"" Writer's Wanderings: Getting There By Plane

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting There By Plane

Unless you are truly a road warrior or maybe an RVer, most likely your dream vacation involves a plane flight. Here is where you need to determine your comfort level and degree of patience. As I said in my previous post, the hotel booking sites will also allow you to book plane passage as well with their packages. This eliminates searching and evaluating and timing the purchase of your plane tickets on your own.

If you are going on a cruise, you also have the option of including the plane fare when you book and they make all the arrangements. When you do this, you also get transportation from the airport to the ship but be aware that you may have a longer plane trip with layovers and you will probably pay a lot more for the transportation to the ship than if you simply took a cab. Weigh the convenience against the cost. When you are on your own you are also responsible to get to the ship on time. They will not wait.

Plane fares go up and down. Generally the closer you get to your travel date the lower the fare but not always. It is a gamble. There are several sites where plane fares are monitored and you can be sent updates. The one we use is Yapta.com. Stay in your comfort zone with this. You may purchase your ticket and find the price goes down later but look at it as being able to sleep at night knowing you are booked. Generally we book 3-6 months before our departure date.

Also when looking for your flights try entering different dates. You may find a fare cheaper even if you have to pay to stay an extra night at the beginning or end of your trip. And there may be a nearby airport that has fares low enough to justify driving a couple of hours to another city and flying out from there.

One more suggestion: If you know you will be flying within the bounds of another country several times (as is the case with our Australia trip), you might check with the country's major airline to see if there is a discount fare for flying with them on a special ticket. For example, Qantas offers a deal where you can book up to three flights within the country for a special discount price.

Unfortunately air fares tend to be the major expense of any trip but with a little surfing and some patience, you can find something you can budget into your plans.

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