Cheap Flights

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How to find cheap flights

Well we don’t necessarily want to tell you all our secrets, as we need to save some of these flights for us!!  However, there are a few formulas and strategies that have always worked for us.  We have had £10 return flights to France and £20 return flights to Spain. We even got to Dubai for £88!! You need to factor in your own personal variables such as: are you in a rush? Do you mind going on a budget airline – especially if it’s long haul with little leg room and no food? Do you mind hanging around a tiny airport on a long layover?  During our first year of budget travel and developing Alan and Judith, these were all factors that we had to consider.

Savings are available on last-minute flights from the UK if you look into charter airlines. Most airlines, even budget ones, will typically raise fares for nearly all routes a couple of weeks prior to departure, purely because they know that last-minute travellers are less budget-conscious, as they are often travelling for business or due to an emergency. However, specifically in the UK, there are two charter airlines that are an exception to this: Thomas Cook and Tui (formerly Thomson).

Getting a cheap flight is really about timing. Many years ago I always used to book my flight for my annual holiday months in advance, then a few years ago I found out that wasn’t necessarily the cheapest way to do it and I started to study the price of flights and the fluctuations leading up to the date.  With the introduction of skyscanner, this has become even easier to do!  Easyjet and Ryanair used to say that if you booked on a Tuesday or a Thursday you would get the cheapest flight, but for Alan and Judith we found that this wasn’t true and most of our cheapest weekend breaks have actually begun on a Friday or Saturday – durrrr, isn’t that the weekend anyway?!


Skyscanner compares flights to find you the cheapest flights the site  is simple to use and fast. It searches millions of flights on over a thousand airlines, including budget carriers, and once you’ve found your flight on Skyscanner you are taken to the airline or agency to make your booking (no middlemen) or extra fees added

With Momondo when you do a search it tells you which flight is the cheapest, quickest and what it believes to be “the best“. And you can refine your search using all the typical filters and get fare alerts.


Another metasearch site we like to check is Kayak. It feels like it has been around forever (which might count for something) and it’s simple to use and compares hundreds of sites in a comprehensive, fast and intuitive display. Once you find what you want, they give you choices where to book.

opodo let you Search for cheap flights and compare airfare with all airlines including low cost airlines

Expedia  makes it dead simple to filter important details.. Handily, it also saves all of your searches in a ‘scratchpad’, whether you’re logged in or not.

As we continue to mention, flexibility around the dates and times you fly is key to finding your cheapest flight. Thankfully, Google Flights makes it easy to identify the cheapest date for your desired flight.


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By Una


Our trip to Szczecin in Poland, was as usual, a last minute decision.  Our last holiday had been to Varna in Bulgaria and we had returned over 4 weeks ago, so we kind of felt under pressure to book somewhere soon! September is a good month to travel, as the price of flights fall considerably and the weather is mostly still reasonable in most European destinations.

After our visits to Budapest (Hungary) and Varna (Bulgaria) we really wanted to try another country in Eastern Europe, so finding the cheap flights to Szczecin was amazing. Only £28 pounds each for a return flight from our local airport of Luton to Szczecin which is in the north of Poland. Flights all booked (uh oh, Wizzair again – someone won’t be happy!) and then a search on AirBnB and we found a beautiful apartment in the City for only £22 a night – then the fun began.  Judith decided to have a quick look to see how we get to the City Centre and realised that the airport is actually 40km outside and a taxi would be the equivalent of £25 each way: that’s more than our flights!! A quick message to the AirBnB host and a friend Judith has in Poland and we found out there was a direct bus for only £3!! What a bargain! So only £96 in total for 2 people, 2 nights and transport!!


We are notorious for getting lost, even in places where everyone tells us it’s impossible to do so. Fortunately, the town of Szczecin is made for people like us: there is a yellow line literally painted on the ground to follow around the contours of its old town, and although we actually didn’t spot the yellow line until the day after, it seemed that we followed the route pretty well.  The weather was mild and we got up early to explore. The yellow line was basically a straight line and led us to the Jan Kasprowicz Park.

Poland is awesome. Seriously. cafés accept credit cards for small purchases, Topshop exists in Polish malls, beer is cheap, the food is deliciously unhealthy and the old town squares are full of colourful row houses. So even when it’s grey, cold and/or wet outside, the architecture is enough to keep you cheery.  Anything can be pretty. It’s easy to find beauty in just about anything these days. Don’t be afraid to get lost. With little to no objective for the day, we explored aimlessly. Szczecin is a small enough city that getting around by foot was easy enough.

We weren’t sure what to do in the evening as we were both quite tired, so Judith messaged the Host and he suggested Cafe 22 just a short walk away.  It was on the 22nd floor of the tallest building in Szczecin.  Upstairs was a cafe which had panoramic views of the city and you could walk all the way round – we were half expecting it to revolve!! The cafe was open until 11pm and although there were only a few dishes (salad or burger) for a main dish, there was a vast dessert list alongwith a good choice of cocktails and beers. Our bill came to the equivalent of £22 but that included 2 beers, one cocktail, one coke, one burger and a salad – pretty reasonable we thought!

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Accomodation From £26 per night

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Toulouse France



By Una

Toulouse France

A trip to Toulouse in France For £20 each we were on a win-win holiday! In fact it cost us more in petrol to get to the airport and stay there the night before than it did for the whole holiday.  

Well if you like staying next to a strip club in a seedy part of town then our hotel is for you! We always wonder why such great reviews are written about a hotel and then when you get there the reality is very different.  The Occitania Centre Toulouse Matabiau was a disappointment to say the least; see our review on 


However, it’s not all bad and a strip joint and hotel for   hookers shouldn’t put you off from visiting Toulouse. What has beautiful red-brick architecture, a hip-vibe and is the 4th largest city in France after Paris, Marseille and Lyon?  Toulouse itself is known as a center of aviation and spaceflight in the past 20 years – also the home of the famous Airbus.

One thing that Alan and I did a lot of in Toulouse was walking.  

There are so many sights to see, the architecture is amazing

and we were also very lucky to stumble upon many nice

restaurants and cafes.  One day in particular we got slightly

lost and thanks to the ‘activity tracker’ on Alans phone, he had

a record of our tour!


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Toulouse France

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Accomodation From £69

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By Una

Our decision to go to Budapest was yet again a totally random one. Judith would be travelling from Dubai and Alan was coming from the UK, so a location about half way between the two seemed a good idea. Except Alan’s journey was only 2 hours and Judiths was 6!! Anyway it was well worth the uncomfortable seats on Wizzair with the zero leg room, no entertainment and 3 euros for a coffee.

Our flights were both due to land Budapest at around midnight

however once Judith got off the plane she received a text from the accommodation owner to say that Alans flight was an hour late.  The airport was tiny, there was nowhere open for a drink or snack, and every bench was covered by a sleeping passenger.

At Budapest Airport there is a really good taxi system in place. You go to the booth and show the guy where you want to go and he prints out a ticket and tells you the registration plate of your car. The ticket also says how much the fare will  be, either in Euros or Hungarian Forints.  Once Alan had landed, we sorted the taxi and were on our way.


This blog aims to tell you where we went, what we did, what we ate, how we spent our time but in one word we can sum it up…AMAZING!! We arrived at our accommodation, the Beer House Apartment

and the owner Gabor was waiting for us. He gave us a quick tour of the flat and a quick walk around the neighbourhood, despite it being 3am, and then we were off to bed!!

The next day we decided to just do a lot of walking to get our bearings and of course find a supermarket so we could stock up!  Here are some pictures of our first day!

Many travellers won’t commit to Budapest due to old fears. Its part of Eastern Europe so people tend to have misconceptions of what to expect. English is very commonly spoken, and we assure you there is no communism here. It’s a must visit for tourists looking for something a little off the beaten path.

During our week in Budapest we walked 80,000 steps which equates to 20 miles! We didn’t use any public transport as we were based very central and didn’t see the need to try out the metro, trams or buses.  As you will see here, Budapest has an eye!! The cost was approx. £14 for both of us which was for about 5 spins of the wheel! Although it was a bit of a novelty, we felt that it was poorly 

placed and would probably be best down near the river or by Parliament.

Parliament was built on the ‘Pest’ side to give the city some balance.


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7 nights Accomodation From £136

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Cheap Flights

The best Flight Deals

All web indexes have swelled flight costs as a feature of taking a cut from the carriers. Some web indexes (e.g. Expedia) reliably expand considerably higher than others (recorded underneath). It pays to acclimate yourself with destinations that offer the best costs.

Utilise These to Book

Skyscanner (or download the application) (our #1 decision)

Airfare Watchdog (great at discovering deal)



JetRadar (incorporates spending aircraft’s, which many web crawlers don’t)

Google Flights (great pursuit instrument to rapidly analyse flights – not generally best costs)


In spite of the fact that we’ve recorded expansive web indexes here, take note of that many do exclude spending carriers. On the off chance that this is what you’re after, do an extra scan for territorial spending aircraft’s (we’ve recorded the same number of we are aware of further underneath).

At long last, no single web crawler is reliably immaculate (however we observe Skyscanner to be truly great). All things considered, you may need to attempt a mix of web indexes to guarantee you’re not missing any outcomes. There doesn’t appear to be one that gets the least expensive flight 100% of the time.





By Una

Escale Oceania Marseille Vieux Port was a 3-star hotel placed literally alongside the marina. An amazing location, with an awesome view of the ‘Marseille Eye’ from our bedroom window.  Although it was only the weekend of the 10/11 March, the temperature reached 24 degrees and we found ourselves, yet again, in shorts and t-shirt.  What’s not to love about impromptu weekends away?!

Alan and I had originally met in a Photography class and although it had always been classroom based, we now found ourselves with the perfect opportunity to basically snap everything outside that moved or didn’t move.  Neither of had brought a fancy camera with us and all we had was our iPhones and Alan’s new toy….the Go Pro!!!  We hadn’t really done much research about Marseille before we came away and decided to just wander about and enjoy the warmth and ambiance rather that have any strict itinerary.  We could see from the Port, the church on top of the hill and one of us had a good idea to go and check it out. So with Go-Pro in hand, carrier bag full of water and a random baguette, we made the equivalent of walking up 29 flights of stairs!  Thanks to the iPhone ‘health monitoring’ app for that information, but also to Alan’s other new toy….his Tom Tom watch for informing us that this was in fact 16,196 steps.  The church was, in fact, the Marseille version of the Notre-Dame de la Garde.  Honest to God, I have no idea how in the year 1214 they managed to build something so magnificent but “kudos” to all those who had to climb every one of those steps.

Thankfully, what goes up, has to come down and eventually we did and retired for a short nap to recuperate.  Later on that evening we found an amazing restaurant called Collins. This is the surname of Alans best friend, so he thought it appropriate to eat there.  Fifteen euros for Mussels and frites and they were delicious!

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vw camper van

Tricks & Tips

Travel Tips – taking toiletries abroad

You probably all know that frustrating scenario at the airport, when you are asked to take your liquids out of your bag and put them in the tray – yes there is always that person who has a suitcase, not a bag, and they slow down the queue by laying their case down, look for the key then rummage around for the liquids? Yes, or there is that person who forgets that 100ml is the maximum and then they fight with the member of staff about why they should be able to hang on to their new bottle of sunscreen.  I have actually been one of the annoying people in that scenario where I wanted to take my Lacto-free milk sachets but as it took up the whole of the room in one clear plastic bag, they wouldn’t allow me to take my make-up. Guess who won? The make-up or the milk?

Full-size products are almost always more economical than travel-sized ones. Petite versions of your usual products always come at a premium but few people take the time to figure out just how much more they’re paying for mini versions of their toiletries. The retailers know you want an easy fix, so they often make these items much more expensive than they need to be. For example, a study found that in Boots a 75ml travel size Sanctuary body lotion was £2.50 but a full-sized version was only £2.20 per 100ml. That’s a massive third cheaper for 25ml MORE product. So look at the little bottles before you buy as you might find yourself unnecessarily out of pocket – a sure way to take the shine off your cheap holiday.

Even worse is the price of minis at the airport. The same study found that full-sized products sold in high street stores where far cheaper than their mini matches sold at Manchester and London airports. For example, a 150ml spray can of Dove antiperspirant was only £1 on the high street but the tiny version in the airport doubled in price to £1.99 for 35ml! 500ml of Listerine was £3 in the supermarkets compared with £1.05 for 35ml at the airport. A 500ml bottle of Johnsons Top to Toe Bath for babies was £2.67 on the high street but a 50ml bottle was £1.99 – an 845% increase per ml – proving that it’s imperative to be aware of these mark-ups to save yourself from unnecessary spending.

The answer is decant!!  Primark sells a pack of mini bottles and tubs for £1 and you can just decant your regular products in your bathroom into these bottles. Do not buy the minis from the airport!!

France – Nimes




By Una

Nimes is one of the most overlooked destinations when we think of holidays in France, although it has been a very important geographical spot during centuries of history. We visited Nimes on a bit of a whim, purely because it was cheap. Check out how we find our cheap flights here. A once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits for you to discover. 

Nimes is the capital of the Gard department and has existed since the 2nd century B.C. In Roman times, Nimes was called Nemausus and was a Roman colony, which was a privilege given to only to some cities. This is the main reason for which there are that many Roman monuments in Nimes. But after the Roman Empire disappeared, Nimes began to lose population and importance to other near cities. Nowadays, it is the perfect place to enjoy history and the sunshine alike. 


You simply cannot visit Nimes without seeing the Roman Amphitheatre or Les Arenes. This is the most important monument in Nimes and probably the best preserved Roman theatre, or coliseum, in the world. This is because when the Roman Empire disappeared, Les Arenes was used as a fortress, in which a whole neighbourhood was established. Nowadays, the theatre is used as a bullfighting ring, and for those who are interested in bullfighting, there is a Bullfighting Museum just next to Les Arenes. 


The other important Roman must-visit in Nimes is the Maison Carrée (which translates to “Square House”). The Maison Carée used to be a Roman temple, but throughout the centuries it has served many purposes. This building has been used as town hall, church, consular house, or archive. 

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UAE United Arab Emirates

Dubai is one of seven emirates that make up the UAE, United Arab Emirates, a country that only came into existence forty one years ago.


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The discovery of vast oil reserves soon after rapidly created a millionaires’ paradise. Twenty five years ago Dubai was a small desert town famed for pearl diving, but with the help of oil revenue the city many love to loathe erupted from the desert. Gleaming skyscrapers, obscene luxury and extravagant mod cons, Dubai presents itself as one of the financial and tourism capitals of the world, and with over 80% of the population expatriates (the majority from India, Pakistan and the Philippines), the city certainly has a global feel… but there a dark side if you choose to look.


According to there are over 600 hotels in Dubai – this may not sound like many for such a major tourist hub, however this equates to over 100,000 rooms.  The Atlantis itself has over 1500 rooms! Not our idea of fun, but we were lucky as we had a 12 day trip to Dubai with no hotel costs as Judiths daughter and son in law had just moved to a Villa in the desert.  The cost of a hotel in Dubai varies greatly, from a basic right up to the worlds only 6 star hotel the Burj Al Arab where rooms can be £6000 a night!

The downside of staying in the desert was that the only transport is by taxi – we used Uber but at £15-£20 a time, each way, it severely limited our days out.  Here are the places we visited:

Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise


We booked and paid for this through Trip Advisor which meant we had a record of the booking and didn’t have to worry about printing off a ticket as it as on our phone. Another good place to look for deals is

It was an extremely hot evening and very busy on the boat, but we got a top deck seat and the views were absolutely amazing. We paid for a really nice photo of the two of us which was around £5 but worth it!! The entertainment is a man dressed up in lights who spins so make sure you don’t have epilepsy as it might be a trigger!!  However it is a great way to see the Marina, all the amazing yachts and you go out to sea just for a bit so you have the view of the skyline as you come back into the Marina.

Burj Khalifa

Again this was a trip booked through – you don’t necessarily get a great discount but you get a good seat in the restaurant aptly called Atmosphere – the best time to go is just before sunset so you get to see all the lights of the City come on and you can see over to the Burj Al Arab and onto the Marina.  There is a minimum spend of 200 UAE dhs (£45) but that is easy to do and in fact we spent less, but they didn’t say anything!!

The three main malls in Dubai that we visited was The Mall of the Emirates, The Dubai Mall and the IBN Butatta Mall.

[view from the top]

Al Qudra


Al Qudra

The Al Qudra lake, located in the middle of the Seih Al Salam desert and Bab Al Shams, was created and managed by the civic body as part of a project to green and enrich that part of the desert of Dubai

Access is via a sandy, stony road with no clear signage so it is best to have a good look at a map or read some reviews before you go.  The temperature here in May was over 50 centigrade and you could actually hear your skin crackle with the heat!



JBR Beach


In May the average daily temperature was between 42-46 degrees centigrade (although in the desert it pushed 52!) We aren’t sure what the temperature of the sea was but it was rather like a warm bath.  The sand is really hot and is impossible to walk on so remember your flip flops! To rent a sunbed and umbrella it is around £20 so the best thing to do is take your towel. Along the area known as JBR (Jumeriah Beach Resort) there are many cafes and shops so you will never be short of things to do!!