Hey friends :)
Slowly the dust is settling and I'm creeping out of jetlag-zombie-mode in good old Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It's been just over a month since my little adventure started in Italy and it went better (and worse, in some cases) than I could have ever imagined. All the stories will be up here, here and here throughout the next month.
Before there was adventure though, there was saving and preparation. One of the main (and most expensive) things was getting my body from the south end of Africa to Europe.
Here's how I got from South Africa to Italy for €200 (R3600)*.
1. The right search resources
I found my flight using skyscanner.com, which is a flight-searching (and hotels, apparently!) website which allows you to filter your departure point, dates of travel and more to help you find the best deals. I can't preach about this site enough, yo. Go check it out yourself.
I had planned on starting my first Euro adventure in Paris and vagabonding my way around France, Basque Country, Spain and maybe Italy afterwards. When I finally had all my money at my disposal though, the cheapest destination from Johannesburg (by a mile) was Venice. Well, guess I was going to Venice first then!
3. A little inconvenience
This was the real doozie. A major factor in why I got my flight from Johannesburg to Venice for the low price (only booked 10 days in advance!) was a layover in Abu Dhabi, UAE. That was 20 hours long. And I had no visa. So I chilled at the airport.
As airports go, AD is a great choice to be stuck in for 20 hours! Free unlimited Wi-Fi, quality showers, comfy couches for naps, the works. If you're not too fussed, long layovers are one simple cost-saver when you're trying to fly around the world. Just make sure you have a change of clothes and maybe some toiletries in your hand luggage, maybe some snacks and something to do!
Watch the trip before the trip in my transit vlog here:
Aside from what I did this time around, there is a whole range of solutions for expensive airfare eg:
- Using Frequent Flyer reward miles earned from using a particular airline or alliance often. Some give reward miles for using their own special credit cards on everyday purchases too!
- Booking early (some research has found that 7 weeks before your trip is the sweet spot)
- Keeping an eye out for glitch airline fares on sites like airfarewatchdog.com (pretty US-centred) or Secret Flying
- Marrying a pilot..?
Stay golden and subscribe to the YouTube for much more travel talk!