Travel

Buying Flight Tickets During A Pandemic?!

BRYAN AND I BOOKED A HONEYMOON!!!

When Bryan and I began planning our wedding, we knew it wasn’t going to be super easy, financially. For our honeymoon, the two of us wanted a real vacation; a celebration to get away together and enjoy married life. That was something neither of us were willing to compromise on. We went in with the idea that we’d have our October wedding and book the honeymoon for spring of 2021. This would allow us to save some money after paying all our wedding expenses to have a great honeymoon. 

However, once the coronavirus really began to impact all industries, I started checking flights to random destinations regularly. Rapidly, flight prices were dropping. And dropping significantly. Previously round trip flights that were around $700-$900 were now around $450! We began to see the possibility of booking a honeymoon immediately following our wedding. After about a week of discussions and planning, we landed on a decision and a destination. And you will not believe what we paid.

We’re going to San Juan, Puerto Rico from October 20th to October 28th. For round trip flights (out of Chicago, IL) we paid $174 each… yes, that is $348 TOTAL! I’m still in shock that we were able to do this, and I’m so eagerly looking forward to our wedding and our honeymoon.

Purchasing flights while we are all stuck in our homes can feel incredibly risky, but there are several ways to make sure you are smart about it. And it can be a time to get a phenomenal deal! If you’re considering a future vacation, now might be the time to book it. Here are my Top 3 tips for booking cheap flights without the stress!

1. Buy The Flight Insurance 

Always. Every time. Flight insurance should be a budget consideration every single time you fly. We don’t drive our cars without insurance; why should we approach flights any different? Ensure that you’re financially protected by purchasing flight insurance. The $348 for our tickets includes our flight insurance and protects us in the event that it isn’t safe for us to travel. Especially during these uncertain times, there is no way I’d book a future flight without purchasing insurance.

 

2. Use Skiplagged to Find Flights 

Skiplagged.com is how I’ve found cheap flights for years. I have a little soapbox about Skiplagged… I love this site and enjoy sharing it with other avid travelers! I’ve flown round trip Chicago to Denver for about $150 with tickets found on Skiplagged. But, I’m very strategic about the way in which I book these flights. Once I know which flight I’m interested I do a few things:

  • Check to make sure I’ve heard of the airline. If I have not, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a scam, but I do extensive research. Usually I’ll type into google “(Airline Name) scam” and just peruse the results that come up. Even if it ruins what you thought was a great deal, it’s much better than losing money.
  • Read reviews on the airline, especially if I’ve not heard of it. Though discouraging, I want to hear good experiences, bad experiences, all of it! To me, there are compromises I’m willing to make for a cheap flight. If it isn’t a long flight, I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of leg room – I’m young and healthy so it is only mildly annoying. BUT, one thing I look out for is airlines that nickel and dime you for everything. Ultimately, you’re not saving money if you have to pay a $25 fee for every-little-thing!
  • Find the flight on the airline’s site. Lots of times, Skiplagged will redirect you to the airline’s site to book the flight directly, so this is easy. But sometimes, it tries to make you book through a third party site. I do not feel comfortable doing this. With our flights to Puerto Rico, I discovered them through Skiplagged, but booked it directly on United Airlines website.

 

3. Watch Flight Prices Before Booking

Watch for prices to rise and fall; it happens with airlines all the time, not just during a pandemic. If you can be flexible about the dates of your trip, play around with that! Sounds weird, but you’ll often see a pretty significant price difference when you choose various days of the week. Typically, Sundays and Fridays are the most expensive days to fly. We could leave the day after our wedding (Sunday, October 18th) but you’ll notice our departing flight is on a Tuesday, and returning flight is on a Wednesday; those are two of the cheapest days to fly! So, be flexible and it might just save you some money.

So, because there are some idiots protesting the Stay At Home order I want to be sure to let you know, that is in no way what I am suggesting breaking social distancing rules for your dream vacation. Reliable health experts are recommending that we follow social distancing rules that is fully what I plan to do. BUT, this will end someday. And I’m suggesting that, while practicing social distancing, monitor flights, consider a vacation, maybe even book a flight for the future! It’ll give you something to look forward to. With the prices as low as they are, now is certainly the time!

Since I am no expert, read this CNN Travel article about booking a future flight amidst the coronavirus.

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