Let's Fly Away
As I write this I am sitting at my mother's dining room table in Houston, TX. After a four day drive from New York to Texas, I can say with absolute certainty that my preferred method of travel is by plane. I will take the metal bird any day. A lot of you have asked how I find my plane tickets at such good rates, especially my international flights. Here are a few of my tips and tricks.
One of my favorite things to do when I was bored in class, and couldn't take any more powerpoint lecturing, was to search for plane tickets on my laptop. Most of the time I didn't know where I wanted to go, but I knew how much I wanted to spend. For moments like this Kayak was always my go-to search engine. They have a great feature called Explore. You type in your nearest airport code, the month, or season, you want to travel, and your price range. Kayak will then pull up all the places you can travel within your search criteria. I have seen anything from weekend trips to two-week trips using this feature, so be sure to look at the dates before just booking. If you are looking to go overseas you can set the app to only look at tickets for specific countries.
I use this method anytime I go to Europe. Let's say I want to visit France, but tickets are $800. Don't be discouraged my friends. If you are willing to do a bit of research, and extra travel, the baguettes, and macaroons can still be yours- with a lower price tag. Instead of blowing $800+ to get directly to the place I want to visit I look at the cheapest plane ticket I can buy just to get into the country. For example, if tickets to Paris are $800+, but tickets to Spain are $450 then I would buy the ticket to Spain. Next, I would buy a plane, train, or bus ticket (choose your preferred method) from Spain to France. Tickets between countries are cheaper in Europe. Be sure the difference is worth it though. If you are only saving $50 it's not worth the hassle. Remember if you buy a one-way ticket, you will have to go back to the country you entered to get back home. If this is still unclear I'll give you an example of my last trip.
I flew out of NY to Denmark (entry/exit country)
From Denmark, I flew to Amsterdam
From Amsterdam, I flew to France
From France, I took a train to Luxembourg
From Luxembourg, I flew back to Denmark (entry/exit country)
From Denmark, I flew back to NY
I knew I wanted to visit multiple countries on my last trip and starting in Denmark was the cheapest round-trip option. From our starting point, we just worked our way down and back in a circle. Be sure to always check times between flights, and if you visit multiple countries be aware of possible time zone changes! Again, make sure the price difference is worth it. Trust me an extra day of travel is not worth saving $40, but it is worth a couple hundred. You can check out how I planned my flight itinerary here. It is a bit intense, but I've had practice.
When I am not using Kayak I almost always use Southwest Airlines. They are good for short distance trips, and plus their baggage policy is great. Who else lets you check in two bags, a carry-on, and one personal item for free. No one, that's who. Use their calendar feature and see if you can find a cheaper rate using flexible dates. For even cheaper rates, fly on days like Tuesday and Thursday. Weekend trips will always be more expensive. Always.
So get to booking! If you are thinking of planning an upcoming trip and need some help I am more than happy to assist. There is nothing I like more than spending other peoples money, especially on airfare. #safetravels