Life and Religion
|Travel abroad without walloping your wallet|
|Cost-cuttting airlines, pack light to save on trips|
|Published Thursday, August 9, 2018 7:35 am|
|PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY|
|A round trip from Charlotte to Edinburgh, Scotland is $353 with a combination of cut-rate air carriers and a flight from rural New York.|
If you could travel to Europe for $89, would you?
Cheaper flights from Charlotte to major capitals in the United Kingdom such as London, England or Edinburgh, Scotland often start around $800. If money doesn’t pose a problem, go for it, but if the experience of traveling abroad seems impossible because of financial constraints—yes, we’re looking at you, student loans—we have a few financially friendly methods for you to get there. Next week’s segment is how to save money once you get there.
1) Travel from a different airport
It’s a hassle, but well worth it. Driving from Charlotte to the Catskills in New York (a 10-hour trip) to catch a flight from Stewart International Airport in June saved hundreds of dollars. Stewart is a small public/military airport northwest of New York City.
2) Discount airlines
Flying from Stewart to Edinburgh with Norwegian Airlines (a discount European carrier) cost $89 and another $157 to fly from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Stewart. It cost $48 to fly from Edinburgh to Belfast with EasyJet, a discount British airline.
Don’t be afraid of discount airlines. When I told people I was flying to Scotland for $89, several joked that the plane must not have an engine for a flight to cost so little. I’ve flown with them four times, and never had an issue. Yes, you will have to put up with a bit of inconvenience to save money, like driving 10 hours, however, they do offer flights from airports in New York City, and some airlines offer deals on flights from Charlotte to New York. You are allowed one bag, and each additional bag costs extra. In-flight meals also cost more. However, most people can skip airplane food.
Personally, I prefer to bring my own snacks, and I pack light. For $293 (throw in an additional $60 for gas to and from New York), that’s $353 versus the minimum $800 to fly from Charlotte. That’s nearly $450 you can spend on the experience abroad.
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