KarryOn’s own air afficionado ‘That Airfare Girl’ is back and this week she’s got the travel hack on how to book flights properly – And save you time, money and pain in the process.

Anyone can book a flight right? Absolutely.

Except maybe this cat in the pic above. But hey, anything’s possible.

But what anyone can’t always do is score the best deal quickly and easily and end up with an airfare that doesn’t send them around the world to get to their destination. Or worse still, strand them there if something happens.

“Like a volcano spewing a huge cloud of ash out in Bali and stranding people for days for example you say?” Yes indeed.

Read on for 5 easy steps to ensure you confidently get the best airfare and instead be able to spend your precious ‘you’ time doing more fun things without the hassle of spending hours trawling the internet.

 

1) Have a set of dates in mind that you can travel between

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In a lot of ways being flexible can be a blessing but when you’re looking at Airfares – your brain will literally explode.

I spent two hours looking at flights to Cairns and back and I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to find the best day to travel. It was too much. Don’t do it.

Narrow your dates down as MUCH as possible and give yourself an average price range. Don’t get dollar specific – it can change at any moment (thank the taxes!).

Also, the days of the week will change the price (weekends more expensive) and the time of year can change it too (sorry Teachers + Parents – we do love you!).

 

2) Set yourself up with realistic expectations

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If you’re wanting to travel to Europe in June and you’re booking in May, just go straight to a Travel Agent.

If you are booking a hotel, a day tour, airport transfers or a Tour… I can promise you that they will get it cheaper (tricks of the trade!). Don’t be fooled by the sale prices that you’ll see all over the internet either because they are SUPER date specific.

There may be $999 Flights to Europe if you’re flying via 3 different cities with a 24 hour transit in each airport, without luggage, meals or entertainment & flying on the 9th of October to the 15th of October ONLY. Chances are, you’ll just see the price though – so don’t be fooled. Read the T’s and C’s!

 

3) How do I get from New York to Iceland and via Africa on the way home?

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The best part is, that itinerary is not as crazy as it sounds but the internet can’t do it for you.

I mean, you could try but it will quote you $7000 plus and then it crushes your huge travel dreams and maybe you’ll just choose ‘one’ of those places because it seems more financially achievable.

That itinerary can be done for $2500-$3000 (pretty much!). It just requires a phone call/email/text to a Travel agent.

Your credit card and passport will love you for it.

 

4) One-Way, Multi-City, Round-Trip, Multi-Destination… What do they mean?

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One-way = Travelling inside the same country? Use this option. Travelling overseas for a few years & have a visa to work/live? Use this option.

If these don’t apply to you – don’t book it. It’s not cheaper and can get you in trouble at the airport (eg. Denied boarding).

Multi-City = Want to fly into Paris but out of Berlin? This is the go-to!

We call this an ‘open jaw’ in the Travel world and it’s a great idea if you want to road-trip or know loosely where you will start and finish your travels but not so much the in-between. It can also be cheaper!

Round-Trip = In and out of Los Angeles for a weekend of Disneyland fun? This is the option for you. If you’re flying in and out of the same airport, it’s a round-trip! Super easy.

Multi-Destination = Go to a travel agent. Computer says no.

 

5) You can save money everywhere but not on a booking ‘fee’ and that’s a good thing!

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There is always a booking fee. You can’t get out of it, it’s compulsory and if there isn’t one – will there be any other service after you’ve paid?

It’s up to you who you feel deserves the fee though.

As a Travel Agent, we don’t really ‘compete’ with online pricing, we are a completely different service that can include the same thing. It’s like buying scissors to cut your own hair or going to a hair-dresser.

They might use the same scissors but at least the hair-dresser will make sure your fringe is even. Am I right?

You should LOVE your travel agent though. And if you don’t, find another one. Because it’s like finding the love of your life except they will be constantly sending you to other countries instead of sending you flowers.

Still think Travel Agents aren’t relevant anymore? Read this – Or this story on why you should NEVER book with  Travel Agent.

Are you an expert at booking flights? Got tips to share or add? We’d love to hear them.