Excited to turn few holidays into a vacation, well we love that. You vacation will start the moment you think and decide to go for it. Though your journey will start the moment you decide a destination, and the drama behind a perfect journey starts when you start booking flights or start making reservations. Everything might look perfect from a bird’s eye, but you got dig deep before you make the move of booking your flights. You must pay extra care so you do not regret about your booking decisions later. Here is a checklist to save your trouble.
Check your destination airport – Before booking your tickets, please double check your destination airport. Nowadays there are couple of airports in one city, especially if your destination is some high traffic metropolis. You might not want to land down to an airport that is hour drive from the city, or you might want to save some bucks rather than landing on major one. Choose the airport based on your priorities.
Check the cost of airport transfers – While deciding the airport, also consider the airport transfers. Your hotel might be near to a major in city airport, or might have a direct transit rail line connecting it. If your hotel is not arranging for your airport transfers, then it might be a costly deal to arrange one. But a cheaper flight airport might be far without any proper means of connection with city. Do some calculations and figure the best way around it.
Pick a save date – Price might fall drastically if you give it some room, even of a week. So keep a check on flight fares, they fluctuate all the times. Chose a date where you can save considerable bucks. Also check before planning if you are making your booking in high or off season. It’ll save you hundred dollar bills. It might not be a very good decision but for sudden trips, you can save a lot on last minute bookings.
Terrible season also counts – Before heading to a particular destination do check the season when you are travelling. If it is a rainy season or the snowy season then you might want to check up the weather forecast for that day. The last thing that you would want is a stranded flight because of the bad weather situation. Trust me, that happens a lot, and least you should be prepared for it.
Stopovers for long flights – Check the duration of flight. If it’s more than 10 hours, then booking a route with stopover can give you some relaxation, considering all people are not that patient and great seat sitters. A connecting flight with some room for leisure is a better alternative than booking a comfortable business class seat. A stopover can also give you luxury to watch another city in your journey.
Be wary of time zones and dates – If you are travelling international then pay extra attention to the time zones and dates. It could be very confusing. In extreme cases you might also land in a destination on a date which is one day behind your travel start date. You got to keep track of these things, or else you might end up loosing a day’s time or totally distort your itinerary through a bad booking.
Flight price alerts – If you are kind of lazy or laid back fellow who doesn’t wants to keep up with the regular checking of flight prices then this one is for you. There are many travel booking portals that allow a feature of flight price alerts. All you have to do is input your desired route, from origin to destination and some preferred travel dates and subscribe for the alert. You will save money and time too.
Incognito Mode – We all know about it, but it is seldom that we use it. While booking your flights put your browser in the incognito mode or at least clear the cookies. This will give a glimpse into fresh prices that are not biased. It will also signal the booking engine that it is the first time that you are coming on the website and you might get an extra ordinary deal because of it. So keep that in mind.
Stopovers or direct flight – Check if you could get a cheaper flight with stopovers, or faster means of getting to destination with a direct flight. With n number of flight operators these days you will get plenty of options. Now you just need to prioritize what is important to you, money or time. If you are a business traveler then go with time. This choice will come in handy when you are travelling long route.
Flight services – This goes especially when you are booking long international flights which exceed the run time of handful of hours. You might want to check of the airline provides wifi, or free food, and a nice hospitality while travelling. After you have boarded the flight and traveled for couple of hours you will sure think like that. So it is better to check these things before hand. It can be done before booking.
Avoid short stopovers – Avoid a route where you have a stopover in flights with very less time in between flights. There are two reasons for it. One, that you will probably have to rush and it will become hectic. Trust me, moving around in terminals is not that much of fun. The other reason, in case of flight delays you can also miss the connecting flight. When this happens it can ruin your plans completely.
Neighboring cities – See what destination you are travelling to. If there are nearby cities that have major airports, then choose them, instead of a low frequency and high priced flight. For example if you have to travel to New Jersey, you can opt for travelling to New York and commute till New Jersey. Chances are New York flight fares will be much cheap including your cost of commuting to New Jersey.
The economy class – Flight operators these days have many kind of economy classes. They all vary with each other based on the services that airline is going to provide you. These services could be the limit of carry on baggage, or the food served while the duration of flight, or the flexibility to chose your seat. The point is that in order to save some bucks you might end up suffering a lot or paying more.
Long flights and Budget airlines – If it’s a long journey, we will probably suggest that you don’t book the budget airlines. The leg room is less, services are limited, food is average quality, and comfort might not be up to the mark. Long flights with compromised standards can really be frustrating. Budget airlines will save you money for sure but at the same time can cost you up to 1 day of tiredness.
Travel insurance is must – Travel insurance might not sound serious to you, if all you catch is a flu that too every five or six years. The point is that no matter if you are a yoga practitioner and don’t eat without a diet chart, Travel insurance is a must. Last thing you would want is getting serious health problem in foreign countries. Plus in case of mishaps you will also get refunds on your bookings.
6 Months of Passport Validity – Keep a check of your passport validity. See if it’s not expiring soon, and has minimum six months before date of your departure. We bet that this could get you in trouble with immigration department, and there is nothing worse than getting deported from your la la land. Plus there are many countries that offer VISA only when your passport has more than 6 months of validity left.
Vaccinations and diseases – There are many countries around the globe that have vaccination requirements before you enter their territory. Be sure to check them before booking the flight. It is highly recommended that you also check the health advisory about the country you are headed to before hand. You might not want to catch up with a deadly disease while travelling for leisure.
Baggage Weight – Always check the weight of luggage that you are allowed to carry. This can be troublesome if you haven’t done it before hand. If the luggage allowance is lesser than what you have to carry, you can browse through other airline options. You will always get some other airline that lets you carry more or least have a lesser additional charges. It’s advisable to have correct estimate about luggage.
Cancellations and Amendments – Always check the cancellation and amendment charges which is not often highlighted at the time of booking. It might not sound serious, but in event of change in plans you will remember us. Some Airlines have zero returns on cancellation and this could be very frustrating. Some airlines charge almost 1/3 the fee as flight for amendments. So avoid getting turned off.
Be late rather than making a mistake!