With so many resources out in the technology world, you are bound to hear about a good flight deal and want to jump on and buy it. So when you are scrolling through Instagram and you see Roundtrip flights to Paris for $412, what should you do?
1. Talk with your significant other/travel partner/family/parents in advance and see where your “must go” places are in the world. If you know where you want to go and you are ok with buying tickets to go there and you see a flight deal, buy it.
Flight deals often do not last more than a day or so. Mistake fares often do not last more than a few minutes or hours. You have to jump on deals when you see them. So know what your “good to buy tickets” list is!
2. Make sure you can have the time off of work. If you see a good deal but it’s during the middle of school for your kids or during the on season on work, you will want to keep that in mind. If you find a killer deal, just book it with the option to cancel and double check with school/your boss.
When we went to Thailand, it was the 2nd and 3rd week of the new semester for me. I went ahead and bought the flight deal and immediately emailed my professors before the semester even started. All of them were ok with it and we went! If they weren’t, we would have cancelled the tickets.
3. Have the option to cancel the tickets. Things come up or you shouldn’t have bought that spur of the moment ticket because rent is due in 2 days or you forgot about your family reunion that falls on the same week. Make sure you can cancel and get a refund of your ticket. Most airlines allow you to cancel and get a refund within 24 hours of buying the ticket.
Note: Some sites like Cheapoair.com will charge you a small fee. I usually pay the $24 a person to be able to cancel our flight if we need to. I rather loose out on $50 than $1000+
4. See if you can fly into the city the flight deal is for and then hope on a quick flight to you actual destination. Want to go to Paris but flights are $1200 RT? A flight deal for London could be $600 RT. Fly into London (Bonus! You get to have a “layover” in a cool city) and rent a car, ride the train or fly to Paris. Flying to another country once you are out of the US is often a lot cheaper. You may pay another $100-200 a person but you are still saving yourself a couple of hundred dollars.
Now. If you want to go to Australia and there is a flight deal to Dublin for $380 RT, I probably wouldn’t try to fly to Dublin and then Australia. Even if flights from Dublin to Australia are cheap, the amount of time you are taking to travel to both places wouldn’t be worth your time and you probably would spend the same amount of money you would on just going from your home city to Australia.
My rule of thumb. If you can jump on a plane and be in the new country/area within a 3-4 hour flight, do it. It’s like flying from California to NYC, no big deal. Most European cities are only a few hour plane flights from each other.
5. When you see a flight deal, don’t buy it that second. Make sure you check other sites (Google Flights, MoMondo.com, CheapOair.com, Priceline.com, Kayak.com) for a quick search to see if there is an even cheaper deal and/or more desirable date/time of travel. Move quick on some deals because they could be done within minutes (like the Mistake fare to Australia a couple of weeks ago. Flights were under $400 RT from most cities, when they are usually $1600 RT).
So those are our tips! Would you want to see a tutorial on how I actually book a flight?
Remember to follow us on Instagram at @lifeofthepilotswife and on Pinterest at Lifeofthepilotswife