{Travel Tips} Top 3 airfare search websites

Hello fellow travel aficionados. I was a little bit reluctant to write posts about the Top 3 or Top 10 whatever, but I guess that this topic is interesting. There are many many manyyyyy websites out there for finding the best plane tickets for you. I don’t like saying cheap tickets because this is something that depends on each person. There are so many things that influence what we consider is the best price that I will just leave at “best plane tickets for you”. So, after a few years of really using and buying tickets through this websites, I think they are the best out there:

IMG_0521

Little pic to add a pop of color to this article 😉

1. Kayak 

You can’t actually buy a ticket directly from Kayak BUT they have the best search engine out there. I get the best prices with the best options on layovers thanks to Kayak. Since I use it practically all the time, both for business and personal travel, I give my absolute seal of approval.

2. Vol24

I found this website via Kayak. I have bought 3 different tickets for different destinations (Mexico, Vietnam…) through it. The website does not look very modern, so the first time I used it I was a little bit worried. However, there is nothing to worry about! One of the nice things about vol24 is that you have several price options depending on your payment method (Visa, Visa debit, Mastercard, American Express). This avoids bad surprises when you are ready to go through the payment: you know upfront that you will pay more fees if you buy with Amex.

Quick pro tip: beware of fees charged by different websites. Expedia, Opodo, Travelocity and all the others have different fees so do not be surprised if they charge you 40 USD for each flight (this would mean 80 USD for a round trip NYC-Paris for example). 

3. Opodo

If it’s not Vol24 or Kayak, I use Opodo. I have used it mostly for buying flight+hotel packages, and also for the usual Paris-Mexico plane tickets. Although the fees are a little bit on the high side, they usually have great prices so it compensates the fees.

There you go! What is your experience using these websites? Do you have others that you think are better for finding great prices?

-Andy

 

 

{Travel tips} The ups and downs of buying plane tickets

Let’s be honest: most of the time, it is impossible to find the perfect plane ticket (cheap, no layover, great airline). Although there are some tricks that do work, such as erasing the cookies, you have to have a lot of time and be really into finding super deals online to get THE perfect price.

a350-doha

However, I’ve found recently that there are two basic rules for buying tickets, either for business or for pleasure (even though for business you will not be worrying that much for the price but still, you don’t want your company to pay double just because you decided to plan your trip at the last minute):

  1. You can find the cheapest tickets months in advance, BUT it is not always the case.

What? It is not possible! you might be saying to yourself right now. Well, let me tell you something that just happened. I wanted to go to Mexico in April, so I checked the airfares for Paris-Mexico no layover with AirFrance (I really don’t like AeroMexico, which is another company that flies directly from Paris to Mexico). The price? 1 540 Euros. Yes, you read that right! I decided it was too much money for economy class, so I planned something else to see my family. Anyway, I received an email from AirFrance on Monday announcing great prices for Mexico because of their inaugural A380 flight direct from Paris. Since I like to hurt and traumatize myself, I checked right away and lo and behold, the airfare is 758 euros for the same dates.

Quick pro tip: you cannot always anticipate price changes. Buying months in advance does not guarantee that you will get the best price. 

So, what to do then?

2. Whenever you see what you consider is the best price that you are willing to pay, buy it straight away. 

It is the same logic I apply (most of the time) when buying clothes or stuff. Sometimes you think it soooo much that in the end your size is out of stock or the discount is no longer applicable. So just go ahead and buy it, it is great to analyze and search like crazy for an incredible price but, unless there is an error fare, miracles don’t exist. Another example of this precise situation happened to me this week. I am planning a business trip to Australia (I’m so excited I’ll write about it later!), and since I have family there, I was looking for plane tickets to go to Canberra from Sydney. One week ago I found on vol24.fr (hands down one of the best websites out there) a ticket going for 100 Euros. I didn’t buy it because I was in a lazy mood and whatever. I decided to finally buy it yesterday and guess what, it is now 150 Euros.

Quick pro tip: if you find a price that is a great price for you, don’t over think it, just do it!

So there you go, real life experience coming from yours truly.

Have you ever experienced something like this? I would love to hear your thoughts about it!

-Andy

{Thoughts} My year in review

It is that time of the year when you make a list of everything you are grateful for, what you loved or disliked, but most of all, what you are looking forward to in the new year.

2015 was a challenging year, but also a rewarding one. I finally saw the fruit of many things that I have worked for, so that makes me feel very grateful to the universe for everything that’s going on right now. In regards to the challenges, one of the biggest ones was to take the leap and change jobs. I am really happy where I am right now because I get to do one of the things that I love the most: TRAVEL.

In four months, I had the chance to go to Germany, London, Toronto, Zurich and Vienna. Not too shabby ! I traveled to Rome and Mexico as well, can’t complain!

 

I am looking forward to see what 2016 has in store for me !

I wish you all the very best, and as Gandalf says “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you”.

xX Andy