Photo Credit: Eddie Flanigan (Fusion) at the Beatbox House Battle June 2021
My name is Ghost. Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article called “The Ultimate Beatboxer’s Guide to Affordable Flights and Group Travel”. Having traveled to many beatbox events under financial and time constraints at the time, I wanted to share my knowledge about traveling with other members of the community who faced the same restrictions.
In the couple years since then, we’ve experienced a pandemic that canceled the majority of live events and deterred any sort of meetup between beatboxers in general. Now that live events are coming back, beatboxers have shown a newfound eagerness to meet each other and participate in events. Local, regional, and international events have all begun to resurface, and now is a key time for many people to see familiar faces and meet new ones in person.
Consider this article a continuation of the one I wrote almost two years ago. Since the previous article already covered many topics, this one will mainly be new tips, although I may revisit some of the previous topics.
I hope this helps.
Finding Better Prices
The foundation of flight pricing is supply and demand. Essentially, popular travel destinations usually have more competing airlines and airports, and they compete through a variety of factors such as flight length, accessibility, and of course, price. In order to get the upper hand, companies adjust the price-point in their flight prices to attract either the most customers to fill their seats or the highest paying ones.
The New York City area is the best example of these principles at work. Between LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark, airlines often compete to have the lowest prices, especially if the flights are for popular destinations. Travelers can also enjoy a wider variety of destinations and flight times since New York City is a travel hub. Here, you can commonly find flights for less than $100, even to Europe.
What we can take away from this is that popular cities or areas with higher flight activity will often offer the best price, service, and convenience. Even if your origin location does not offer you these benefits, traveling to a popular destination can also be a great way to save time and money. Use this knowledge to your advantage.
One more important thing. When you’re using flight search engines, make sure to double check the prices. Oftentimes, the actual price that shows up when you’re buying the ticket will be different from what’s displayed in the search results, especially since prices are computer determined and actively changing. The difference won’t usually matter too much, but it may still sway your decision. I also want to quickly add that in my previous article, I wrote about going incognito to avoid cookies, but that has been debunked as a myth.
Which Days to Fly
According to Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, the most affordable days of the week to fly during are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday if it’s for US domestic flights. If your sights are set on Europe, weekdays will tend to be the most affordable. This is generally due to when people travel for business and leisure the most frequently.
It is understandably difficult to travel during weekdays though since the standard workweek gets in the way. It is oftentimes a necessity though, as beatbox events will usually take the weekend. The solution to this will differ from person to person depending on their work and home situation. If you need to fly later in the day though, make sure to search for your flights earlier, as you want to avoid missing out on those limited tickets.
Make Your Own Layovers
This is the main piece of advice I wanted to share out of everything in this article. If nothing else, take this with you.
With the Grand Beatbox Battle coming up, and other live international events coming back, members of the community are looking for ways to travel internationally in an affordable manner. The method I use to achieve this takes advantage of other countries within vicinity, as well as the aforementioned supply and demand principle.
To provide an anecdote, I was looking for a way to get to Stockholm a couple years ago. Direct flights there cost about $300. However, I found a flight to London for about $80, and from there, it cost $50 to get to Stockholm. The decision here was clear. Not only did I save $170 in flight money, but it gave me an opportunity to explore another city altogether.
Basically, the strategy is to fly first to a popular travel destination that is closer in proximity and has cheaper airfares for your target destination. From then on, it will be more affordable to get to your target destination. For example, when I traveled to Spain, I used that as an opportunity to visit Portugal for less than $100, rather than book an entirely new trip altogether.
This can also be done in reverse. A flight from Warsaw directly to the USA might be pricier, but if you travel to Amsterdam first, and then to the USA, you may be able to save a significant amount of money while enjoying another location.
Great “layover” locations in my opinion include London, Amsterdam, and Brussels. These locations are already popular travel destinations with an affordable flight infrastructure. It often costs less than $100 to fly there directly, and even less to travel deeper into Europe from there. Other than those cities, most popular Western European cities in countries such as Germany, France, and Ireland, make for great locations to travel through while trying to get somewhere farther.
Doing this requires a lot of planning ahead and research, but can easily make for a more enjoyable trip that involves more experiences for less money.
Plan for Total Travel Time
I believe most people know this intuitively, but plan for total travel time. If you have to choose between a 5 hour flight at an airport 1 hour away, or a 3 hour flight at an airport 4 hours away, the clear choice would be the former.
Your situations won’t be that clearcut, but think through where your flight goes, where your housing situation is, and where your event is. Trying to save money through flight and housing deals won’t be worth it if you have to consistently spend on ridesharing, or travel for immense lengths of time.
This is especially important if you’re competing or doing an important performance at an event. That will make getting adequate rest and eating well a top priority, and under travel constraints, it will be more difficult to get either of those. Make sure to do what you need in order to perform your best.
Be Conscientious of COVID-19, Even Now
I am not a public health expert by any means, but it’s common knowledge that viruses can easily mutate into variants that don’t have any sort of current response. Even if you’re protected, I would still bring a mask, and other preventative measures such as sanitizer.
Bring your own mic as well. I also bring my own cable. From what I’ve observed, this has become a new standard for events. I bring an AKG D5, but I’ve seen others bring SM58s and Sennheisers. It’s up to you to bring whatever you believe works best for you, but it will probably help to bring a mic that the community is familiar with, as it will help organizers and audio engineers create a standard sound for the event.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below. If this was helpful in any way, be sure to share it with your friends. I hope to see you at the next event.