By Casey Tuttle
So you want to go see these magnificent Reds, eh? You want to make the pilgrimage to Anfield and join in the singing, the goals, and the celebrations. Your day-dreams are filled with having a pint at The Twelfth Man, mixing it up with the Scousers, walking into the shadow of the new massive Main Stand, holding your scarf above your head, and belting out You’ll Never Walk Alone from the bottom of your lungs. Don’t we all?
Only problem is…. you can’t take out a second mortgage, you can't pull your child out of that fancy preschool, and you are not a high school chemistry teacher who can turn to a life of making blue meth. The greatest news is, you can go, and do so while not breaking bad.
It still shocks me the number of people I meet who have never traveled abroad whether by their choice or financial situation. I meet people nearly every day, who have never been east or west of the Mississippi, even those who have never left their state. The thought of packing up your bags, booking a ticket to fly across the second largest ocean on the planet, land on another continent, then find your way to Anfield can be a bit daunting. I assure you, its worth it all, but where to even begin?
First off, unless you got loads of money which if that is the case, then book us both a first class ticket to Liverpool and end your reading here. If you are part of the middle class world that has to make sacrifices to make a trip like this, then we can help. The key is simple. DON’T BE PICKY.
You can't be picky on dates, flight times, or truthfully where you are flying out of or ultimately flying into. Believe me, I have booked $700 dollar tickets to fly 3 states away from my preferred departure airport into my preferred arrival airport, but I have also paid $180 for a direct flight from Las Vegas to Copenhagen. Yes you read that right….and you can too.
My biggest piece of advice is fly into any part of Europe that is the cheapest to do so. The single most expensive part of traveling across the pond is just that…. The flight across. Once you arrive in Europe, travel is dead cheap and quite frankly very efficient and easy to get about. We Americans could really learn a few things in this department. I have now been to Europe three separate times, and as most of you know, Corey and I are heading back in March for my 4th trip and Corey’s third. These trips included visits to England, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland. I have taken trains from London to Paris in the famous Chunnel, I have flown for $18 from Dublin to Barcelona, and again I have flown from Stockholm to Denver for $195 direct.
The greatest tool in all of this is skyscanner.com. I can not underestimate that this is the single greatest flight searching website on the internet. This is not an advertisement, as I assure you that I am not being paid for this plug. It is simply my honest opinion as a avid traveler and someone who wants to help any Red world wide make it to Anfield. My favorite aspect of using skyscanner.com is that you can plug in your home airport or any other and search “Everywhere” and for “Anytime.”
If you are like myself, and have the desire to literally travel everywhere, then this is a godsend. Having the ability to search world wide for anytime, gives you so many options to navigate cheap flights to great destinations. So back to my point, in trying to get to Anfield on the cheap, you need to be very flexible. You may be able to fly out of your home airport for what you feel is decent price, but you also may be able to fly out of an airport 2 hours away and save $300 dollars!
Beyond that, remember, Liverpool is your final destination, it does not need to be your first arrival. If you can fly into Copenhagen for $400 dollars less then do it, because I guarantee you that you can get from Copenhagen to London for less than $40, then get a $15 dollar train up to Liverpool. Plains, Trains, and automobiles. Exhaust all your options in getting around. Are you starting to see where I am going?
Next, do not keep it in your head that you have to book a round trip flight. I have not booked a round trip ticket to Europe ever in my life. My last trip abroad I began at my previous home in Salt Lake City, I booked a $50 dollar one-way to Las Vegas, spent the night, and had a 72 oz. alcoholic slushee as any red blooded American should do. Next morning, I flew from Las Vegas to Copenhagen on the amazing Norwegian Airlines. After 10 days of backpacking with my brothers across Europe, I flew home from Stockholm to Denver, then again a $50 dollar flight home from Denver to Salt Lake.
In all, flying from Salt Lake City to Europe and back cost me less than $500. You have to be creative, because flying from Salt Lake City round trip would literally have cost me another $500 dollars. Is this the cheapest you can get back and forth from Europe? No, not necessarily, If you live in Boston, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, or some of these key European hubs then you can beat that price….at certain times. My intention is to change the way you think when you travel no matter where you are!
As mentioned above, Norwegian Airlines is my preferred airline is flying to Europe. Not only do they offer the best deals, but truly my last flight across was a 10 hour excursion, but it was the nicest plane and accommodations I have ever flown, bar the exceptional German Airliner Lufthansa. The trouble with Norwegian Airlines is that they only fly to certain cities, and those cities have limited days they fly. So for example, when I flew from Las Vegas to Copenhagen, Norwegian only make that flight twice per week. So again, be flexible, be creative, and be adventurous. Traveling abroad changed my life, and I am sure it will change you as well.
Picking a match is a major component of keeping the cost of the trip to Liverpool down. Get this straight, unless you have friends who are members, who live in Liverpool and have season ticket access, or you are in a position that no price is too much, then stay away from looking for a match against any of the other top 5 big boys, and the Merseyside Derby.
These tickets go fast to members, and season ticket holders through the treacherous ticket grab that happens twice a year through Liverpool FC. Also keep this is mind, if you are traveling this far, for your first trip, and spending a chunk of money, don't you want somewhat of a dominant performance and a high probability of a win. Regardless of your positivity, the truth is, any result is within reason with these big clubs bar Arsenal. Cheeky eh? Up the Reds! Not only does availability of tickets increase for lesser matches, but also you aren't going to get taken for a ride on the ticket pricing.
My first trip across I paid $325 to watch us destroy Aston Villa. The face value of my ticket then was $40. Now maybe, just maybe if I had someone writing an article like this back then, I wouldn't have paid so much, but I was hellbent on getting a ticket, and price was least of my concern. Now I am older and wiser, married with a mortgage and a child, prices matter, and prices continue to rise year after year.
So now I would not take this loose of an approach. I bought my ticket off a verified online resale website because I was petrified of buying a bogus ticket online and being locked out of Anfield after traveling across the world. The best way for you to get a ticket you can trust and not get done on the price is to go through an Official Liverpool Supporters Club. Nearly every major city in the States has one now and they are dead easy to join.
If you do not live in a large city and do not have an OLSC close then you are able to join the one closest to your area. This way you can buy a ticket through a branch of the club, for a price typically less that $100 that is a legit ticket and with no worries.
On top of that, now with social media being so prevalent I would recommend leveraging this to your advantage. There are trusted supporters groups that are closed and relatively trustworthy. I would recommend subscribing to The Anfield Wrap for $6.50 per month, which is worth every penny, and joining their Facebook subscribers group. I regularly see real local supporters helping out travelers with tickets and not taking the piss out of them on prices.
Where to stay? This I think is the easiest way to save money depending on your personal needs. If you are like me and could sleep on a park bench just to save some money then you are in luck. My last visit to Liverpool I stayed in a hostel down on the Albert dock for less than $15 dollars a night. It was brilliant! Got to meet other traveling Reds! Save money! And be right in the city.
I know most Americans are a little skeptical of Hostels after the famous horror flicks, but unless you take some questionable narcotics off a random chick you just met then you’ll be fine. If that is your kind of good time, then all the best. Outside of that then AirBnb.com is a great shout, especially if you are traveling with a group and can cut down the cost. My brothers and I travelled throughout Europe in excellent accommodations on the cheap, nearly all on AirBnb. If you are a real free spirit then check out couchsurfing.com. A great social experiment of travelers opening their homes and literally their couch for free! That's right, there are over 400,000 host worldwide currently willing to let you crash at their homes for free! Just don't over stay your welcome and make sure you have a shower!
There is literally endless possibilities in traveling abroad to visit Anfield. This is simply a small sliver of my best experiences and knowledge as a traveler and die hard Red. Every journey is your own, and I sincerely hope you you make it personal. Enjoy every minute of the process and journey, even sleeping on an airport floor in a sketchy airport with your brothers like I did. Feel free to reach out to us on social media if you need any help or advice with planning a trip! I hope this helps, and you save some extra dollars that you can put towards the pints prematch! Give them hell! Up the traveling Reds!