Budget hacks for flights
10 things every budget-conscious college tourist must do before boarding their next flight
Boost your immune system
Did you know that 20% of those traveling the plane often catch the common cold? Since the last thing you want to do is spend your vacation sick in bed, start taking extra vitamin C a few days before your trip. Adding packets of Emergen-C to your water is a great idea! In order to fight lurking germs, bring a travel size hand sanitizer onto the plane with you. Also, consider bringing your own travel-sized blanket, pillow, and headphones, as the ones provided by the airline may not be the most hygienic.
-Alyssa San Agustin
Prep for the flight
If flying isn’t your favorite pastime, but traveling the world is, be prepared to make yourself comfortable for your time at the airport and on the plane. Preparing for travel is just as important as planning for your destination. Bringing your coziest sweater and comfiest shoes, downloading great reads on your Kindle and making a playlist of relaxing music will prevent you from blowing money on impulsive purchases. Tempting airport food won’t be as enticing as mom’s free, homemade cookies and expensive neck pillows won’t be as necessary as a multi-purpose scarf.
Use your time wisely
If you have work to do while you’re in flight, try to save pages to your desktop so that you’re not tempted to splurge on the inflight wifi.
-Elizabeth Tzagournis , Ohio State University
Print your boarding pass at home
Print out your boarding pass before arriving at the airport, because fees at the check-in desk can get pretty pricey. Also, there is really no need to check a bag for a weekend trip, so just stick to a backpack carryon to avoid extra fees.
Pack your favorite snacks
Food and drink prices on board tend to be extremely expensive on flights, especially on budget airlines. For that reason, just pick up a sandwich or a bag of sweets from the grocery store before you head off to the airport. I can guarantee the prices will be cheaper on land than in the air! Don’t forget, if you want to buy a drink at the airport before boarding, make sure to do it after you’ve gone through security or else they’ll make you throw it out.
If you’ve got your eye on a certain city, this site will give you updates as soon as the prices change. Not sure where to go? Skyscanner also has a great feature where you can search “everywhere” and see what the cheapest destinations are! You can also check for great student discounts with Student Universe here.
Fly into smaller cities
Keep in mind that it’s usually cheaper to fly in and out of smaller airports that are not necessarily located in the main city that’s popular for travellers. For example, fly in/out of the Pisa airport if you’re looking to get to Florence, or in/out of the Gerona airport if you’re looking to go to Barcelona. You can usually take a bus or train into each city from there, but just remember to do your research before hand.
Opt for Connecting Flights
RyanAir and other budget lines are great, but triple check where the airport is because there may not be affordable transportation options to the main city. If you have time to spare and are looking to save some money, opt for connecting flights, they’re usually much more affordable.
Unfortunately, airlines misplace luggage way too frequently. If you do need to check something in, keep all of your valuables and a change of clothes in your carry-on. This way, if your luggage gets misplaced you’ll at least have a fresh t-shirt and jeans to throw on while waiting for your bags to arrive.
Extend your weekend trip
To cut the cost of your flight tickets, try not to leave at the busiest days, like Friday to Sunday. If you depart on a Wednesday or Thursday and arrive on a Monday, you’ll money and not have to deal with the larger and more hectic crowds of weekend travel.