We’re a team of frequent flyers…
And as such, we’re always hunting for the best flight deals for our next adventure. While some of us swear by collecting points, others are fanatical about using apps like Hopper to monitor prices. We’re all completely addicted to Scott’s Cheap Flights. But we all agree that with a bit of flexibility, Hub Hopping is one of the best ways to save a lot on airfares.
Hopping can sometimes take longer than flying directly to where you want to go, but it can also mean seeing another city or two on your trip — and save you hundreds of dollars in the process.
Basically, you find the cheapest way to get to the continent and then use local carriers to get around within that continent.
Right now, a Thai Airways trip with a short layover in Bangkok will cost you US$994 return.
That’s not a terrible price, especially if you have a few Star Alliance frequent flyer points to put towards it.
But if you’re prepared to break the flight up into little legs, you can fly to Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia X from Melbourne for around US$380 return, then grab a quick 1 hour, 40 minute flight to Koh Samui for around US$230 with Bangkok Airways.
All up, around US$610 return with a little extra factored in for Air Asia’s luggage fees.
Alternatively, you can fly up to Singapore on a ridiculously cheap Scoot flight (US$376 round trip!) and grab a Bangkok Airways flight over to Samui ($335 return)…
Or if you wanted to spend some time in Bangkok instead, take a US$585 Jetstar flight non-stop to BKK and take one of the many Bangkok Airways flights to Samui for around US$220 return.
If you want to save even more, you can fly with Air Asia or Thai Smile from Bangkok’s smaller Don Mueang airport to Surat Thani for around US$40. You then catch a ferry over to Koh Pha Ngan from the mainland.
Those of you coming from Europe or the US, using these hubs can similarly save you hundreds of dollars — and sometimes for only a few added hours travel time. From the west coast of the US, Seoul or Manila can also be good choices. For Europeans, Kuala Lumpur tends to be the cheapest hub.
You may need to stay a night in one of the cities to make the flights work, but we like to use the stopovers as opportunities to see friends or explore the stopover: grab a delicious dinner at Nahm in Bangkok, eat all the laksa in KL, shop up a storm on Orchard road in Singapore. Ask us for recommendations for places to stay and things to see!