Game-changing flight tips for smart business travellers

Whether you’re flying for business or pleasure, you don’t need to break the bank when booking your next transatlantic flight. As one travel blogger explains, there are ways to fly in style without forking out for a first-class ticket.

Game-changing flight tips for smart business travellers
Photo: Vicki Garside, founder of the travel blog MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld

Since founding travel blog MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld three years ago, Vicki Garside has amassed a huge following of intrepid but time-poor explorers. Like Vicki, many of her fans have full-time jobs and need to make the most of their time and their money.

The Local has teamed up with Icelandic low cost carrier WOW air to bring you Vicki’s best tips for travelling smart, so that the next flight you book keeps your bank account (and your CFO) happy.

Book your next flight with Iceland low cost carrier WOW air

Scoring extra value for money

It’s no secret that everyone loves a bargain so when it comes to travel why is it that so many of us expect and accept the bare minimum? Vicki says if you know the right places to look, you can score extra comfort while saving your pennies for the final destination.

“I typically run my fight searches on multiple comparison/aggregator websites such as SkyscannerKiwiCheapoair using a private window,” says the savvy travel blogger.

Photo: WOW Air/ Instagram

Fare comparison websites display flights from a variety of different airlines side-by-side, helping you to narrow down the route, travel time and the all-important cost factor and spot the best deals. But the experienced traveller doesn’t stop there.

“Once I have narrowed down a fare/route, I go direct to the airline’s website to see if I can get it cheaper. I then look to see if the airline has a price match guarantee and book with whichever is cheapest,” she explains.

Get more for less with WOW premium

Icelandic low cost carrier WOW air connects Europe to North America and Asia, so you can always get value for money on your transatlantic flights. With prices for upgrades to WOW premium coming in at under 200 euros, make sure to book your next flight directly on WOW air’s website.

Getting your hands on elusive upgrades

Photo: WOW Air/Instagram

Certain airlines auction off their pricier seats to customers who already have economy tickets on the same flight, a trick of the travel blogger trade that recently helped Vicki to stumble on gold. After bidding through an airline system two weeks before departure, her bid was unexpectedly accepted and she got the (for many) once-in-a-lifetime chance to fly in style.

From the complimentary lounge access to the incredible service, Vicki describes her first-class journey as her best ever flight experience.

“There was champagne on arrival, a huge comfortable seat which reclined into a fully flat bed, as well as beautiful food complete with table cloth, cutlery and paired wines. I can easily see why turning left when you step on the plane is just a magical experience,” she says.

Like Vicki, most travellers have to rely on sheer luck or superhuman skills of persuasion to land an upgrade but with Icelandic low cost carrier WOW air, you don’t need to have luck on your side. You can travel business class without the business class budget by choosing WOW premium, getting all the perks of an upgrade at minimum cost, including two checked bags, fast-tracked security, priority boarding, extra space and comfort, pre-bookable menu and no change fees.

Maximising space

Photo: Gaudilab/ Depositphotos

Utter the words ‘low cost carrier’ and you probably think of neck aches, long legs crammed into small spaces and contorting yourself into pretzel-like positions for a moment of relief. Nobody wants to fly across the world for a business meeting to find their entire body has seized up along the way!

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like this.

You can now book WOW air’s premium or comfy seats and put this stress behind you. WOW comfy offers allocated seating and extra legroom and WOW premium takes this extra space to the next level with a generous baggage allowance (a combined checked and cabin allowance totalling a whopping 62 kg).

Hopping off the flight well-rested and ready to go straight into a meeting makes the upgrade instantly worth it.

Making the most of your time

While Vicki has an extensive list of travel essentials, she shares her top cabin necessities.

“I cannot travel without my Sennhesier Noise Cancelling Travel Headphones, my Smartphone (Google Pixel 2) which has an amazing camera, and a pashmina or scarf in case I get a little chilly or want to use it as a pillow to lean on or cover my head/face if on a budget airline or if I want to try and sleep”.

Get added comfort with WOW comfy

Make the most of rare uninterrupted time by taking your own customised inflight entertainment. Vicki recommends downloading all the TV series and movies you’ve been dying to watch ahead of time. And if you’re travelling for business, you could always get in a few hours of work preparing a presentation or finishing off a report.

“I also always have my laptop and portable USB hard drive with me for work purposes, that also doubles as a TV for watching movies and TV shows when I'm in need of a little down time,” says Vicky.

Booking a holiday inside a holiday

Photo: kavramm/ Depositphotos

What traveller doesn’t love experiencing new places and cultures? As an avid explorer, Vicki is no exception.

“I think adding a stop-over to a trip is not only a great way to see an extra destination on your journey, but also great value for your money — particularly when traveling very long distance and without strict time constraints,” says Vicki.

She meticulously plans her stopovers to take advantage of the short time period, seeing as many sights as possible. She has written a top list of things to do in Iceland including off the beaten path alternatives.

“I plan walking routes, pre-book tickets for attractions/tours, plus research where or what to eat to make the most of the time I have. It may seem like a lot of work, but research and planning really is the key to really maximizing your holiday/vacation plans,” she advises.

WOW air flights all stop at Reykjavik's Keflavik airport, so exploring Iceland just got a whole lot easier.

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, after spending your stopover Reykjavik, soaking in thermal spas and taking in the spectacular Northern Lights, you will be refreshed and on top of your game when you reach your final destination.

Book your next trip with Icelandic low cost air carrier WOW air

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by WOW air.




IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images