Booking flights is a big puzzle - there are many variables to consider and the perfect flight often doesn't line up with the perfect price.
Nevertheless, we’ve created a quick guide on how to approach booking flights for our trips.
Where do I begin?
We like using Google flights or Kayak - they seem to be the most helpful (and reliable) in finding the best option.
WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE?
We start trips on Sunday so you have flexibility in when you fly in. When searching for flights, try looking at Thursday, Friday, and Saturday departures to see if there are any big differences in price/flight times. It might make sense to fly in earlier and get an extra couple days of travel in. Arriving early also allows you get adjusted to any jet lag before the trip and obviously gives you more time abroad!
Bonus: Other people on your trip might be doing this as well - check with our team and we may be able to pair you up with someone to split the cost of a hotel room.
What about flying into another airport?
We always recommend checking flights into nearby airports. Flights can be cheaper and it's often very easy to take a train or bus to your final destination. For example, flights to Rome can be as much as $800 cheaper than Florence and it is only a 2 hour train ride away (for only 40 euro!).
MONEY saving tricks?
Sure! Try these:
Use miles. If you don't have many racked up yet, credit cards like the Capital One Venture card and Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Reserve) give pretty sweet sign-up boosts.
Take red-eyes or early morning flights.
Book on a Tuesday or Wednesday. (rumored, but hard to confirm)
Track flights with Apps like Hopper - you will receive notifications about prices changes for certain routes and advice on whether the flight price is likely to go up or down.
Look at specific Airlines' websites for sales. Spring sales, holiday sales, etc sales.
Pretend you're in a different place. Sometimes, using the website of your destination will yield different prices. For example, search flights to Paris from kayak.fr. Side note: Definitely helps if you speak that country's language.
Booking my ticket now!
Double check your departure and arrival times. When does the plan land? Some of our trips have very specific arrival times so double check you land in time. What day are you arriving? To arrive on Sunday, you will need to fly out on Saturday. Triple check that the dates are exactly what you want. If you have layovers, make sure that you have enough time to get through customs before your next flight.
YAY, My flight is tomorrow!
Double check your departure times and get to the airport at least 2 hours ahead of take-off for international flights. The last thing you need is to be running towards your plane only to have the door slam in your face. Be sure to pick up a big bottle of water before you board (dehydration is a major cause of jet lag) and pull out a comfy sweater/neck pillow/headphones/eye mask for the flight.
And whatever you do, don't forget your passport.
You are now cleared for takeoff.