Hitting the slopes on a shoestring




Jack's Flight Club ✈️ Travel News & Inspiration

Živjo, JFC-ers!

This week is all about winners. The World Travel Awards have been handed out, and we were pretty keen to see what made the cut. Turns out there’s an award for nearly everything (Absolut Vodka took the title of ‘World’s Leading Vodka Distillery Tour 2022’, in case you were wondering), so we sifted through to find the headlines.

Winning the title of "World’s Most Romantic Destination" is the Seychelles, while Madeira bagged "World’s Leading Island Destination" for the second year in a row, and Chile picked up "World’s Leading Green Destination". You’ll have to head over to their website to find out which airline has the world’s best in-flight magazine, though.

Lonely Planet took a more focused approach this week, naming their 30 Best Places to Visit in 2023. Designed to inspire, they’ve named winners across five different categories - Eat, Journey, Unwind, Connect & Learn. Once you decide which one floats your boat, there are tantalising videos, pre-set itineraries and even TikToks to get you on your way.

And if all that winning isn’t enough, one of you can be a winner, too! No, we’re not throwing another giveaway - this time, one of our lucky readers can come and join the JFC team. We’re looking for an experienced Data & Business Analyst to support our business strategy and product development, so we can keep bringing you the best flight deals (and witty content, of course). Applications are open now via our website.

Happy travels and safe landings,



Slopes on a Shoestring

Well, reader, you’re definitely not alone when it comes to looking for budget holidays these days. Unfortunately, snow sports really are a tough hobby for anyone watching their cash.

The price of a single day on the slopes in Zermatt is enough to make anyone wince. And that's before you get to the £1,000+ you’ll have to cough up for a stay in Château Fancypants. As much as we like the idea of coiffing champagne in our hot tub alongside the best continental breakfast in Switzerland, it's hardly what we'd call easy on the bank balance.

There is some good news, though - we’ve found a few budget-friendly alternatives to help you soak up some Alpine vibes without having to live on nothing but lentils for the foreseeable.

Slovenia - Vogel Ski Resort

Just a hop and a jump from both Italy and Austria, you’ve got Slovenia’s Julian Alps. We’d suggest hitting the Vogel Ski Resort in Triglav National Park to combine action and glorious scenery. The resort is known for its idyllic views over Lake Bohinj, and is only 40 minutes by bus from the town of Bled (and its famous lake).

Once you get to the resort itself, you’re looking at €35 per day for a pass. Purchasing multi-day lift passes will save you cash if you know that one visit won’t be enough to quench the thirst - 3 days come in at around €90.

If you’re less of a snow bunny than your partner, Vogel is known for its wide, beginner-friendly runs, and has a variety of nursery slopes to help you build up confidence. We’d definitely suggest making a few rounds on the practice lifts, reader, because nobody wants to end up in this unfortunate situation.

Overall, though, the resort offers 16 pistes at various lengths and altitudes, most of which are geared towards intermediate skiers. If your boyfriend is feeling particularly daring, he'll want to try the Žagarjev Graben, Slovenia’s longest descent. You should aim for a February trip if you want the best snowfall, although the resort is open from early December to mid-April.

And there’s no need to worry about accommodation prices here - the area has everything from 5 nights in a loft flat in Bled for £190, to private lakeside beach houses for… well, let’s just say more.

Romania - Pioana Brașov

This one’s a great choice if you’re into a bit of spooky history, reader, as you’ll be shredding the mountains in Transylvania near the legendary Bran Castle - we assure you all the impaling is a thing of the past.

Poiana Brașov is Romania’s largest and most popular ski resort, yet it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. You’ll be looking at 150 RON for a day pass (approx. £27), or if you only fancy a few hours on the mountain, afternoon-only passes start at 65 RON (approx. £12).

We have to admit, one of the most appealing things about Poiana Brasov is its after-dark offerings.

Floodlit slopes mean you don’t have to put your skis down at sunset, but whenever you’re ready, the après-ski awaits. And with pints at less than half the price of the UK, there’s no need to think twice. You’ll find cosy mountaintop vibes at Yager Chalet, as well as local beers and hearty traditional foods. Then it’s downhill (hopefully only literally) to party the night away at KUPA.

The £1 ‘Poiana Express’ bus service to Brașov makes it easy to head back into town and avoid inflated resort prices when it comes to both entertainment and accommodation. Well worth it, as a night in a mountain chalet will set you back double the amount of a cosy flat in charming Brasov Old Town.

France - Chamonix Ski Area

Here’s one you might not have expected - Mont Blanc Natural Resort in the French Alps. With more and more budget airline flights to Geneva and Grenoble, it’s also fairly easy to get there on the cheap.

Day passes for the Chamonix ski area can cost as little as €26 per day if you book online in advance. Hardly the hundreds you might expect from its swanky Alpine reputation! And you definitely get the most for your money here, with one ticket covering 6 different resorts.

You and your boyfriend will be able to mix it up throughout the day, starting with a warm-up and speed test on Flégère’s sunny, south-facing slopes. Later, you can pick between steep, off-piste adventures in the light powder of Les Grands Montets, or panoramic views over Chamonix and Switzerland on the blue and red slopes at Balme.

Free shuttle buses and local trains connect the slopes to all the villages in the valley, so you can avoid paying a premium to stay in le centre-ville. Prices mostly range from £250-£350 for 5 nights, however we did find one studio in nearby Le Fayet at £170, which boasts rave reviews about both the location and host. The only real splurge you’ll have to make on this trip is trying a different fondue restaurant every night - it’s the law, or something.

It looks like you’re in for a great time no matter where you and your boyfriend decide to go, reader. Happy skiing - just try and stay upright!

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Ask us for a travel tip! 🌴


Your top tips for stress-free travel

A couple of weeks ago, we asked you for your top tips on staying stress-free while travelling - and honestly, it seems like some of you have the art down to a T.

Most responses circled around two main topics - planning and, somewhat ironically, going with the flow. You all seem to like a fine balance of the two, dear readers, and we have to agree.

However, Dan’s truly positive outlook nailed the essence of stress-free travel so hard that we just had to share it with you all.

Thanks, Dan!

"My wife and I are morons.

Well, not actually. But that's what our friends and many of our family members thought when we told them we were planning to take our seven-month-old son to Barcelona this past June for the Primavera Sound music festival. And to do so, we would be embarking on a roughly six-hour flight from JFK

We were morons to go, right? Sure. But the Strokes were playing and we hadn't traveled internationally since before the pandemic. And I just happen to enjoy ham and art and wine, and also ham. So we sucked it up and went for it, knowing full well we might miss every artist we intended to see, get minimal opportunities for sightseeing, and have some really terrible days at the beach with a screaming child.

Spoiler: We had an incredible time, and I make that claim with eyes free of any rose-tinted spectacles.

We definitely missed a lot of great music. We for sure had to bow out early here and there. We most certainly struggled to adapt junior's nap schedule to the new time zone. And the crowds were pretty crazy sometimes. But we managed our expectations with a simple mantra we repeated constantly:

"I'm here to have a good time."

... As soon as we reminded ourselves that our goal was not to check boxes, do the best stuff, or take great pictures, but to have a good time — in whatever form a good time takes — we were free to enjoy ourselves. We danced joyously in the back of the crowd, savored our less-prestigious tapas, schlepped a sleepy baby through La Sagrada Famila and the Picasso Museum, changed diapers at the beach between swim sessions. We also drank plenty of delicious wine and ate plenty of mouthwatering ham.

I'm not sure if this is the kind of tip you were asking for, but here's my advice (and my long overdue point): Reduce your travel goal to its essential truth and say it out loud.

It's not about lowering your expectations — it's about adopting an honest interpretation of what your desired outcome really is. I wasn't going to Barcelona to listen to live music until my ears bled. I was going to have a good time, and the details were irrelevant.

I'm really glad I told myself so.


Our Pick Of The Clicks

All the important (or silly, or strange) travel news from across the web this week.

Anyone who has already bought their tickets to the moon will have been glad to see the successful launch of Artemis 1 on Wednesday. The only passengers involved this time were 3 test dummies for collecting data, but NASA are hoping to send 4 astronauts up by 2024.

Who knows, maybe we'll be seeing cheap flight deals to the moon before the decade is out?

In much sadder news, disaster struck at a Dallas air show this week when two historic military planes crashed in mid-air.

As investigations continue into the cause, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the six people who died in the accident.

Northern lights chasers have a whole new show to hunt for, with a super-rare pink aurora recently lighting up the skies above Norway. The local tour guide who caught some snaps of the event said these were the strongest colours he's witnessed in over ten years of tour guiding.

And finally, don't be like this guy, who paid for himself and his kids to fly in First Class, while leaving his fiancée and her children in Economy.

If you want to find out exactly what it means to fly First Class and why she was so upset, take a look at this article where Flight Finder Genora explains what you can expect when you upgrade.

Surely all the kids could have fit in one of these fancy suites?