When you’re an expat, there’s an awful lot of things to think about. One thing that’s crossed my mind a few times is “if I was to have children while living in America, there may come a day when I may have to travel alone with them when visiting home”. It’s not quick and simple. Living in Iowa, that’s a 3 hour drive to Chicago, followed by an 8 and a half hour flight on to England…and that’s if you fly direct!
Every expat’s dream right, when a low cost airline introduces a cheap route home!? At the end of March, Norwegian Airlines started flying between Chicago O’Hare and London Gatwick. I flew over Easter weekend for $500/£350 RETURN, if I wasn’t flying over a peak weekend, it could have potentially been even cheaper. I had booked the Norwegian LowFare, my first time flying long haul with a budget airline and believe it or not, it wasn’t horrendous!
As a British expat living in the USA, one of the biggest questions amongst expat groups is how to find the cheapest flight to the UK. So in this post I’m going to share with you my tips and advice on how I find the best flights. These tips aren’t just applicable for USA to UK flights, I use these techniques for ALL of my travels. There are ways to travel hack such as collecting air miles with credit cards or signing up to error fare sites, which require being in the right place at the right time or being flexible with travel dates. These are tips that anyone can use!
So I may be the world’s worst travel hacker…when I moved to the USA, bearing in mind I had NO credit score, so it was like starting again, I just got whatever credit card that my local bank would give me. It’s one of those jobs that I’ve just never got round to changing BUT I do collect air miles and I’m close to getting a free Caribbean return flight! This is how I collect air miles without a credit card through the American Airlines AAdvantage program!
As travellers, sometimes we have to get clever when it comes to finding flight deals. Back in the summer, it was cheaper for me to fly from Chicago to London Stansted, transferring in Dublin (and even getting a hotel for the night!), than it was flying direct from Chicago into Heathrow or Gatwick. One HUGE benefit of flying through Dublin, is that Dublin airport is one of only a handful of airports in the world where you can actually cross the American border while still being in a different country. Here’s my experience of clearing US Immigration in Dublin.
Jamaica was a good trip for me, not only did I do some awesome activities, I met a life long friend (who is now stuck with me forever! Read our story: HERE), I also ended up getting upgraded on my flight home. There are blogs everywhere giving ‘tips’ and people are always asking how to get them, but I must have broke all the rules, I didn’t even try to get upgraded! Here’s how it worked for me.