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Finding the Cheapest Flights

Finding the Cheapest Flights

Finding cheap flights when traveling is always an adventure. I have found a couple techniques work well for me. I recently booked tickets from Calgary to Moscow and I will show you the comparison of prices using the techniques there.

I personally use Expedia, Travelocity, EasyJet (Europe), the individual airline websites, and travel agents when trying to find the cheapest arrangements. You might know of other resources to try as well.

Local Tour Agents
I usually get together a rough itinerary for a travel agent and then email a number of the tour shops around my city. They should get back to you with quotes. If they do not get back to you soon, they don’t want your business.

Go Online
Next it is time for online research. This is where I almost always find the cheapest flights. Go to one of the sites I listed above or another one you have heard of.

Type in Your Start and End Destination
This is the worst thing you can do, but it is the easiest and will show you the worst price you are looking at. For Calgary (YYC) to Moscow (SVO) on July 10 2007, the cheapest quote on Expedia was $1,837. It was for Air Canada and Aeroflot-Russian Airlines.

Why is this so expensive? Expedia is going to book you all on one ticket. I am not certain, but I think this can only be done through associated airlines. There are a couple positives to this.

  1. If there are cancellations or other problems, they will make sure you get to your end point regardless. They airline you are on and the airline you will be connecting on will know your flight status and can sometimes even make arrangements for you before you land.
  2. You do not have to pick up your checked luggage and re-check it in.

If you even want a bigger scare, do a round trip or multiple destination trip with your "going there flight" and your "coming home flight". My wife and I were going Calgary, Canada to Moscow, Russia and then Beijing, China to Calgary, Calgary. The tickets are over $3,200 now and were over $5,000 when we first looked a month ago.

Note: I am showing one way trips because of the nature of my trip. Try round trips on the online sites if that suits your needs. Then try each way of your round trip separately. Why? If there is more than 8 hours between your stopover or you will already be retrieving your checked luggage, there is no advantage to being on the same ticket. So booking a return ticket with the same company makes absolutely no sense unless it is cheaper. Find the cheapest round trip and then find the cheapest one way in each direction.

Break up the Flights Using Connection Cities
There are a million possibilities here, but you can start guessing based on your own knowledge of geography or by the stopovers you see in the …

Finding the Cheapest Cruise Vacation Packages

Finding the Cheapest Cruise Vacation Packages

Hey, I understand.  In these economic times, most people don’t cruise-shop for the most extravagant cruise, the one that hits the most ports, or the one with the biggest liners. They go for the one that offers good quality at the lowest prices. And no one can blame the public for this. So who offers the best overall prices?

As recently as the early 1990s, Premier Cruise Line offered some of the most reasonable cruise prices available. They’d specialized in purchasing older ocean liners and converting them into cruise ships, primarily around the tropics. Premier began transporting scads of people to Disney World and was raking in money like autumn leaves. Disney even allowed them to bring Mickey and Goofy on board as guests to charm the families. But then, alas, Disney initiated its own cruise line and yanked the cartoon characters. Then, to make things worse for Premier, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean began a massive building program of new liners. They grew so large that they could undercut almost any discount cruises Premier put out there. The company finally folded in September of 2000.

There’s one small cruise line left and, at the time of this writing, it still offers the lowest priced package, all things considered. It is the Imperial Majesty Line with its two ships: the Regal Empress and the Ocean Breeze. The prices start at $39 per person per day in the lowest category cabin, and the two-day cruise starts at $45 per day. The ships sail primarily to the Bahamas.

A travel expert claimed recently that of the large cruise lines, the least expensive cruises are offered by Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), and Royal Caribbean. Of course, a few lines such as Celebrity and Princess occasionally compete with a lower priced package, and Costa is a property of Carnival.

Another situation in which any large cruise line can offer rock-bottom rates is on repositioning cruises. This means that when a liner must be repositioned to a different part of the world, the trip for vacationers is offered at a huge discount. A repositioning cruise such as a trans-Atlantic voyage can cost as little as $32 per person per day.

But, aside from situations like that, Carnival, NCL, and Royal Caribbean usually offer the lowest prices. The briefer cruises are often on older ships but you get some incredible deals. And don’t imagine that just because a ship is older, it is shabby or inferior. In many cases, passengers are not even aware that their liner has been in service longer than others. Carnival and NCL now offer three-day cruises for $56 per person per day, and you can get a four-night cruise for about $52 per day. If you do a 7-10 day Mexico or Caribbean cruise, your rate will probably be the lowest of all. However, as the economy improves, expect that rates may go up a bit.

I’m not about to try to compare the overall quality of the …

Finding Cheap International Air Fare

Finding Cheap International Air Fare

Many people spend a good part of their life dreaming of visiting foreign lands. Their vision of visiting exotic places and meeting new people is always there but for one little problem in the back of their mind: The Cost. How on earth are they going to pay for such a trip? There’s so much planning and cost involved and just when they think they have it figured out the problem of paying just to get there raises its ugly head. If they could just find a cheap international air fare all the pieces would fall into place.

Of course what is cheap for one person may not be for another so in a sense this can be a subjective issue. But the fact remains that finding a good deal requires the same research tactics no matter who you are, it just up to the individual to decide whether the price they found is a good deal for them.

Because air fare prices are quite volatile and can change daily it can pay big savings to get as many different price quotes as possible. The point of this is simple, with so many airlines and travel sites vying for your travel dollars your chances of finding a deal are greatly enhanced if you can check all your options. Which options should you keep your eye out for? Here are some tips and trick to help you find a cheap international air fare.

One of the biggest ways to save on international flights is to travel during the off-peak seasons. During the height of peak vacation season airlines charge a high premium for their flights because the demand is there. Do a little research into your chosen destination and find out when the off-peak season is and chances are you will find some pretty good ticket deals.

You can also save money if you buy your tickets far enough in advance of your travel date, or at least to a point. If you try to purchase a ticket on an international flight more than 4 months before the flight you will most likely be charged the premium rate for that seat. The best time to look for cheap air fares are between 4 months out up around 14 to 21 days before you’re scheduled to leave. Airlines normally raise their prices significantly 14 days before a flight because by then most people who are traveling are set in their plans and will pay the premium price.

A last couple things to consider are flying into an alternate airport or trying one of the many discount airlines that are now starting to fly international flights. These are two more ways to save money when flying internationally.

Finding cheap international air fare can be done, you just have to do your research and know where to look. Once you know these things you will find you can travel and save money at the same time.…