By Kristen Gressly, Guest Writer
As Thunderbirds, we have an affinity for travel. But as grad students, we have, unfortunately, little cash to spend. This dilemma makes it difficult to be true to ourselves, and fulfill our wanderlust. As someone who is both broke and craves travel, I’ve explored many options for inexpensive travel with an understanding that flights are, for the most part, the big money drains.
Norwegian Air has been my go-to airline for years, and it has allowed me to travel to places I thought I’d never be able to afford at this stage of my life (I’ve got the time, just not the cash). I’ve been to the Czech Republic, England, Croatia, and Norway through this airline.
To introduce you to the site, I’ll walk you through my process using a LAX to London flight booking as an example. If this interests you, check out the site for yourself.
First, I go to the Norwegian Air website (norwegian.com), then click on the drop down menu, top left corner. This destinations page shows me all the lowest fares per month and per city based on my preferred airport of origin (in this case it’s LAX). I can filter based on my needs. The page will look as follows:
Once I find something of interest, for example LAX to London-Gatwick at $159.90 for an outbound flight, I click on it and follow the prompts. The first process is to select the outgoing flight, then the return flight.
I choose the best days and prices for my needs.
With my spring break Euro-trip selected, I proceed to book my flight.
I have options to upgrade, naturally, but I’m only bringing a carry-on for a week and I don’t feel I need the other options (read the option’s offerings before making a selection). Also, you can select the in-flight meal option, or bring your own food, or buy food on the flight.
I selected the low-fare flights for both my departure and return. The last time I flew to London I chose Lowfare heading out, and then Lowfare+ on my return to be able to bring a checked-bag with me on my return. (I anticipated some mad clothing shopping in England, was looking to upgrade Kate Middleton style.)
In the end, my round-trip cost from LAX to London and back totaled $400.
A couple pointers: I use other carriers to get from Arizona to California, such as United Airlines, which usually costs me $40 from Prescott to LAX and has free parking for up to ten days. Once in Europe, I typically fly Ryanair or Easyjet. For example, a flight from London to Bordeaux through Ryanair is about $45. Hope that helps with future voyages!
Happy bookings and don’t let money quell your wanderlust. If there’s a will there’s a way—sometimes it just takes a little research.
Kristen is currently studying in the International Economics and Political Studies program at Charles University in Prague.