We all want to know the tried and true secrets when it comes to booking tickets. The best deal, the best airlines, the best connections. You know. The works! There are a ton – I don’t profess to know them all, just the ones that have worked for me. So I’m gonna share them. 🙂
There are a couple things first I always do, not matter what:
1) I will take as direct a flight as possible. But why, you ask, when we all know that multiple connections means cheaper?? Well, for a couple reasons. We can save maybe a hundred or two hundred dollars on a flght with layovers? Wow!! a couple hundred dollars!! Wait, wait. Think about that for a moment:
You may get there at a bizarre time and will be in a horrible airport like say, Dubai, from 11pm til a 6 am flight. What will you do in the middle of the night? Especially when there is no where to sleep. Cuz that airport is always packed. Well you could lean up against a wall and try and sleep with one eye open. Or go book a room at a nearby hotel or lounge? And eat some food along the way – there you go. You have probably used your “savings” on the cheap ticket and you’re grumpy.
Or you may get there at a decent time but because of all the waiting around on your layover you get to your destination exhausted. Not cool.
My tiredness before the trip even starts is not worth it. I always flight direct whenever possible. 🙂 Just get me there.
[Assos, Turkey, with Lesbos, Greece in background]
2. i get there a couple days before I have anything planned. Because then I can get settled and adjusted and familiarize myself with my surroundings a bit, especially when I’m about to lead one of my fantastic small groups – they expect me to be on my game and bright eyed and bushy tailed. 🙂
I also find this gives me my own time to discover different places when I am alone, which is my most favorite way to travel.
[Wandering in the village of Assos]
[Wandering in the ancient ruins of Ephesus]
3. I try and use the same carrier with a frequent flyer program. Until I really started flying more regularly overseas, I didn’t really do this. Now, I try to do it all the time. I use Turkish Airlines as my main airlines when flight west towards Asia and Europe. They have a direct flight from Manila, where I am currently based, to Istanbul, and then from there I can catch other airlines to any other place.
[My favorite airlines – Turkish Airlines!]
The best was when I got bumped to First Class on the long haul from Istanbul to Manila after one of my group Travel Experiences through Turkey. I was exhausted and didn’t know It was a booked flight. I was pleasantly surprised when they reissued my tieket with seat 2B. 🙂
I was chosen because I was simply a regular frequent flier, not even an elite status. Ya baby!! 🙂
Ok so now onto the booking of my airline tickets.
This is how I, pretty much, book my airline tickets.
I open my computer and look on skyscanner.com first. I find they are the best for finding good flight deals. And they don’t keep a cache of your searches so do the “oh its more expensive an hour later, what the heck?”.
I then find the cheapest flight and then go to the airlines website and check the price of the same flight.
If it’s Turkish Airlines, I will then ask my local office here for a quote as well. They are really good at getting back to me quickly.
I have multiple tabs opened in my browser as I look at different flight times and such and make sure my flight schedules match for when I leave and get there and that I have enough time before I NEED to be there working.
I get email updates from my favorite airlines and search engines on flights I use often emailed to me. This is helpful and they do it in advance enough for you to really avail of good deals sometimes.
I also factor in what time of day it is – is it rush hour in the morning or late afternoon? What will it be like to then commute to my accommodations? I try and figure that all out too so that i’m not putting any added stress when I arrive.
[In Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakech, Morocco with one of my small group Travel Experiences]
Sometimes I will change the website from my home country being Philippines, to another, just to see if there are price changes. Sometimes there are, sometimes there are not. Little things like this can sometimes save a bit of $ too.
There are certain days that will be cheaper to fly than others – always keep your options fluid and open for dates, you could save sometimes a couple hundred dollars just cuz you leave on a wednesday instead of saturday, or vice versa. 🙂
Do you have any tips that you want to share about booking tickets? I would love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below 🙂
[The desert camp in the Sahara, Merzouga, Morocco with our small group Travel Experience]
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