I'm Dutch, which means I enjoy two things immensely: windmill cookies and a good deal. So when it came time to find a flight to Europe, I was looking for an inexpensive one to accommodate my non-Julia Roberts level actor budget. How to find cheap flights? Well, as it turned out I found a great deal with a European airline.
The airline I found is called WOW Air, perfect for budget travel. Ah yes, that giant pink vessel floating across the Atlantic. This Icelandic airline offers low-cost flights to and from Europe, usually with a layover in Iceland. While it's a fabulous airline for travelers looking to save money on the flight itself, something to note is that they can make up for this by charging for pretty much everything else. The charge for luggage can be an extra $40 or almost $100 if purchased at the gate, and even carry on suitcases are not free. The only luggage not charged extra is a personal item, which can be a purse, briefcase/laptop bag, or small backpack. Never one to back down from a good travel challenge, I was determined to avoid that extra luggage cost and fit everything into a small backpack, with the knowledge of course that I'd have to do laundry several times while over in Europe.
Something to consider when booking flights to Europe, especially if you'll be traveling around to different countries, is to book 2 one-way tickets as opposed to a round-trip ticket. Initially I had booked a round-trip ticket from Los Angeles to London thinking that was the best deal, but in reality it would have made my journey more expensive and inconvenient. Had I stuck with a round-trip ticket, I would have had to get from London up to Edinburgh and then back down, and then at the end of my trip in The Netherlands I would have had to get back to London just to fly home. Thankfully I was able to get a refund and instead booked a one-way ticket to Edinburgh, worked my way down to London, Paris, and then The Netherlands, and then I just flew home from The Netherlands. This ended up being the same price as the round-trip ticket and much more convenient overall.
Back to WOW Air though, in addition to the baggage fees, all food and drinks are charged as well, so my suggestion would be to purchase a large water bottle and snacks to bring with you on the flight. Although sometimes an in-flight wine purchase is necessary, as it'll totally help you fall asleep and pass the time quicker. Two glasses of wine if there's a screaming child.
My last note about WOW Air is that sometimes their layovers in Iceland can be quite long. My layover on the way to Scotland was almost 18 hours, so depending on your interest and budget, it does allow the opportunity for extra exploring in Iceland as well. If you have an overnight layover and need somewhere inexpensive to stay near Iceland's International Airport in Keflavik, I recommend the Base Hotel. This former American military base has been converted into a hostel and since hotels in the area can be expensive, this place offers the best deal around, however shuttles to and from the airport are not included and need to be purchased separately through Shuttle Iceland for around $20 per trip.
Up next I'll cover my packing tips for Europe and also how to keep things light.
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer, comedian, and television producer who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com