Preparing for your UK Working Holiday
Hopefully by now you’ve had your visa approved and you need to look into purchasing flights to London to start your UK Working Holiday. The following are a few tips to help you book your flights to help with your move to the UK.
Use a travel search engine to book your flights to London:
Search your flights on a search travel engine as sometimes you’ll find discounted tickets that you didn’t know existed. Both www.skyscanner.net or www.kayak.com are a decent sites that also include budget airlines in their search results.
Book your flights to London early:
While you may be able to pick up a last minute special on a flight, it isn’t always guaranteed. Take the stress out of looking for your flights by looking to book 3-6 months before you head off.
Consider a stop over:
having a stopover on the way not only breaks up your flight it can also make your flight cheaper (consider flying via Asia with a discount provider).
Don’t fly into Heathrow
Of all the Airports in the London area Heathrow has the highest charges to Airlines for using their airport, as such if you choose to fly in to Heathrow airport you’ll end up paying a premium. Gatwick, London City, Stansted & Luton airports all service the London area and provide decent alternatives to Heathrow, they are also serviced by a number of low cost providers.
Don’t fly during peak times (Fly when no one wants to):
Be sure to check other dates & times around the time you were hoping to fly. You’ll quite often find Mid-Week or Saturday flights being the cheapest & that flights leaving early in the morning or around lunch time are the cheapest flights on those days.
Set up alerts for flights to London:
With Sky Scanner (www.skyscanner.net) you can set up an alert and be notified of specials / cheaper fares, be sure to do this so you don’t need to be continually checking the price of flights.
Sign up to a Frequent Flyer program:
Look at signing up to a Frequent Flyer program to redeem free or cheaper flights in the future. Signing up with BA (Oneworld) will mean you’re able to redeem flights to any number European destinations quite easily.
Get Travel insurance when you book your flights to London:
A lot of people don’t look to purchase their travel insurance until just before they travel. There are however numerous potentially expensive occurrences that travel insurance will look to protect you from as soon as you’ve purchased your flights (sickness preventing travel, airline / holiday provider liquidation etc.).
Watch the baggage fees & other add-ons:
Not all flights are created & marketed equally. Be sure you compare the total cost of your fares including baggage, meals, credit card charges, entertainment etc).
Shipping your belongings prior to commencing your UK working holiday
The easiest way to keep the costs of your shipping down is to not take too much with you. Winter clothing is considerably cheaper in the UK than Aus or NZ, so rather than taking a lot of bulky warm clothes with you, consider doing your shopping upon arrival!
If you do however want to take your own belongings with you, to ensure you that you’re not spending a fortune on excess luggage, consider sending bulky items (winter clothes, golf clubs & surf boards etc) via sea freight. Using shipping companies from Australia or New Zealand you can ship items to the UK over a period of 3 months (approx.) for a fraction of the costs airlines will charge you for excess baggage. To ship your goods you simply need to supply an address to send your items to, your shipping company may also be prepared to hold your goods in storage until you arrive to then deliver at a later date when have found a place to reside.
There are a number of shipping companies that offer this service, I suggest using Google to search out a couple of options and get a quote on what it would cost to send your packages.
You should now be ready to go and start your UK Working Holiday, good luck & enjoy.