Airfare is usually the most expensive part of travel or vacation. Therefore, booking the right flight is of extreme importance for hassle free and pleasant travel experience. Online booking engines, like the one on VacationSpirit, allow you unprecedented level of control over every aspect of your flight trip. Just type the travel dates and destinations in the boxes above, and you will be presented with great many options for your flight. Which one should you choose? Things like price, airline, flight time, number of connections, all come into play. Of course, each thing is of different importance to each person, but most people value the low price of the travel above all. That's why the results in our booking engine are sorted by price. Automatically selecting the cheapest airline tickets, however, isn't the best idea. Pay attention to the airline and the number of connections! Airlines are not the same, if you have had a repeatedly good experience with some airline, you might want to pay a little extra for it or maybe avoid a budget airline and pay a little more for a major airline, which usually tend to have better service. Number of connections is also extremely important. Usually, you are better of paying extra for a non-stop flight, than going through a hassle of additional takeoff and landing, in addition to the waiting time, and increased travel time. It all depends on the price difference. Keep in mind, that in rare cases, you might need a transit visa, even if you merely have a connection there. Now, going back to airline ticket price, if you're flexible with your dates of travel, you can save a lot of money (especially on international flights) simply by running several searches. Here are a few tips:
- Start your search broad: Do not indicate specific time of travel or specific airline. Just try several different combinations of departure and arrival dates and see prices on which dates are the lowest. Then you can get more specific.
- Enter a city for flight origin and destination: Entering an airport code (like JFK) will result in flights being displayed only from that airport, while a city will produce results from all nearby airports, making sure you will see the cheapest possible airfares.
- Book your airline tickets early: There is a myth that it is cheaper to by airline tickets closer to the travel date. It is just that – a myth. The earlier you book your flight, the more likely you are to get a low price on your airline ticket. If you have definite travel plans purchase airline tickets as much as 7-8 months in advance to ensure lowest price. A note of caution: although purchasing travel insurance is advisable when purchasing any kind of airline tickets, it is all the more important when you purchase tickets months in advance. It is harder to foresee obstacles to your travel when you book that far ahead.
- Avoid Holidays: If your travel is not holiday-related try to avoid holidays. The low-cost airline tickets are bought of faster for hot days (like Christmas, New Year, beginning and end of school and college holidays). That makes it less likely for you to get a lower airfare. For national flights, three day weekends should be also avoided.
- Don't put off: Once you found a great price, do not put off purchasing the airline ticket for long. You will find that days and even hours later the fare you liked might no longer be available. If you see an airfare that you think is cheap, book it as soon as possible.
Visas (no, not the credit cards)
So let's say you found a perfect airfare and want to book it. Wait. If it is an international flight, make sure whether you have all the documents and visas required for your travel or vacation. If you think that the country you are going to might not grant you visa, it is better to receive a visa before booking your airline tickets. Otherwise, just make sure that you have enough time and all the documents necessary to get all visas you need before your flight's departure date. Usually, it takes at least 2 weeks to get a visa, and may take up to several months. So make sure you research it. Another thing to pay attention to is the expiration date on your passport. Normally, you would not be granted a visa, or admitted into a country, if your passport expires less than 3 months from your travel date. In some cases it is six months. Finally, there are many individual requirements that various countries have. Make sure you research them by going to the websites of their consulates. Visa problems are the most troublesome during travel and are very easy to prevent.
Pack Your Bags
If you take a lot of things with you on your trip or vacation, - packing your bags properly is very important. There are two types of luggage: carry-on and check-in. As the names imply, carry-on will stay with you on the airplane, while check-in is submitted to the airline for the flight. Each airline has its own limit of the weight of each type of luggage per passenger. It is better to put things that you might need during the flight as well as expensive things into your carry-on luggage. Everything else is better to put into the check-in luggage so that you don't have a lot of things to haul during boarding the airplane, exiting it, and flight transfers. Keep in mind that anything that can be construed as a possible weapon (for example, scissors, box-cutters, matches, sharp objects, etc) should not be put in the carry-on luggage. It will be taken away before the flight during the security check, and you may even get a fine. If you are in doubt about any items in your luggage, ask the airport security or airline representative while you still have a chance to take it from your carry-on and put it in your luggage. The bags that you check-in are being thrown quite a lot. It is a good idea to put a lot of padding around fragile items that might break during flight.