Teachers always ask me which airline they should fly to London, England. They tend to want the cheapest flight, which usually means that they take charters. They also want to know what hostels are the best deal so I've included them in the list here as well.
Here are the websites I keep my eye on regularly:
- Air Canada - This is an obvious choice, and I try to fly with them when I can just so I can earn the Aeroplan points. Air Canada is a good option for people flying from Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa. It's not as great for those of us in BC. My flight that leaves tomorrow cost me almost $1400 from Victoria to Vancouver to Calgary to London, return. But that's the price I pay to live on Vancouver Island, and the charters didn't fit my schedule so it was the only option. I have a teacher who left for London last night from Toronto with Air Canada and she paid less than $300 (one way). You get more luggage room which is very important when you're moving to London to teach.
- Air Transat - Air Transat is a good cheap charter airline and fine for travel to London. Most of our teachers end up flying with them and think they're okay. Less luggage room, no points and small seats though.
- Canadian Affair - A website that specializes in flights between the United Kingdom and Canada.
- Travel Zoo - I keep my eye on this one every week. They send me their "Top 20" travel deals and I've noticed that there is usually at least one flight to London in that list. I've been shocked at how good some of the deals are! This is definitely one to watch.
- Flight Centre - If you keep an eye on their deals, you can get some really good ones. I just found one the other day (after booking my Air Canada flight) for $99 to London from Vancouver. With taxes, it came to less than $700, almost half my current flight. I should have waited and got this one instead, but hey. That's the price of booking in advance - you never know if a better deal will come.
- Hostelbookers - For good cheap hostels, this is the #1 site that travelers in Europe use. My teachers have stayed in Kings Cross and Greenwich by booking with this site, and were impressed that they could pay only 10 pounds/night. I've personally used the site for hostels in Spain and the reviews are accurate.
- Hotwire - I use hotwire all the time for my travels now. You can book 4 or 5 star hotels for 2 star prices, simply because you won't know the hotel name until after you've paid. I stayed in the Pan Pacific in Vancouver after speaking at Simon Fraser University and paid 20% of the regular price. In London, I'm staying at a hotel for $49/night in Central London. It's regularly 400 pounds/night - $800! Bargain! Keep your eye on this one for good hotels in Central London that would usually be out of reach.
Any other websites I've missed? Please share by leaving a comment below!
For packing advice, click here. For more about traveling to the UK, click here.