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How to Fare Hack and Save Thousands

By Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Airfare seems to be one of those non negotiable expenses of travel. You can choose from a multitude of hotels,  restaurants and activities for once you arrive, but just getting to your destination, especially if your dates are not flexible, can really hit your bank account.

My husband a I have been invited to a wedding in South West France, near Biarritz and Bayonne in June, near beaches popular with tourists and surfers. Anticipating a rush of summer holiday-goers, we decided to book our flights and hotel as soon as possible. 


Yikes! We got quite the case of sticker shock when we saw the price from Hamburg to the Biarritz-Bayonne airport, 1763 ($2416)!!!! And that included five airlines, and two layovers. That was ridiculous, there was no way we could make it to the wedding spending that much each.

Fortunately, my husband didn't give up. He found that my booking each leg separately on our own, we could spend about 180 ($247) each, and only have a single layover. That's saving nearly 90%!

Since discovering this, we've started looking into booking our own routes. We've found its cheaper to fly to athens for a few days, then to Rhodes, then back the Hamburg through Charles de Gaulle (Paris) than a round trip from Athens for less time. Similarly, it's cheaper to fly from Edinburgh to Manchester to Hamburg than from Edinburgh straight to Hamburg.

So far, the easiest way to fare hack is to use a site like Sky Scanner, and see what the cheap flights in and out of your destinations are, and then go through those until you find one that also has cheap flights from your current city. It's also worth considering staying a day or two in your stop over city, to make it part of your vacation instead of just a layover.

This can take considerable time, but since they say that anticipating a holiday is part of the fun, and you may save enough money to splurge on a hotel or day trip, or even another holiday (or several, if you save 1,600, like we did above), I think it's worth it.

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  1. Yikes! From Germany to France for SO MUCH!!! It may even be cheaper still to hire a car, you know!