Once you go budget, you never go back. Unless you have lots of money that is.
I wrote this post back in 2012 when I was still travelling like crazy. I’ve seen become older and more prone to fatigue so I would choose to upgrade to a regular-service plane if I could. But all tips are still useful.
I was a big fan of budget airlines, although I don’t like the hidden charges they secretly add on while you book.
The longest budget flight I’ve taken was the now-defunct Kuala Lumpur-Paris route. Thank goodness I was sleepy both ways and was deep asleep during the 14 hours trip.
As a veteran budget flyer, here are some tips for a more comfortable budget flight. Tips are based on budget flights in the Southeast Asia region, some other airlines might have more strict rules.
1. Book strategically
Do you know that booking early doesn’t guarantee you a cheap seat? It’s best to book when the airlines have promos. Keep up-to-date with promotions by joining their mailing lists.
A cheap flight makes me happy and cancels out much of the inconvenience of budget flights.
2. One carry on
I’ve reached the stage where I can go on a 7-night trip with only one carry on. It really saves time and hassle when I do not need to check in my luggage or wait for it to come out from the unmerry-go-around.
I cheat at this by bringing an extra large handbag or a backpack that works as a laptop bag but stuff it with well…stuff…other than a laptop.
3. Bring an empty bottle
Most airports will allow an empty bottle (not Jakarta, I found out the semi-hard way) which you can fill with drinking water in the lounge. But only some airports have drinking fountains, which is why I love Changi Airport.
4. Sneak food
Despite my unnatural love for plane food, I don’t buy extra food on budget flights unless the flight at a weird timing like right in the middle of lunch or dinner. I sneak in food that can be munched on stealthily like a ninja.
Have you seen a ninja eat? Never? That’s what I call stealth.
I usually bring a book (or my darling Kindle) when I travel. On a budget flight, I pore through the in-flight magazine then ration my book. I also write blog posts or watch videos on my laptop.
You should never EVER play your smartphone game with the speakers on. You can be attacked by ninjas for this.
If you are blessed with the ability to sleep on a plane, use it wisely and often.