Is it just me, or is everyone daydreaming of a vacation right now? I for one have had just about enough of the cold weather!
If you’re feeling the winter doldrums too, why not plan a trip? If you can’t make a move this weekend, dreaming and planning a vacation may be the next best thing. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of knowing your next plane ticket!
Here’s a few trip planning resources to get you started on flights!
Don’t know where to go? Try Skyscanner.
When we planned our trip to Europe last year, we didn’t have many must-dos. This gave me the freedom to research anywhere and everywhere! Since we went for so long, we needed to make our budget stretch as far as possible. A big help here was not being tied to flying in and out of any particular city. Enter Skyscanner.
Skyscanner has this fantastic map feature. You can insert your departure city and see prices to fly anywhere in the world! They’ve also got a rough date option, which gives the option to explore your options for any given month.
For our Europe trip, we used Paris as a base because we found the cheapest flights overseas to go through there at the time.
If you can, keep an open mind on exact locations to fly in and out. Use Skyscanner’s map to find the location that fits any budget!
Dreaming of where, but don’t mind when? Try Google Flights.
Have a general idea of what you want, but haven’t filled in the specifics? Google Flights will be your new best friend.
The Discover option is my favorite. You can choose a month, a length of time, a place, and interests. The best part is you can plug in more or less of those to widen or narrow your search. The places tab allows for regions, too, so if you’re craving a Carribbean escape, that’s an option, or New England if that’s more your speed. Not sure of a place but looking for a foodventure? You can search by that too, getting suggestions like New York and Shanghai near the top.
For whatever reason, Google Flights will only suggest major airports. But if you want to get somewhere less well known, it’s still a good way to find a cheap flight in the region before you wander off the beaten path.
Juggling options? Try KAYAK.
Aggregators like KAYAK are invaluable for trip planning. I check KAYAK every single time, even to get a baseline expectation of prices.
My favorite thing about KAYAK is also the obvious thing: you can check each flight on each airline for the time, price and layover you want most. Rather than searching 589742 times to see all the options, KAYAK gives you a matrix of best prices on dates +/- 3 days of your initial travel dates.
If there’s a dream place I know I want to see (for me it’s NYC), I can set an alert to get emails when the prices drop!
Kayak recently started offering a map destination feature as well, but I haven’t used it as much as Skyscanner’s. It worth a look, though! They also lets you compare its results to other aggregators, and it’s always been just as good or better than its competitors.
Always check you favorite individual airlines, like Southwest and Ryanair.
Even the best aggregator sites can’t pull everything. Southwest doesn’t show up in Kayak so always go check their website! My brother swears by them and won’t travel on anything else if he can help it. They’ve got some fantastic amenities for US travel: two checked bags included and no fees for changing your flights!
For European travel, keep an eye on the budget airlines like Ryanair, Vueling, easyJet, or Aer Lingus. I’ve flown them all and while you get what you pay for, it’s the best way to get around in Europe on the cheap. I’ve even chosen my itinerary based on what the cheapest destinations are!
One thought: if you’re headed to Europe and have a flexible schedule, look into IcelandAir: they offer stopovers in Reykjavik included in the price of their flights! So if you’re planning a multi-city trip, their flights offer an easy way to work Iceland into your itinerary.
Those are just a few resources for booking flights. I check each of these every time I travel, so if you’re looking to jump on a plane, check these!
Happy travel planning! Where are you dreaming of heading next?
The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.