February 9, 2012

Thursday Travel Tips

Let's talk about flights.
Looking, booking, bam.

I often get asked
what the best source to by flights from is.
Travel sites can sometimes be overwhelming.
Google "cheap flights",
and you will get hundreds of results.

So this is what I do,
in three simple steps. 

Step 1
After picking a destination,
the first thing I like to do is to look up flights on bing.
This site automatically compares most airlines for you,
and gives you indicators on whether you should buy or keep waiting.
I've been relying on that indicator for a few years now,
and have found it to be pretty accurate.

Step 2
Once I have a baseline price,
and can afford to be flexible with my travel dates,
I like to use Kayak to see if I can get an even lower price.

It's basically the same concept as bing,
where the comparison work is done for you,
but here you can take it to a different level.
On Kayak, you have an option to compare prices depending on dates.
 Choose the "flexible dates" option
when you initiate your search,
and you'll get a nice little matrix with the final prices for each date:
 That's another a reason why I like using Bing and Kayak -
the prices listed on the summary screen are the FULL prices.
They automatically factor in all the taxes and fees for ya.
Tricks are for kids.
Step 3
The last part should really cover all the bases.
 Keep in mind that bing and kayak don't compare flights from Southwest,
and bing won't even throw in Virgin and Jet Blue for you...
I manually do that part,
and have found the prices to be completely off the wall.
Sometimes Southwest is a lot cheaper,
and sometimes it's crazy expensive.
Go figure..
Don't forget to factor in baggage fees when you're looking at the whole price too.
I've made a mistake before, of booking a flight because it was $20 cheaper,
only to go and spend $50 to check my luggage.  
Never again.

So what do you think?
It may seem like a lot of work,
but really,
it only takes a few minutes to save you some money to spend on the actual trip.

Do you guys have any tips for finding flights that I didn't mention here??
Please share!!



Karina said...

Great tips! I went straight to bing to look for my flights to Bali. I never knew they had such great search capability for flights. Thanks for sharing.

Olivia.Dee said...

i usually drive myself crazy searching for flights and basically stalk any and all websites until i'm happy with the pricing. headache city.

Britt said...

This is extremely helpful! Thanks:) Typically we fly delta for the miles, but if it is way cheaper to fly another airline then we'll do it.

Jenna said...

Great flight search tips! I've been a Kayak/Sidestep fan for ages. Never knew that they don't include Virgin etc though, thanks for the advice of searching flights for those airlines manually!

Happy Weekend!


Marie Martell said...

thanks for the post! very helpful