a bridge over a river with lights
Image by cristalmorando from Pixabay

Use flight deals to add a new city (or two) to your next trip!

For the last couple years, the idea of flying was daunting enough for most people, let alone flying somewhere first, just to get a cheaper flight.

But now that the world is on its way toward reopening, it’s worth knowing that flying or driving to somewhere else, just to get a cheaper flight can absolutely be worth it, and in fact, it can actually be a lot of fun.

For me, it’s not always about the savings, but the discovery, and what the savings allow me to do. I’ll explain.

a group of people walking on a bridge over a river

Nearby Cities To Save On Flights

A business class ticket from the US or Europe to Australia from one city might have totally different — and much better pricing — than another. Going to another city or nearby country (using miles or a cheap flight) can send prices from $5,000 to $1200!

Is it worth using 5,000 miles and $5.60 for an hour flight to save $3800? You tell me.

This strategy doesn’t always work, but it often does, and it applies to anywhere where a flight is long enough that you can justify the time required to get yourself in place to fly from another city or country.

You don’t even need to get involved with things like skiplagging to enjoy this.

Because of the time and effort involved, it’s is a strategy that rarely makes sense for economy, but when you’re going somewhere far and live in an expensive market for business or first class it can be a brilliant game changer.

Really, it’s about taking cabins which might have been out of sight, and putting them into reach, which may just help unlock more budget for the rest of the trip. That’s not new, or novel, but there’s an element to this which is so underrated.

It’s the ability to discover cities which you may not have otherwise.

a seat in an airplane

I’ve done this for decades and hardly do it now when traveling with my young family, but reflecting back, there’s at least 20 cities I’m not sure I would’ve ever prioritized or set foot in, had it not been for great flight deals originating from them.

Some people would simply fly into the city where the cheap flights are on the same day, and jet off as soon as possible to maximize savings, but I’d always make at least a night, or ideally 48 hours of it.

I actually think it’s a clever way to get a taster of a city. A one or two night whistle stop is enough time to figure out if the city is worth exploring more, or if that was enough.

Sure, the way I approached these cities cut into my flight savings, but made my world of adventure all the better. Instead of just a final destination, I got to explore places all over the world that I may have skipped, or always moved down the bucket list.

I’ve had amazing meals, walks, museums, shopping and cultural experiences in Oslo, Warsaw, Nashville, Vancouver, Paris, Seattle, Dublin, Budapest and so many more, in the name of flight savings. Yes, i’d been to, or would’ve gotten to many of these cities in time, but adding them onto a trip added to the depth of experience.

a bridge over a river with lights
Image by cristalmorando from Pixabay

It’s Amazing What You Can Do In A Day

Let’s say I have a 4PM flight out of a nearby city on a Saturday. I’ll set off as early as I can on the Friday, giving me at least 24 hours.

By doing so, I can usually discover a great lunch spot in the city right away while I wait for my room to be ready. There’s plenty of time to then wander for hours, shop, hit the museums or just eat-eat-eat.

With the night free, the same joy applies to dinner and cocktail dens before a good nights sleep. The next morning, a quick search to find the best coffee roasters and off we go. I love cafe culture and love finding where each city has their best.

I’ll explore more and then leisurely make my way to the airport, having just enjoyed what could be a trip of its own. Using it as a brief side trip, I still have the entire main trip to look forward to. Sure I cut into the savings, but I just see it as money that would have been spent on the ticket alone, if I wasn’t creative.

This is much more fun.

Accelerating The Travel Bucket List

If there’s any takeaway from the last two years, other than incompetence at most levels of government (everywhere) and the delights of binge-watching Netflix, it’s that time and travel are precious.

I am reflecting on this because rather than each big trip being simply about one city, I’ve been able to see two countries or more on most of my major trips through the years, just by being flexible to great flight deals. This has allowed me to squeeze in more than I would’ve otherwise achieved or seen.

If you’ve got a big getaway or are hoping to go somewhere far, use these flight deal search tips to see if another city “near” you can unlock massive savings, and if it does, use that time to get to know a place you might not have otherwise. It’s fun, it really is.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I actually did this a few years ago on a company paid business trip. I was flying to BKK from my home in FL. Biz class fares were around $10K. I found a fare deal on DL flying to PVG for $4K and then Thai to BKK for about $1.5K. I could have had a connection with only several hours in PVG and get into BKK around 3am. I chose to stop and spend the night got in 1/2 day tour and then flew to BKK with a head start on my jet lag. I saved my company almost $4.5K as well.

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