Fly Me to the Moon...Or at Least Australia
In a world of endless websites and "deals," it can be difficult trying to find the best options when booking flights and tickets for an adventure.
It can often be a daunting task trying to determine when the best time to press that "buy now" button when purchasing flights. Do you gamble and wait, to try and catch the prime deal, or do you go with the safer option and purchase them while their available at a reasonable price? And what about all those pesky pop-up windows that appear as soon as you visit a travel site, do you use those? As confusing as it may seem, booking tickets isn't as difficult as it may appear. From numerous adventures and flights, we have learned some handy tools and tricks for booking flights cheaply and usually a bit lower than what the carriers offer.
When trying to find that perfect flight, it often comes down to three primary sites I use. First is Google Flights. This site compares all data without pop-ups, and can generate the best price, as well as show a price fare calendar, which is very handy if our travel dates are flexible. You can also subscribe with an email address to specific trips to receive instant price updates and changes in airfare, which helps pinpoint that perfect price. Once you have seen these prices and flight options, I often check two other primary sites, Student Universe and Cheapoair.
Now Student Universe is great, usually offering ticket prices 10-25% below the standard rate, but there is a slight catch. You need to be a student, and you need to be under 25 years old. So this eliminates a pretty decent chunk of the population unfortunately, but I guess that's one of the downsides to being an adult, you've got to pay more to fly...
The other downside is if you plan on traveling with checked baggage, most of the fares don't include baggage. If you can fit all your adventure clothing and kit in a carry on, good for you! But for most people, this isn't a very practical method, and especially if you intend on spending almost a year abroad a carry on bag may be slightly too small.
The next best option I have found though, is Cheapoair. Better than Booking, Orbitz, Kayak and the other hundreds of sites, Cheapoair usually has very reasonable offers on air fare and is usually cheaper than the previously mentioned sites. As it stands now, looking at our flights to Australia, Cheapoair actually has the best prices, even compared to Student Universe and Google Flights. With the option to cross reference other sites through Cheapoair, it quickly becomes apparent that they offer the best deal, and the site even includes very pertinent information about bags and luggage, pulled directly from the air carriers website.
Now I know this may sound like a plug for the website, but as of now we have no affiliation with Cheapoair...although we are always open to potential sponsorships (wink wink). But without the ability of Cheapoair to grab discount flight prices, we would be really struggling to find viable options to get us down under.
While we're talking about travel and fees, one thing we have run into is what to do about luggage. Yeah cheap flights are great, if you're flying with a weeks worth of clothes stuffed in your pockets! But if your like us, and in need of more than one pair of underwear, the cost of how much that checked bag can weigh very heavily on your choice of flights. Some airlines can charge upwards of $100 for just a checked a bag, so at that point, your ticket costs the same as what full price would have been. And in our case, we very well maybe flying with two checked bags, which has the potential to be very expensive. Which is then where Virgin Australia has become a very appealing option. With a direct flight from LAX to Brisbane, it takes out the worry of missing a connector. But more importantly, Virgin Australia also includes two checked bags with your ticket. Yes. You read that right. Two whole checked bags per ticket.
In a move that seems to be ever so rare in todays age of maximizing profit, Virgin Australia has decided that its better to accommodate their passengers cargo needs. Or else maybe it's just one secret ploy to get people to stay in Australia as long as possible! Either way though, it's a pretty nifty deal to us, and ploy or not they've sold us. And to answer your question form anyone working with Virgin Australia reading this, yes we are open to being sponsored! I'm joking of course...well maybe.
So if you're in the market right now for some cheaper flights, check out these sites! And who knows, maybe you'll be off on your next adventure sooner than you know it!