1. Bag it up
You have snapped up your ultra-cheap flight and relax thinking you are all sorted. But don’t be so hasty. You may have forgotten about the dreaded ‘B Word’. Yes, baggage costs on the budget carriers can be a real bane.
Hold baggage charges can really ramp up the cost of your flight, especially if you leave it to the airport to add your bag. It is usually cheaper to book bags when you book online. Be aware too that some airlines offer discounts for a 15kg bag as opposed to 20kg, so go lighter if you are on a short trip.
2. Maximise your hand luggage allowance
With hold luggage becoming more expensive, some truly dedicated travellers might want to don pocket-laden combat trousers and waistcoats in order to make extra space for all their worldly possessions. There are even retailers that manufacture space-saving travel clothes – like this – to help you fit it all in.
But a much less uncomfortable solution is maximising your hand luggage. Policies vary between airlines so check exactly what you are allowed and maximise it by taking a bag that fits the exact dimensions of the airline’s limits. Note that many airlines allow you to bring one cabin-sized bag and a small handbag, so you can stow your week’s clothing in the overhead lockers and still keep all your essentials nearby.
3. Nab a decent seat
These days the budget airlines are tending to move away from the scrum of boarding with no seat allocations. You can often book your seat in advance free of charge, but some still charge for the best seats – those at the front and next to emergency exits. If you can check-in online and get in there early, it’s sometimes worth the extra few pounds or dollars for a better seat.
4. Bring your own food
The budget airline pricing model relies on you spending cash in the air, often on overpriced food and drink. Our advice? Don’t.
You are perfectly entitled to take your own food and drinks aboard your budget flight. If you can fit it in your hand luggage, bring a packed lunch or enough snacks to keep you going, and stock up on water after you’ve gone through security.
random bits: lunch on british airways by George Riuz on Flickr (license)