A Quick Tip
I’ve booked a couple of trips this week and thought I’d share some simple tips.
This first one isn’t really a groundbreaking travel hack, but it’s amazing how often people say: ‘I never think of that!’, when I mention it…
When you’re booking a flight, if your main focus is price and timings, then don’t limit yourself by searching only round trips with the same airline.
Often you will find a much better price, and much more convenient flights times, by flying out with one airline and back with another. Instead of heading straight to an airline’s website, try Google Flights, a brilliant tool for finding the best option for your requirements from all available airlines. It allows you to search any combination of airlines, and select multiple airports. It will even show you a pricing graph, so you can find the cheapest dates to leave and return.
Booking Flights for a Weekend Away
Recently I wanted to make use of my growing stash of Hilton Honors points for a weekend away, but I didn’t want to spend much on flights. I decided I fancied two nights at a luxury hotel, somewhere warm, and narrowed it down to Hilton Sorrento Palace or Conrad Algarve. I’m not going to be flying with children, so my priorities were 1) Maximising the time away on a two night weekend stay and 2) Getting the best price.
So I searched for flights from my three nearest airports (Bristol, Cardiff & Exeter) to the nearest airports to the hotels (Naples and Faro). I used the price graph to find the cheapest weekend, and then found the earliest Friday morning flight to depart and the latest evening flight to return. That led me to book Bristol to Faro, flying out with EasyJet and back in with RyanAir – giving me a super cheap weekend in a fantastic hotel (this will be our second visit). Whilst I know the flights will be basic, without wasting part of the weekend to travel to a London airport, my options are pretty much limited to budget airlines anyway.
I have always avoided RyanAir previously, so whether I’ll still be saying this was a good idea afterward I don’t know! However, the flight times really helped extend the time away, and avoided the potential for a rushed weekend.
Of course if you don’t want to fly RyanAir you can omit an airline, remove flights with stops, only show flights under a certain price, etc. If you’re paying cash, rather than points, for a flight, then this is a fantastic tool for finding the best option for your needs.