When I decided to take a trip to Melbourne, I realised that I had no other option than booking flights down and back. I only have one week in which to get to Melbourne, spend my time and return to Brisbane. Just about any other transport would see me with probably at least two days of travel at each end of, which is not a big deal but I want to maximise my time in Melbourne itself.
Of course, there are plenty of other options to get between places, such as bus, train or car. However flying has the best combination of price to time spent travelling. There are some things to keep in mind when travelling and when booking flights.
General Tips For Booking Flights
- Getting a price for a flight is very easy, just a quick visit to the top three local airlines will quickly give you a good idea what you are likely to pay and then you can make your decision which airline.
- On the other hand comparing prices can be somewhat tricky at times. While one airline may price their fare including a meal and your checked luggage, another may charge extra for these. So a $10 saving on the airfare, where you need to end up paying $20 to check your bag and $8 for a meal, ends up not making it quite such a good deal.
- Booking with an airline just to get points or miles is not always the best idea. Again it comes down to what you are paying for the fair. A cheap airfare often will come with a much lower point/mile earn rate, compared to the full price airfare. Some low price specials can bring it as low as 25% of the full fare earn rate for points/miles. As such paying a little more just because you are a member of their program may not always translate to the best deal.
Booking Flights Online
- One thing to be aware of is some airlines and other websites selling airfares do charge a credit card surcharge. The fee can vary from one airline to another and can add a decent chunk to a low-cost airfare.
- Always take a look at the extra’s they are offering, with some airlines this can include prepaying your checked luggage, and sometimes this can be at a discount to what you will pay at the airport.
Watch Out For
Even though buying an airline ticket is so easy now, you also do need to be aware of what you are buying. The biggest consideration that you need to take is reading the fine print on the ticket you buy.
Especially when it comes to low-cost deals on airfares, the fine print can be a make or break unless you are 100% confident you will be travelling that day. If there is even any chance that things may change then, the airfare could be money down the drain. It can be a bit of a pain to read the main parts. However, it can be worth knowing what the cost to change the airfare could be. A cheap airfare could end up costing a lot more if there is a chance you need to change the date.
When All Else Fails
Sometimes booking your airfare online or via the call centre is just a little too much. The same prices are often available from a Travel Agent. While you may have to pay a booking fee, on some fares there can be benefits.
Just don’t let the booking process get you down to much. It is just a small hurdle to overcome on the journey to enjoying your holiday. Just do your due diligence, book the ticket, and enjoy your holiday.