Budget European Airlines

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments


I’m flying the friendly budget skies in a few days. Headed to the other side of the big pond. A couple of blog posts ago, I promised my readers a little information about budget European airlines. This is a short but sweet little attempt to do just that. The cost of flights tends to be one of the priciest aspects of travel, but wait until you hear about the prices I paid when I booked flights for several trips within my upcoming trip.

Although living in Torre Del Mar, Spain is indeed a treat all on its own, we always make a few travel plans while there. The beauty of living abroad part time is that I get to enjoy the comforts of my home-away-from home while still venturing out to do some serious exploring. And, the beauty of doing my exploring from Spain is that budget European airlines are abundant and truly inexpensive.

Once you pay for that flight to cross the Atlantic, you can travel between European countries quite cheaply if you know what to do.

I”ll be flying RyanAir and Vueling this year. Both depart from Malaga. RyanAir is an Irish budget airline between European countries. It can be extremely cheap to fly with Ryan. I’m boarding a RyanAir flight in Lisbon, Portugal to fly to Porto, Portugal. I will also be taking a flight from Malaga to Santiago de Compostela. I’ll return to Malaga via Vueling, a budget Spanish Airline.

Here’s the good part. None of these flights cost over thirty dollars and the flight from Lisbon to Porto was around ten dollars. I really couldn’t have saved more money if I’d taken a bus.

Here’s the bad news. In order to save the most money, I must travel as light as possible. That means no checked luggage, only a purse and a very small carryon that can fit under the seat in front of me. The budget airlines are extremely strict about not only weight but measurements. I don’t want to incur extra charges which can mount up quickly, so I’m challenging myself to travel even lighter than usual. That means that I will bring my Travelon cross-body purse and a backpack. The backpack is REALLY tiny. It literally folds up and can be stored in its own little zippered pocket. I always bring it along just in case. It’ll be my carryon for these two trips. Made of a thin material, it can’t hold a lot, so I’ve settled on one change of clothes, my essential makeup, toothbrush, comb and travel hot rollers. That’s it! I’m embarrassed to admit that I do not travel without my hot rollers, but that’s the truth and I must be as candid as possible

I’ll be in Portugal for eight days and Santiago de Compostela for four days.

The items that I’ll be carrying will suffice. If need be, I’ll hand wash a few pieces of clothing in one of the hotel rooms and hang to dry in the bathroom. The beauty of it all is that my gypsy spirit loves roaming without encumbrances and my fiscal habits demand the best deal I can get.

I must mention as well that I’ll be flying TAP, a Portuguese airline, from the US to Malaga.

While not a budget airline, I did manage a very inexpensive round trip ticket with TAP. I must admit, however, that the savings came with a bit of sacrifice on my part. I had to be willing to endure a rather lengthy layover in Newark. I’m not fond of long layovers, this one is about eight hours, but because I usually travel longterm, I don’t have to worry as much about losing some of my precious time sitting in airports when I’d rather be exploring my destination. The typical vacation tends to be a week to two weeks and that makes every moment pretty precious. In order to do longterm travel on a budget, I have to shift my priorities, however. It becomes increasingly more important to save money so that I can cover expenses for many more days, even weeks and months. I’ve been known to hit the road for up to eight months before and so finding ways to save money has become an obsession.

Every dollar saved today buys me an additional day at another destination.  

I’ve read mixed reviews about TAP flights, especially when it comes to comfort, but I’m willing to to give it a try. I’ll be anxious to report back on my personal experience. Until then, wherever you may be going …

Happy trails!


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