Saturday, 31 January 2015

Thrifty Take Off

Photo: Christina Chan
Our August flights to Vancouver are booked and I've excitedly told our friends who live in Washington State to expect us.  Getting them was an exercise in thriftiness and I think that I've been super-successful.  By flying  into Vancouver instead of Seattle that's about 150 miles South we've cut  over £900 of the cost of the equivalent British Airways offering.  That's an awful lot of holiday spending money!

So how was this massive saving achieved?  Not by going via some circuitous route that takes hours longer.  Direct flights from London to that neck of the woods take about 9 hours.  They pop across the North Pole to achieve the time saving. Changing flights at North American hubs add hours to travel time.  I did that once to save a few coppers and learnt my lesson. Hanging around in airports is not how I want to spend my holiday. Nor do I catch flights in the dead of night anymore, ending up back home looking like a sleep deprived dish rag.    This is how I secured directly daytime flights.

  • Firstly, as you might already know, I investigated the costs of flights into  an alternative airport close by to our final destination.  It means we'll have a different place to explore.  Whale watching and cross the hair raising  Capilano Suspension Bridge are  now on the cards.
  • I booked reasonably early.  Flights typically get more expensive the later you book.
  • I used Skyscanner to get some comparison prices.  There I discovered the transatlantic budget airline  Transat  that flies between Gatwick and Canadian cities.  I looked up the fare for the days that we were flying.
  • To shave costs of flying into Seattle we were going to fly out midweek and there was a two figure saving per seat.  Bingo! The price of the Transat flights was the same at weekends adding three extra days to our holiday.
  • Costs of booking on the airline's own site were more expensive than on Skyscanner so back to the comparison website.
After doing all this Salty Dog sent me this link from Thrifty Nomads on Facebook with some extra ideas for cutting flight costs. I think I thought of most things that applied in our own circumstance but some of those other tips might save others with wanderlust an extra penny or two!