Travel tips

Long-Haul Cost Hack

Just yesterday I was looking into how to get myself from England to Australia.

Even long haul flights (50+ hours, 3 stopovers) booked through dodgy third-parties (post about that here) were adding up to be way out my budget.

So how do you get somewhere far far away, for cheap?


Okay, so if swimming is out the equation, and if it’s too far and across too many oceans to hitch-hike, basically: if you need to be there within days/weeks not months/years, here is a hack I found if you’re willing to spend a little more time planning.

(I’ll be using my England to Australia trip as an example.)

Step 1:

Go onto Skyscanner and search England to Australia (*insert your own countries*)

Step 2:

Click on ‘cheapest’ rather than ‘best’ to see the cheapest (and usually longest) routes from England to Australia

Step 3:

Have a look at some of the stopovers for the cheap flights. For me, these tended to be a mixture of somewhere in Europe, then Dubai or China, then somewhere in Malaysia

Step 4:

Research the separate costs of booking the separate flights to each stopover (direct through the airline to avoid dodgy third-parties). You can do this on Skyscanner. Surprisingly, this can often work out much cheaper. So for me, it worked out cheaper to book England to Amsterdam, then Amsterdam to Moscow, then Moscow to Shanghai, then Shanghai to Australia. In my case, I saved over 150 pounds.

Step 5 (awesome bonus):

Seeing as you’re booking each bit of the journey separately, you can now stay and visit each stopover along the way. I chose to spend time in Shanghai: I essentially get a free six day trip in China using the money I saved by booking my journey bit by bit rather than in one big swoop!

Last tip:

Be sure to check the visa requirements of the stopover-trip country of choice. If you’re literally just there in transit and your flight is in a few hours, stay inside the airport and you won’t need to buy a visa. However, if you want to explore the country like I suggested in step 5, then you will need to look into visas. This may drastically change your decision of where to stopover. For example, I researched and found that if you land in Shanghai airport, you get 6 days without needing a visa (saves up to hundreds of pounds) if you are in transit (simply show them your onward flight ticket/seat).

I recommend you check out this page to see which countries you need visas for


I hope this little hack comes in handy for your travels! I’m really excited to have ‘discovered’ it: bring on cheaper long-haul flights, with more adventure in between home and away!

Love, Sophia x

PS, image found on Google

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