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$300 Round Trip Flight to Europe

On any casual day, you open Instagram to see your friend’s passport and with brand new shoes and luggage in the background at LAX. A few posts down, someone else is on an elephant in Thailand. Or maybe another ad for traveling with some random agency. Wanderlust has taken over and you check a ton of websites for cheap flights and see they’re actually all over $1000.  Your bank account is hanging on at a couple hundred bucks. You put your phone down to only find yourself repeatedly doing this over and over in anticipation of finding an affordable escape outside of the state walls. Don’t worry, I hate it too.

Well lookie here cookie: there’s absolutely no reason to limit yourself to seeing the world through your Instagram feed! That couple hundred bucks can get you pretty damn far. I have four steps for you; four steps that will get you off your butt and on your next adventure with that couple hundred bucks.

WOW

Ever heard of WOWair? Yeah you have, just now! WOW flies to Iceland and Europe from select US cities: Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Boston (BOS), Washington DC (BWI), New York (EWR/JFK), Chicago (ORD), Detroit (DTW), Cleveland (CLE), St. Louis (STL), Cincinnati (CVG), Pittsburgh (PIT), and Dallas (DFW). The cheapest flights start at $69 one way! I booked my round trip flight to Copenhagen, Denmark with WOWair for $300 and I will forever use this airline until I find something cheaper. And you should too, cookie.

You might be thinking, a flight this cheap is definitely going to break down and you’re the next star of the Netflix documentary of the plane that fell out of the sky. No worries though, the flight is as smooth and safe as butter. I recommend booking directly from the WOW website, because online travel agencies charge a couple extra bucks for providing you with a wide array of travel options at “cheaper” prices.

So, HOW do you WOW? Here it is:

1. Be flexible

The only section we’re interested in here, is under the Flights tab and Best fares link. Here’s where the flexibility comes in, and don’t worry, you don’t have to do the splits or anything like that. Majority of the flights are cheap (less than $150 one way), but only on select days. Great thing though, there’s a bunch of these select days! You might not be able to leave on Friday instead of Wednesday, but the savings are so worth it, I promise. And yes, I mentioned one way because these are only one way flights. So you have to fish for a return date that is cheap as well. A little iffy? Well, what is life without a little spontaneity? Like I said, there are plenty of cheap flights for departure and return.

2. Pack light

Hey, I never said luggage was included. Not to fret little cookie, we’re still within budget! While you’re allowed one free personal item, WOW charges for carry-ons ($48 one way) and checked in luggage ($96 one way). I have a pack-hack coming soon, that will save you tons of money and space! If you’re planning on staying around a week, a $100 investment in a carry-on won’t set you back. And FYI, rolling your clothes doesn’t work. Stay tuned for my pack-hack!

3. Food my dude

I think you’re getting the picture here… I hope. Meals are not included in the flight price so you have the option to purchase a meal on the plane OR you can do it the right way by eating a good meal before your flight and bring your own [closed] food and snacks with you on the plane. You can squeeze them into your bags or purchase from a small selection of overpriced snacks in your terminal. I mentioned closed because foods in packages and containers will pass through security, but that left over sandwich in foil from two days ago won’t fly…literally.

I recommend filling finger foods like apples and berries, dried fruits, nuts or trail mix, pretzels, or even a new sandwich if its sealed.

You will have to get water in your terminal though since security doesn’t allow any liquid over 100ml. Either hunt down for the cheapest waters while you wait to board your plane, or bring a refillable bottle and fill up at any of the convenient stations around the airport. 8 hours in the air to Iceland, without food aren’t terrible, but you’ll savor those snacks you stuffed into your personal item.

4. Get comfy!

For us frequent coach fliers, you’ll be happy to know that we all, as WOW passengers, are equal (in terms of seating that is); there’s no such thing as first or business class. While there are selective options for extra leg room (for a small fee of course), you can find your way through narrow aisles to a fairly spacious seat. So what are some things to consider for comfort on long flights?

  • Neck pillow- I mean, you can ditch the neck pillow but you’ll be sorry when your neck is stuck leaning to the left for the next 3 hours. I’ve found these pillows to have the most support here.
  • Sleep mask- Trust me. For some reason people leave their windows open as if the sky and clouds are going to get better anytime soon. Or at night they keep their individual, blinding, LED lights on like it helps them sleep. Who cares about your sleep though, right? WRONG. Get yourself a mask here.
  • Ear buds- Yep. Those little squishy foamy things that go in your ears and make you a little concerned about your breathing because you can hear it so clearly. Your own lungs are way more interesting and peaceful than the 3 year old in the next row throwing a tantrum though.

Seating– There’s always the option of reserving your seat, but you can guess what comes next: for a small fee! You most definitely don’t have to do that though, and here’s why:

If you’re traveling with others and bought all of your tickets together, expect to be sitting with them on all initial departures. In our case coming from the states, you’ll have a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland (where WOW air is from!) and on this flight you’ll be with your friends/family. After departing Reykjavik to wherever your actual trip is in Europe, expect to be separated. You can always ask your neighbor to switch if you really want to sit with people you know, but it’s only a 3-4 hour flight wherever you’re going after, so hang in there! The system is the same when you return to the states: expect to sit with people you know on your way to Reykjavik, and sitting apart from them after departing Reykjavik to the states.

5. Unplug

Don’t we all aspire to unplug but actually feel successful after 20 minutes of not touching our phones? Well, now you actually can unplug! If you don’t plan on sleeping, you better think of some ways to pass 9 hours because on a WOW plane there’s no such thing as WiFi or TVs. You can rent an iPad for $25 with 8 weird movies that you’d never consider watching or you can save that $25 and spend it on breakfast when you land! I recommend reading that book you bought 2 years ago that you keep saying you’ll read. Or, bring some work to catch up on! I ditched a week of school for my trip and spent half of my flight doing homework. And nope, I regret nothing! And since you’re already traveling to a place out of your comfort zone, why not stick with it and make a friend on the plane. Talk to your neighbors! I’ll be quite honest, time goes by very fast when you get to know the person next to you and you’ll have a new friend when you land, yay!

By now you’ve caught on, and understand you’re literally paying for your flight, carry-on and nothing else. Is this the most luxurious flight? Absolutely not. Is it the most affordable? Heck yeah. Depending on where you go, your total price may come to more or less than $300, but I guarantee you a round trip flight to Europe cheaper than $500 always.

To my fellow American economy travelers, whatever doubts you may have about traveling whether its financial, safety concerns, or you just haven’t implemented any of your plans yet, drop it and just do it. You have the time, you have the money. If you don’t, then make the time. Save a couple bucks every paycheck. Don’t ever consider anything as a burden to amazing affordable opportunities like these. See the world and everything it offers, at a fraction of the price!

Below are some shots from the trip that costed $300 round trip!

Cheers to cheap travels! 🙂

Denmark skies

Morning strolls in a nature park in Germany

Kaiserplatz, Dusseldorf, Germany

@thysarahg

Amsterdam streets

 

The canals by night

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