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With the world we live in and the amount of air travellers in the sky each year you are sooner or later bound to end up in some airports that have funny names.  A personal favourite of mine is Batman Airport (BAL) situated in the middle of Turkey. If you have flown to France you might have connected in Brest Airport (BES) or during your travels in Indonesia come across Fak Fak Airport (FKQ)

The list can be made long but then there are the airports that have names that doesn’t really make any sense at all or just sounds strange. Here are 10 of them.

1. Wuhu Airport (WHU), China

2. Xingning Airport (XIN), China

3. Wagga Wagga Airport (WGA), Australia

4. Woodie Woodie Airport (WWI), Australia

5. Wee Waa Airport (WEW), Australia

6. Puka Puka Airport (PZK), Cook Islands

7. Flin Flon Airport (YFO), Canada

8. Gorom-Gorom Airport (XGG), Burkina Faso

9. Linga Linga Airport (LGN), Papua New Guinea

10. Kar Kar Airport (KRX), Papua New Guinea

 

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I have been posting different deals on this page for a couple of months now that I have found and collected on different blogs and numerous pages, not to mention the hordes of e-mail newsletters that I am subscribing too, and I have started to grow a little bit of a fan base. The fan base started off first with a couple of friends but have constantly increased and I have now a lot of fans that I don’t know.

What really gives me strength and desire to continue with this project is every time I get a mail or a message saying “Thank You! You are great!” and this is mainly because a person managed to save some money or found a cheap flight that they were looking for by following this blog.

I have decided to share 10 of my own tips on how to travel and fly cheaper.

1) Pack smart in one bag
The first point and also perhaps one of the main points for travelling cheap is to have light luggage.
Having an oversized bag is not funny either for you or for your fellow travellers.
If you are into getting a really cheap flight then a carry-on bag should contain everything you need.
You will save on both time and money by not having to check-in your luggage which is usually payable at a low-cost airline.
Time will also be saved when you arrive at your destination as you will not have to wait for your luggage and will be one of the first persons through customs – as all the other passengers are waiting for their bags.
Just make sure that your bag is within the size and weight limitations of the airline that you are travelling with.

A list of the most common airlines can be found here Check-In Luggage Rules

2) Be flexible
By being flexible on travel dates and travel time you can save a lot of money on tickets.
Several studies have shown that Mid-week tickets, Tue-Thu are mostly cheaper but any differences will depend on route and how far in advance the booking is made.
By following the behaviour of the airlines you can also save money. Monday nights are when most air fare discounts are launched by the airlines after an expensive weekend and Tuesday is the cheapest day and also the day that people purchase the most airline tickets. The middle-day, Wednesday, is also a good day to buy airline tickets but as you reach the end of the week at Thursday and Friday most of the tickets are sold and you can expect to cough up a hefty price. Maybe you have an airport that is close to your departure point or arrival point that is cheaper to fly from?

More on the different days to book you can find here Which day to book your ticket on

3) Hack your flight
Now this sounds like you have to join the local hacker group on Internet and attack a site.
Not really true but it involves that you spend a little time in the cyber world by using different sites to compare flight prices.  Take a few of your usual flight scanners and look for the tickets that you would like to book. If you can set also multiple dates so the scanner can show you flights a few days before or after your desired dates.
You will find that the prices will be different between all scanners as they all work on different commission bases as well as some special companies can have their own “sales” or “campaigns” or whatever they want to call them.
To turn up the heat a little bit, you can also try to switch country of your search engine. Different countries work with different booking agencies but no matter where you book your e-ticket it is still valid in whole world!
Money can be saved and even if it is just a few euros it is a few euros.

For some more scanners to use you can click here Flight Scanners

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4) Plan and research ahead
How boring it might sound this is also a factor that saves you money.
By doing some research of your coming destination on what is available, where it is available and a cost, you can summarize your own budget pretty good in advance.
Of course spontaneous is funnier and more interesting but being spontaneous is also more expensive.
It all depends on what type of person you are and how much research you do.
Several bigger cities have companies that organizes “free” tours meaning you only tip the guide after the tour for what you think it was worth.
These tours are usually also much more funnier then the bigger “normal” tours as the guide is putting his personal touch to it as he works for your enjoyment to get his salary.

5) Sleep local
Forget the old ways of staying in hotels to be comfortable and safe.
This is where you miss the most of the fun and interesting fact of travelling – the people.
Most of the people like to stay in hostels when they travel but most likely you will only meet other travellers there as well. If you wanna really get under the skin of a city or local people then you should consider to join any of the hospitality networks that are out there. CouchSurfing.com is currently the biggest network with some 5 million profiles covering most corners of the world but you also have other networks like Bewelcome.org or one of the older sites Hospitalityclub.org or the first of its kind established already in 1949, Servas

If you feel that it would be awkward to stay for free at a person’s house then you should look into the new booming trend of people renting out rooms or their flats to visitors. It is usually cheaper than to take into a hotel and you will still have a home away from home.  Some of the major players on the market for home rentals are Airbnb and Wimdu. But you can also find smaller sites that are rising like Roompaddy or 9flats. In the end it all depends on how comfortable you are yourself with trying new concepts and ideas.

A friend of mine were once out hitchhiking his way through Europe during winter and ended up in Belgium with nowhere to sleep in the middle of the night. Not being afraid as he is he just rolled out his sleeping bag and crawled in behind some bushes close to a building to keep the warmth and also protect himself from the winds.

When he crawled out the following morning after a good nights sleep he was looking at some policemen staring at him while drinking their morning coffee. The local police had not noticed him sleeping beside the police station either.

A bigger post on this subject you can find here Where to sleep?

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6) Eat local
Many tourists end up following their guide-book like a slave and follow the recommendations that they bring on restaurants to find “authentic” food which they have read about and made them hungry. Of course the restaurant has now bumped up their prices a but since they now are mentioned in a travel guide and brings lots of travelling customers.

Yet again it is better to use internet and search through the millions of pages there are for more local recommendation of places where you could eat if you really wanna eat on a restaurant. Otherwise if you are sleeping local you might just as well eat local as your host might recommend you where to go for good and cheap food. Maybe even you will get invited for a family dinner? I have several times on my journeys and stayed with locals. On other journeys I have survived on bread, cheese and oranges.

7) Stay healthy
It is always good to stay healthy when travelling to avoid having either the vacation spoiled or spending expensive time at the local doctors office who will most likely send you home with a worse invoice. A few good tricks is to boost up your immune system with some vitamins a few days before you leave and then regularly (every day) eating some vitamins and minerals can save you a lot of troubles.  If you are travelling during summer and or warm periods then you should also consider to stay well hydrated by drinking water and not by drinking drinks that contains caffeine as caffeine is also diuretic.

Having some pain killers containing the substance Ibuprofen is also good a good investment as ibuprofen is anti-inflammatory which can avoid some smaller inflammations.

8) Exchanging Money
Not a lot of people are actually thinking about this but this is a place where you can save a lot of money.
If you are travelling to a country with the same currency as you have at home you can jump directly to point 8 or keep on reading if you are interested for future travels.
This requires a little bit of investigation from yourself before leaving the comfort of your home.
A simple check list is to check what your bank fees are if you plan to use the card abroad. Also check what the current exchange rate is at – you could save a lot of money if you know it!
Avoid exchange at the airports, train and bus stations as they always have the worse rate for “fresh” arrivals.
Shop around for rates in different exchange offices and carry a small calculator with you (that is usually built-in on your mobile phone)

For a more in-depth post about this you can click here Exchanging Money

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9) Carry a fake wallet
One thing that I hear constantly from travellers is that they have been mugged or robbed at some point.

When this happens it is not just an economic hit but also a traumatic shock and an emotional hit making you not feel well and be worried for the most of your continual travels.
One advise is to NEVER carry all your money at the same place.
Distribute them out over several places in your bag or on yourself.

Get a shoe wallet, a nifty little thing you can hide in your shoe with the money.
I usually roll down money in my sock along the leg.
But another useful tip as well is to make a Muggers wallet.
A fake wallet that you hand over to any mugger if being robbed but it doesn’t contain much, just looks like it. Of course you will lose a little bit of money but not everything.
Put in some bills mixed with fake ones, a large note in front of several smaller makes a good impression when a mugger is in a hurry.
Ad an expired ID card or something that looks similar with a photo, a photo ID library card is good or a transportation card.
Put in some old receipts, business cards and maybe even some old discount card in the credit card look.
If you have an old credit card or similar that has expired it is even better. Just make sure it can not be used in any way. Everything to make the wallet look “real”
Also use the wallet for making small purchases so that any thief will see that one and not your “real” one. Just make sure that you are paying with the real bills and not the fake ones, that is illegal.

10) Still wanna pack more than fits in 1 bag?
Then you need to become creative.
Wear several pieces of clothes on you and stuff the pockets with extra things.
Wear the “heavier” clothes on you like jeans, jackets and sturdy shoes.
Wear trousers with big pockets and side pockets like the pilot model so you can put more things in the pockets or simply get a photo/fisherman vest which have a lot of pockets.

A friend has the fisher version of the vest which has a pocket on the back where he puts his netbook when flying to save on the weight of the carry-on bag.
Or maybe you should invest in a pocket jacket like the Rufus Roo?

More information on how to pack yourself is available on this link Carry-On Travelling Lite

Vaclav Havel airport, Prague

Vaclav Havel airport, Prague

You wanna buy flight tickets for the upcoming christmas holidays but have decided to wait to see if the prices fall?

When it comes to bigger holidays there is really nothing to be gained by waiting to buy the tickets as the rule of the thumb is for regular carriers unless they have decided to release a special deal. But to be completely honest I have noticed a significant decrease of mails in my inbox from airlines advertising their “special” offers. Around holidays people will buy tickets anyway.

What will waiting cost you?

  • Add about 4€/$5 per day: For tickets booked from late November to second week in December
  • Add about 8€/$10 per day: For tickets booked after second week in December

Usually it is the date 18th December when airlines are selling their “cheap” tickets and the following day on the 19th December the ticket price will skyrocket with an average of 30 to 70% as the late birds always have to pay more. The rise in price is of course dependant on routes and cities.  Another rule of thumb here is the longer the flight is, the higher price you will pay. Flights that are an hour or less usually don’t have such an increase in prices.

Cheapest day of flying?

As you probably already have figured out the most popular days to fly are also the most expensive.
Generally the cheapest days of flying during christmas holidays are Christmas Eve/Day (24th or 25th Dec) and New Year’s Day 1st January. While the most expensive days to fly this year will be on Saturday and Sunday before Christmas 22-23rd December.
The Sunday before New Years meaning 30th December is also one of the most expensive days to fly on.
Mid-priced days are the Thursday after Christmas and New Year’s  27th Dec and 3rd Jan. Also the 29th Dec and 5th January which are the Saturday after Christmas and New Years are to be regarded as mid-priced days.

Finding cheaper tickets?

How amazing it might sound you still pay for comfort and if you plan your travels with a connecting flight as oppose to a direct flight you can save about 15-20% as direct flights always are more expensive. This does however vary on different routes and as comfort costs, always compare to be extra sure. Another trick is to fly from a major airport as they are in fact usually cheaper than smaller airports. The larger the hub is, the cheaper the flight will be.

Saving even more money on the ticket price?

As mentioned several times in this blog. Pack light. Count how many days you will be away and pack accordingly. Pack as if going for vacation with consideration to pack items that can be worn in several ways and combinations. This will save you both on check-in baggage fees and eventual carry-on baggage fees. Also you will hopefully manage to pack with you the christmas presents as well.
Weigh the bag/s before you head to the airport. Remember that this is a heavy holiday with lots of travellers and cues to be long. Having overweight check-in or carry-on WILL stress you out as it will cost you extra money and in worse case you have to start dumping clothes or things in the nearest trash can. A great way to start the holidays.

If you have done a road trip before, meaning spending several hours behind the steering wheel of a vechicle with someone else, you know that all those long hours will become boring at one point. You need to entertain yourself in one way or another. Some play games counting words or colors of cars or even verbs on top of other verbs. And then there are those who discuss about the meaning of life which can be a quite a boring subject or even break the road trip total as you find out that you have totally different views and opinions. And then there are those who sing.

And what do they sing?

If you would like to visit Stockholm also known as “The Capital of Scandinavia” in Sweden then this is something for you.

The company Visit Stockholm is currently holding a contest on their facebook page until 16th December 2012.

You must be 18 years of age or older to participate in the contest and hold a valid Facebook account.

The prize contains two nights at Hilton Hotel Slussen, Stockholm Cards and flight tickets to Stockholm, Sweden from Scandinavian Airlines gateways in Europe.

The prize is valid for two persons and the estimated value 7000 Sek = 811 Euro

To enter the competition please visit their facebook page here

Yesterday morning a Lufthansa Boeing 747 was en route from New York to Frankfurt with 264 passengers on board when the first officer became “incapacitated” while it was flying over the Atlantic. A passenger stepped in to help landing the big aircraft in Dublin.

Read the whole story at Irish Examiner

The Chinese carrier China Eastern is currently offering a limited amount of tickets for a very good prices on fork flights departing from Rome to Kuala Lumpur with return to the German city of Frankfurt. A flight with all taxes and fee is available to buy for 459 Euro. Departure is between 1st January and 31st March 2013 with a maximum stay of 6 months.

If you wanna visit Thailand then you can also take a fork flight to Bangkok by departing from Rome and return to Frankfurt for the price of 461 Euro. It is even possible to book a multi-city ticket from Rome to Bangkok and return to Frankfurt from Kuala Lumpur or vice versa for 462 Euro.

A few booking examples below from Expedia.de

Rome – Malaysia – Frankfurt 20.01-04.02  459 Euro

Rome – Bangkok – Frankfurt 20.01-07.02 461 Euro

Rome – Bangkok/Kuala Lumpur – Frankfurt 20.01-07.02 459 Euro

Rome – Kuala Lumpur/Bangkok – Frankfurt 20.01-07.02 461 Euro

To search for more dates suitable for you and booking please visit your local Expedia branch but so far Expedia.de seems to be the cheapest.