Working Holidays

Budget Guide To Domestic Flights When Backpacking

Heathrow Terminal 5

If you’re planning a time-constrained budget backpacking holiday in the UK, there are plenty of domestic flight options online via a choice of low-cost airlines. Although travelling around Britain by coach is by far the cheapest option, it does take far longer than flying and is not an option if you want to cram a large number of UK attractions into your trip.

Budget Guide

This budget guide to domestic flights when backpacking will give you an idea of how to plan your sightseeing tour of the UK. It’s quite possible to select a route around the UK which takes in all the important historic, cultural and natural beauty sites which are connected by local domestic flights.

Cabin Restrictions

One thing you’ll need to remember is the restriction on cabin baggage sizes and weights, and the high cost of transporting extra goodies in the plane’s luggage compartment – it’s a great earner for the low-cost airlines but can eat into your holiday budget in no time. Online you’ll find a plethora of cheap flight-booking sites, and there are a large number of domestic airports scattered around the UK, all within easy access to historic and other famous sights.


Heathrow Airport

If you’re planning to arrive at London Heathrow Airport, you’ll find that access to the best deals in budget domestic fights is via other London airports such as Gatwick, which is located a good distance from Heathrow but with fast road and rail transportation. At Gatwick, you’ll find EasyJet flights to Scotland, a favourite with backpackers, and Flybe routes to Newquay in Cornwall, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Belfast in Northern Ireland.


British Airways, normally not noted for its bargain fares, has a domestic division flying mostly from Gatwick and covering major UK cities such as Manchester and Birmingham at decidedly reasonable prices. The airline’s website publishes special offers, giving backpackers a chance of grabbing a good deal with a major domestic airline. It helps to remember that prices with BA don’t involve the usual annoying add-ons on your booking screen that regularly infuriate customers of certain budget airlines.


Once you’re out of the capital, regional airlines such as British Midland link a number of popular UK towns and cities from Birmingham International Airport at a budget price level. As bookings are still in the doldrums as austerity bites the average UK citizen, special offers and low prices are expected to be the norm for some time in spite of increasing oil prices. If you bookmark a low-season date for your travels, your flight may be even cheaper, with checking regularly on the flight-booking sites the best idea.

Tourist Hotspots

British Midland flies to Leeds Bradford for the stunning Yorkshire Moors and tiny, stone-built villages; to Norwich for the Norfolk Broads with their canal boat holidays; to Edinburgh for the world-famous castle and August Edinburgh Festival and can be accessed at London Heathrow after you’ve spent a few days exploring the capital. For Wales and the west of England, including Bristol and Georgian Bath, Flybe gives good options from London Luton and also covers Liverpool, Birmingham and a choice of Irish cities.


The controversial budget carrier Ryanair, although now concentrating on overseas destinations, still offers flights from London Gatwick, to the south of the capital, and London Stansted, to its east, to Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. Its major rival, EasyJet, is based at London Luton and London Stansted, and offers routes from the capital to Aberdeen, Belfast, Newcastle Glasgow and Inverness, plus a number of flights to secondary UK cities such




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