A major part of the process of actually finalizing my itinerary is figuring out which order to visit certain countries based on the flights that fly in and out of them.
In Europe there are a handful of discount airlines and even the regular airlines offer surprisingly cheap airfares.
Of course, once you find the cheap flight you have to make sure it’s not at some ungodly hour (read: 6am) and that it doesn’t fly into an airport so far out of town that the cost of the train ride into town undoes anything you saved by booking said flight.
Just to throw a monkey wrench into things not all flights fly every day. I can’t tell you the number of times I found the perfect flight only to find out it didn’t fly on the day I wanted but a day later.
One other thing to look out for is Minsk…
Minsk is the capital of Belarus and most of the cheap airfares out of Russia into various Eastern European cities have a short layover there.
Problem is – you are required to purchase a Belarusian transit visa even though you’re only in the country for a couple of hours and not actually leaving the airport. This visa ain’t cheap either so while that flight from Moscow to Warsaw was amazingly cheap you’ll end up spending way more because of that surprise visa you’re forced to buy.
So, yes, you do have to put some legwork into finding the flight that is not only cheap but flies when you want to where you want.
But when you do find that flight… well, the feeling is pure delight!
Here’s an example…
Since my flight out of Europe and back home is leaving from Stockholm, I had to figure out the best way to get there. After fiddling around with a few originating cities, I plugged in Gdansk in Poland.
The numbers rolled on the website as it searched the different flights from Gdansk to Stockholm on that day and when the search was complete – this is what I saw:
Yup – you read that right… $12!
Now, granted, I still have to pay an additional $25 to check in a bag but it’s still a $37 flight.
Just 2 months to go…