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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.

 

 

TRAVEL

Explore Austria: Mauer, a charming wine-hiking spot on Vienna’s outskirts

Catch the very tail-end of the wine season and autumn foliage in one of the lesser-explored corners of the Austrian capital: Mauer.

Explore Austria: Mauer, a charming wine-hiking spot on Vienna’s outskirts
Beautiful views and cosy taverns await you on the edge of Vienna. Photo: Catherine Edwards

Wine-hiking is an autumn must-do in Austria, and although the official Wine Hiking Day (Weinwandertag) that usually draws crowds has been cancelled two years in a row during the pandemic, it’s possible to follow the routes through beautiful scenery and wine taverns on your own.

Mauer in the southwest of Vienna is one of the routes that is mostly frequented by locals.


The footpath takes you through scenic vineyards. Photo: Catherine Edwards

You can reach this part of the 23rd district using Vienna’s public transport, and you have a few options. From the Hietzing station on the U4 line, you can take the tramline 60 or bus 56A. The former will take you either to Mauer’s central square or you can get off earlier at Franz-Asenbauer-Gasse to start the hike. If it’s too early in the day for wine just yet, you could start your day at the small and charming Designo cafe (Geßlgasse 6).

Otherwise, the residential area itself doesn’t have much to see, but keep an eye out as you wander between the taverns later — there are some beautiful buildings.

To start the hike, head west along Franz-Asenbauer Gasse, which will take you up into the vineyards, growing some red wine and Vienna’s specialty Gemischter Satz or ‘field blend’, which as the name suggests is a mixture of different types of grapes.

Photo: Catherine Edwards

The paved road takes a left turn, but the hiking route follows a smaller path further upwards. Here you’ll have magnificent views over the whole of Vienna.

If you stick to the official hiking route (see a map from Weinwandern here) you can keep the whole route under 5 kilometres. But more adventurous types don’t need to feel limited.

You can also follow the Stadtwanderweg 6 route (see a map here) either in full, which will add on a hefty 13 kilometres, or just in part, and venture further into the Mauerwald. If you do this, one spot to aim for is the Schießstätte, a former hunting lodge offering hearty Austrian meals.

EXPLORE AUSTRIA

In any case, you should definitely take a small detour to see the Wotrubakirche, an example of brutalist architecture from the mid-1970s built on a site that was used as a barracks during the Second World War.

Not far from the church is the Pappelteich, a small pond that is not only an important habitat for local flora and fauna, but a popular picnic spot for hikers. Its only water supply is from the rain, and due to climate change the pond has almost dried out in recent years, prompting the city to take action to boost its water supply by adding a permanent pipe.


The church is made up of over 150 concrete blocks. Photo: Catherine Edwards

What you really come to Mauer for, though, are the Heuriger or Viennese wine taverns. 

The most well-known is Edlmoser (Maurer Lange Gasse 123) which has previously been named as the best in Vienna. Note that it’s not open all year so check the website, but in 2021 it should be open between November 5th and 21st, and is also serving the goose that is a popular feature on Viennese menus this time of year.

Tip for translating Heuriger opening times: look for the word ausg’steckt, which is used by those taverns which aren’t open year round. They will also often show that they’re open by attaching a bunch of green twigs to the sign or front door.


Buschenschank Grausenburger. Photo: Catherine Edwards

Also worth visiting are cosy Buschenschank Grausenburger (Maurer Lange Gasse 101a), Heuriger Wiltschko (Wittgensteinstrasse 143 — located near the start of the hiking route, this is a good place to begin your tour) and Heuriger Fuchs-Steinklammer (Jesuitensteig 28).

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