We can’t all commandeer a private jet to fly off to Belize on a whim, but even if you don’t have the dough, you can still get to your dream destination. So if you’re willing to forgo the luxury, check out these budget airlines. They’ll get you where you need to go, and you’ll have some left over to spend on your vacation.
Flying between 30 countries, U.K.-based EasyJet flights are perfect for jetting across Europe and parts of the Middle East. One-way tickets are usually $50 or less, and there’s even a feature on their website, “Inspire Me,” which can make suggestions on where to head next based on your budget and departure city. Live spontaneously!
RyanAir is a favorite among travelers looking to hop around Europe, the U.K. and Ireland in particular. Flights are jaw-droppingly cheap (10 euros from London to Dublin), but beware of trying to bring on luggage. They’ll nail you with overweight charges, so if you need to check a bag, try to wear as many articles of clothing as possible – planes are often over-air conditioned anyway, so you won’t look that weird with three jackets on…
If you’re looking for a good way to get around South America, LAN should be your go-to airline, flying between many major cities on the continent as well as to several U.S. hubs such as Miami. A nicer plane than most of its budget neighbors, LAN offers individual TVs and gives you the option of tons of movies. Check its website for the killer deals, or sign up for email newsletter to get them delivered to your inbox.
You may not have thought about Iceland as a destination, but it’s seriously cool. Plus, if you’re on your way elsewhere, it makes a perfect layover – but be sure to give yourself enough time to really check out the country. IcelandAir allows you to add up to seven nights in Iceland as a stopover on flights from the U.S. and Canada to Europe – just enough time to hike a volcano and soak in the natural hot springs before continuing on your journey.
JetAmerica has perhaps the cheesiest Americana, but its deals are hardly anything to laugh at. A “9 seats for $9” promise on every flight means that you can grab bottom deals to head around American Northeast, Midwest, and Florida destinations. It takes some finagling and a lot of luck to snag one of these spots, but it’s definitely worth the effort!
Air India Express
Flying throughout India and the Middle East, Air India Express is the cheaper option to its parent, Air India. It still offers free in-flight meals and decorates its planes with some serious artwork, so you won’t even feel like you’re budgeting. Plus, they’re supposedly expanding to Europe and the U.S., increasing your options even more.
Wizz Air, based in Hungary, is the go-to for central Europe, as well as much of Western Europe, for cheap flight options. Beware of the airport destinations, however, as Wizz keeps the prices low by flying to more out-of-the-way airports, meaning you may need to hop a train-bus-taxi combo to get into the city center – worth it if you’ve got the time and energy to spare.
Air Berlin was actually voted Europe’s best low-cost airline by Skytrax in 2012, and with good reason. Running flights between Europe and parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa, it has a reputation for efficiency and customer service, and offers free in-flight entertainment on all flights. Not to mention the notably delicious food that’s available to order.
WestJet is a fairly new arrival to the budget airline game, but it has made a name for itself running flights from its home base in Calgary and throughout Canada to the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. The biggest perk? It even offer deals at airport lounges before flights, usually reserved only for high rollers on bigger airlines, so you can stuff your carry-on with free water and rolls before you board.
Last but definitely not least, AirAsia has some serious deals across Eastern Asia, including Myanmar, Malaysia, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and more. Deals go as low as $3 (usually for intra-country flight, but still), so you can traverse the continent without breaking the bank!
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