Since Ross and I met, over 3 years ago, we have done our fair share of plane journeys. We have visited so many places, Italy, Australia, Germany and UAE to name a few, and found that there are so many tricks of the trade which can be easily used when bagging a cheap few days away.
I think most people are put off travelling abroad due to the associated cost, but it doesn’t always have to break the bank. A main cost of holidaying can be your flights, but I have found that for most of our trips we have managed to get decent flights for a decent price. I can’t take the credit for this however, I don’t sit for days scouring websites for flights – instead, I let two apps do it for me.
The key to finding good flights is organisation and these apps will certainly help you with that. Flights typically get released 11 months in advance and are usually at their cheapest then (but they can fluctuate). Id say if your planning a long-haul trip, get looking as soon as you can because you can save yourself some serious £££.
SkyScanner searches 1000+ flights at once to get you both the cheapest and fastest routes. It’s that easy – put your dates in, where you want to be and next thing you know, you’re on the plane, kinda. A feature I find great about SkyScanner is that you can do one of two things: either search to go ‘everywhere’ or search to go at ‘anytime’. I think this is amazing because you can build you diary around when the flights are cheapest, meaning that you can now tell if you go on a Tuesday rather than a Monday for example you’ll save money! Also, if you’re like me and just fancy getting away, not really caring where – then search to go anywhere! Just put your dates in and it’ll tell you where is cheapest to go at that time. Through this feature we have managed to get flights to Paris for £50 and Berlin for £70!
Hopper is similar but BETTER – Hopper does all those great things but also predicts the fluctuations of prices too! So if you’re strapped for cash but planning to get away, Hopper will predict when the prices are due to rise and fall and its actually really reliable. We booked to go to Australia via Dubai through Hopper and overall it cost us around £550 each – we were originally budgeting to spend at least £900 each on flights so this saved us HUNDREDS. We were able to track the price with notifications and as soon as it dropped, we booked.
Now, I have become a veteran of the long-haul flights (My Dad lives in Australia so I have travelled there A LOT, but that’s for another blog post). Due to this, I have come to the realisation that looking good on a long haul flight is impossible. But staying hydrated, moisturised and fresh – is easy as, and it doesn’t take a lot. I religiously take the following three items on a long-haul flight and I genuinely feel like they stop me from breaking out/dying up/ feeling like a mouldy potato.
Nip & Fab Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads: Planes aren’t the easiest of places to start whipping out your cleanser, toner, face mask etc. so I find that the Nip & Fab pads do an amazing job at keeping the skin cleansed, plump and hydrated. One of these pads can only be described as an instant refresh.
Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream: This moisturiser makes me skin feel super soft and healthy and gets rid of the drying feeling planes give your skin, its the perfect hydration fix and I’d be lost without it.
Aesop Resurrection Rinse Free Hand Wash: This rinse free hand wash makes you hand’s feel the cleanest without even being near water – again, perfect for travelling. It cleanses, sanitises and smells heavenly.
As we have been abroad more in the last few years I have come to the realisation that you need to travel like the locals. Too many times have I been stung by crazy taxi fares or walked in the sun so far I’ve vommed up my milkshake on the Roman Coliseum (true story) but now we do things differently. Undergrounds are the way forward! Nearly all cities will have an underground, tube like system of transport which is CHEAP, easy to navigate and CHEAP (did I say that?). Berlin, Rome, Paris, London, New York, Madrid – all have underground systems for very good reasons. We got a Berlin transport pass to use for the duration of our trip for under £15 and one in Paris for a similar price. Use them!
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat in touristy areas and I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t mind paying over the odds for amazing food but when it comes to eating abroad its about moderation and quality. I don’t think there is any issues with eating in the popular areas and some of the best food I have ever eaten has come from this environment – the best Gnocchi ever was consumed whilst staring at the Pantheon in Rome HOWEVER, it is possible to find amazing food down back alleyways and secret areas away from the popular tourist areas. My personal experience with these places is always eat in the places which aren’t catered to English people. I find that these places have the best prices, as they’re aimed at locals and also serve up flavours which you didn’t even think were invented. Nothing less than amazing.
Some of the hidden jems I have found so far:
All of the places above are off the beaten track, serve up phenomenal food and are home to some of the best food in the world, in my opinion anyway. As I’m a proper piggy I always research where I’m going to eat before I go but occasionally scrap it if I see an amazing place but I feel like this way you cut out the sh*t meals where you feel like you’ve wasted your money!