Honeymoons and Frequent Flyer miles
My fiance and I really want to go to Hong Kong and India to do some wedding shopping. Or even New York. The UK is just over priced and doesnt offer the range that other countries offer. For example, in the US, you get Vera Wang and Monique Lhullier dresses at different sizes. When I went to try them on here in the UK, they are all either Size 2 or Size 12 and then they take 6 months or so to alter it to your size. Its a bit difficult to choose a dress not knowing exactly how it would fit you. I heard from a friend that someone used their partner’s air miles to fly to Canada and got their wedding dress cheap. Even if you dont have the air miles, I think even if you factor in a flight and hotel abroad, you would still save you loads of pounds because everything is almost 40% cheaper outside the UK. And you get a holiday in the process
I’ve also read in the newspapers that there was a couple who spent three months looking for waste bottles to put in their Tesco Recycling plant and they eventually gained enough points for a free return flight to New York for their honeymoon. I know that is a bit extreme but here are some tips to help you collect miles. I am seriously taking note, particularly the one about the Virgin credit card (just got mine last week)
Look for offers posted on airline websites and subscribe for offers. British Airways (0870-850 9 850; www.ba.com) frequently offers deals such as “travel out in Club World and return in First” for the price of a Club World return ticket. It also offers deals such as gaining triple BA miles on certain routes, allowing you to accrue your loyalty points quickly. It also pays to prioritise and manipulate your miles. It costs about £350 or 40,000 Virgin miles to fly London-Los Angeles in economy, compared with about £5,000 or 80,000 miles in Upper Class. Using your miles to book an Upper Class return here looks like a very good deal. It also pays to look at how much it would cost to upgrade at the time of making an online booking. On some BA routes to Europe it can cost as little as £40 to upgrade to Club Europe each way. If you fly first or business class with lower-profile airlines such as Gulf or Air India, you can make considerable savings. When flying from London to the US it is generally cheaper to fly via Europe with carriers such as Air France.
Choose your travel times: flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday is cheaper than going on a Friday or Sunday, and try to travel to business destinations during school holidays. On Monday and Saturday travel late in the day; on Sundays and Thursdays leave early. For travel at peak times book as far ahead as possible. When booking two or more seats, always check the fare for a single traveller first. You may be able to get the first seat in a lower price category.
When booking hotels ask for their best available price and be prepared to haggle or ask if an upgrade is available. And it’s worth keeping an eye on new openings; many properties offer introductory discounts. If you go for the villa option, share the cost with a group. A swish villa can be had for a surprisingly low price per headand don’t forget the bargains often to be had when booking at the last minute on websites such as www.lastminute.com.
Earn miles through flights and on your general spend on an airline credit card. Both BA’s American Express card and Virgin’s credit card are good examples, earning you one mile for every £1 spent on the card. If you spend more than £15,000 on the Virgin card (£20,000 on the BA Amex card) you get a free companion ticket to anywhere in the world when you book a qualifying flight. You can upgrade your card by paying an annual fee (£80 Virgin, £120 BA Premium Plus) to receive a higher rate of miles and better deals. Miles seats are first released about 10 months prior to departure and the amount on any one flight depends on the popularity of the route. Combine a miles booking with a companion flight, and you and your companion can fly for the cost of the tax and charges
Fly First Class
First-class airfares are rarely offered at a discount, but on multi-legged international flights you can spend much less on a round-the-world first-class ticket from any of the major airlines than if you bought a series of one-way individual first-class tickets. You can book through business or first-class discount specialists like Trailfinders (020-7938 3444;www.trailfinders.com). Far East Travel Centre (020-7440 2600; www.fetc.co.uk), STA Travel (020-7361 6262; www.statravel.com) and Bridge the World (020-7911 0900; www.bridge-theworld.com