isn’t a liquid, and you can keep it. It may take up space in your carry on, so if that’s a concern just buy it at the airport.

Dress Comfortably

Low-Cost Carriers make enough money to stay afloat by having smaller seats, allowing more passengers. This means it’s cramped and passengers won’t have much personal space. Budget flights feel much more comfortable in yoga pants with trainers than some of the more upscale airport attire you always happen to see.

Stand as Close to Bus Doors As Possible

Many budget flights don’t have ramps to the plane. Instead, you hop aboard a bus and ride over to the plane. When getting on this bus, stand as close to the doors as you can possibly get. This means you will be the first to disembark, and the first to climb into the plane. This can be extremely valuable since there isn’t much space in the overhead bins and they fill up fast.

 

This all may sound like a lot of hassle, but it’s absolutely worth it to get to see all these places. Once you learn how to work the system, budget airlines are AMAZING ways to see the world.

About Author

Addie

World traveler. Health nut. Adrenaline Addict. Pilot. Scuba Diver. Surfer. Lover. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

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