2017 starts with ‘Goodbye’. Followed by ‘Hello.’
Despite starting a year in review a month ago, I couldn’t nail down the major questions and learnings I was grappling with. While I continue to work on it, I’ve compiled a 2016 year-in-review oriented around the things that happened. Please take this as a first draft and forgive the rough edges. All photos are taken by yours truly.
This is a work-in-progress musing about the nature of birthdays, what they mean, and how I enjoy them. Bare with my stream-of-consciousness thinking and topic leaps!
During my recent visit to Hong Kong, a friend asked, “I’ve never tried shaved ice (綿綿冰). What’s it like?”
“Like ice cream, except fluffier and less heavy,” I responded. “But Chong Kee (松記糖水) used to be famous for its mango dessert (楊枝金露).”
“I live here, but that’s news to me. How do you know all that?”
This is a list I’d made in 2014 of the world’s flag-carrying (i.e. major) and charter (i.e. budget) airlines.
You can visit the interactive spreadsheet, and click ‘Explore the Data’ to filter based on what you want:
- In Type 1: Select ‘Search Engine’ if you want to do your own searches
- In Style of Travel: Search for ‘Budget’ or ‘Budget & Regular’ Flights
- Filter by ‘ Focus Region’ for where you are flying to / from, as platforms and carriers are often regional
- Filter by ‘Host Country’ because many charter flights are headquartered in a certain country and only offer flights to and from that country
Flight Tips to Save Money:
- Choose budget airlines and pack light.
- If flying long-haul, choose a multi-city. Use the flag-carrying (national) airline in your desired stop-over country. This often yields a cheaper flight and a free stop-over.
- Europe Example: Toronto, Canada > London, UK > Tokyo, Japan
- Pick: British Airways. Buy Multi-City, and stop over a few days lin London.
- Asia Example: Vancouver, Canada > Jakarta
- Pick: China Airways (based in Taiwan), Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong), or Thai Airways (Bangkok)
*This is my personal favourite for long-hauls.
- Fly to a nearby city for hubs.
- Example: Flying into Manchester, UK and taking the train into London is sometimes cheaper, and means you can visit somewhere else!
- Travel Off-Peak.
- Example: Visit Italy in Winter. (But dress warmly, it’s cold!)
- Use flight search alerts such as Hipmunk and Skyscanner. They are good at predicting fare sales.
- Special Flight Deals:
- Travel where the tickets are cheap, even if it wasn’t on the top of your list. If you’re just looking for a getaway, you’ll usually be pleasantly surprised since you didn’t have expectations!
- Many search engines are often regionally optimized, so check the list to see which ones are best for the places you’re going to.
This is a work in progress. If you have any additional items, please let me know. Thanks!