Is a multi-city flight cheaper?
If you're on this page, chances are you're a travel enthusiast looking to globe-trot on a budget. Multi-city flights (or skiplagging) could be the perfect solution for you. This travel hack allows you to check off several locations from your bucket list during one journey, usually at a more affordable price compared to reserving each segment one by one.
Do Multi-City Flights Save You Money?
Absolutely, they can save you money. When you book a bunch of flights at once, it can cost less than getting separate tickets for each place you want to visit. For example, if you want to fly from New York to Paris and then from Paris to Athens, it might be cheaper to book a multi-city ticket that goes from New York to Paris to Athens all in one go. Even though I am talking about international flights, which also applies to European ones. In the previous article, "How to Afford to Travel," I shared my experience of skipping Frankfurt - Budapest. This way, you book less and keep things simple. It saves you time and worry about making sure your travel plans fit together well, and it can also save you some cash.
Saving on Multi-City Flights: A How-To Guide
Flexibility Is Key. If your schedule allows it, aim for weekdays or off-season dates to fly. These times are usually less busy, which means cheaper tickets. If you are flexible with your time, you can find truly lowest prices.
Early Bird Catches the Worm. Book your flights well ahead of time. The earlier you book, the better your chances are of getting a good price. By saying a good price, I mean several times cheaper than usual.
Use Your Card Points & Rewards. Check out your credit card points or airline miles. You might be able to use them to reduce the cost of your flights, making that multi-city itinerary more budget-friendly.
Use Multi-city Flight Websites. When planning multi-city trips, there are several apps and websites designed to simplify the process, helping you find the best routes and deals. Here are a few to consider: Kayak, Google Flights, Skyscanner, Skiplagged, Kiwi, Tryp, etc. My Tip: after finding the most desirable destinations, check multi-city flights on the original airline's websites. Sometimes, you can book it cheaper than on particular websites for multi-city flights.
The Biggest Challenges With Multi-Cities Flights
One of the primary issues with multi-city flight practice is luggage management. Checked bags will generally continue to the final destination on the ticket, making this tactic only suitable for those traveling with carry-on luggage. Additionally, there's the unpredictability of travel disruptions. Airlines can alter flight routes for various reasons, which could result in a traveler not passing through their intended stopover city.
Moreover, if skiplagging is attempted as part of a round-trip ticket, the airline is likely to cancel the return flights once it's noticed that a segment wasn't used. This method is also impractical for multi-stop trips since it's designed primarily for one-way journeys.
Also, don’t forget delays, cancellations, and various situations when you possibly can miss the flight. And if you booked different airlines, it’s possible that you’ll have to look for another ticket.
While skiplagging can seem like a clever way to save on travel, the risks often outweigh the benefits. It can lead to significant travel disruptions, ethical dilemmas, and a strained relationship with the airlines. For those seeking to visit multiple destinations, traditional multi-city flights are more reliable, though they may come at a higher cost and require more complex planning to ensure convenient connections and travel times. The key to booking these flights is to find a balance between cost-saving strategies and a hassle-free travel experience.