Q Travel Blog

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How To Pick Your Flights

When we started planning to visit five countries in six weeks we started with checking flights. It can be very overwhelming at first googling flights and then trying to cypher through the large amount of different airlines and dates and times for flying to your destinations.

 

Who do I fly with? What’s the best way to go to my destination? We were really confused as to who to fly with and which route to take. We stopped into a Flight Centre as asked for some help. I not going to recommend these places as we didn’t have a pleasant experience. Let’s just say for a what most people would consider a fairly expensive travel trip we didn’t really received the customer service this type of transaction required. Due to the lack of correspondence from the Flight Centre person we googled and found a travel manager more local and more responsive to our questions. Needless to say we went with this person, they were running their own business and backed by the brand Travel Managers.

 

Can I tell you it is these first impressions as to who you go with and the decisions on who to fly with and which route to take these need to be advised by someone who knows this and has experienced wither themselves or through their clients. To have a personal travel manager for organising these big trips I believe makes the planning process and much more enjoyable experience. We only had one issue while away and I will tell you about that in another article.

 

 

The five countries we wanted to see and take our kids started with the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France. We chose these countries in this order to feel like we were going backwards but rather moving forwards as we went to each country.

 

We wanted to fly straight to London and start the trip here. I picked London as I lived there in the 90’s and I wanted to take the family here for a bit of my history and for them to see where the Royal family visits and do the tour of Buckingham Palace, the kids love drama and there no better country for theatre than London theatres and for my son the biggest Lego store in the world is in Leicester Square. I know how lame but can I tell you my boy loved it and even I enjoyed seeing the displays and what it feels like to be a big kid in a world of imagination.

 

Back to flights and how to pick the best flights for your trip. When we were googling flights there were so many to choose from and so many different prices. The most important for us was the time frame in which it took to get us from Brisbane, Australia to London, United Kingdom. This is no short flight and some of the airlines displayed 40+ hours for getting the UK from Australia. We were looking for fastest time to the UK with little to none stop overs.

 

singapore airline

 

We managed to get Singapore airlines with one stop over in Singapore and this resulted in flying from Brisbane at midnight and landing in Singapore approx. 8 hours later. We were only in Singapore airport for three and a bit hours and then onto the next flight to London, fourteen plus hours and this was a massively long flight. Being in Australia the rest of the world seems do far away.

Picking the right flights for your trip is an essential part of your travel planning process. Here are some steps to help you make informed decisions and to plan your next trip:

  1. Define Your Budget:
    • Determine how much you are willing to spend on flights. This will determine which airline you can fly and how long the flight will be.
    • I say don’t go the cheapest and of course if you can afford first class then do it, however premium economy I have been told is not that much different to economy so choose wisely and within your budget.
  2. Flexibility with Dates:
    • If your travel dates are flexible, use this to your advantage. Flying on weekdays or during off-peak times can often be cheaper.
    • Keep in mind there is still a lot of disruption with flights around the world and in some cases flights are cancelled and leaving you stranded so make sure you read the fine print on flexible flights and ensure you are covered for cancelled flights as well as make sure they are not bumping you because you have flexible flights.
  3. Use Flight Search Engines:
    • Use online flight search engines like Google Flights, Skyscanner, Kayak, or Momondo to compare prices from various airlines. These platforms often allow you to set up price alerts as well.
  4. Direct vs. Connecting Flights:
    • Decide whether you prefer non-stop flights or are willing to take connecting flights. Non-stop flights are usually more convenient but can be more expensive.
    • If you live in Australia there is no such luxury of direct with no stop to Europe, UK or anywhere that far away. You can get direct from Australia to Bali, Singapore and closer countries but Italy, France, and anywhere further than eight hours you will have to have connecting flights. How many of these will be determined on how to choose to get to that destination. Some flights have three planes and can take up to thirty to forty hours to get to somewhere like Santorini, Greece.
  5. Check Nearby Airports:
    • Consider nearby airports as they might have different flight options and prices. Sometimes flying into a nearby airport and taking ground transportation to your final destination can save you money.
    • We have thought about this but when flying with kids this is not an option we felt as we didn’t want to take that bit longer to get to our destination.
  6. Airline Loyalty Programs:
    • If you frequently travel with a specific airline, consider joining their loyalty program to accumulate miles and enjoy potential discounts or perks.
    • Krisflyer is Singapore Airlines frequent flyer program
    • Make sure if you are in Australia you are joined with Virgin rewards or Qantas as these airlines are affiliated with the bigger international airlines.
  7. Check Baggage Policies:
    • Be aware of the baggage policies of the airlines you are considering. Some may have lower ticket prices but charge more for baggage.
    • Some airlines will sting you if you are over your limit. It can become very expensive if you have to buy more baggage at the airport. Be AWARE…
  8. Read Reviews:
    • Check customer reviews for the airlines you are considering. This can give you insights into the quality of service, reliability, and overall customer satisfaction.
    • Always check reviews on anything and everything you are considering for your travel trip. We found in some reviews these were the deciders for our accommodations and some tours we booked.
  9. Book in Advance:
    • Generally, booking your flights well in advance can help you secure better prices.
    • We booked our flights over eight months in advance and it took the rest of this time to lock in accommodation and tours.
    • The more advance you plan you trip and book your flights the more you will save money especially if you are traveling to Europe and far away destinations.
  10. Consider Budget Airlines:
    • Explore options with budget airlines, especially for short-haul flights. Be aware of additional fees that might be associated with budget carriers.
    • We never considered bidget airlines as we were flying with kids, however if you are like my friend and travel light and solo some of the budget airlines can have amazing deals but with much more stops than usual. My friend flew Scoot airline for a long haul flight and had no issues.
  11. Travel Insurance:
    • Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers unexpected events or cancellations. This can provide peace of mind in case your plans change.
    • Always have travel insurance as I have said before there is still lots of disruptions and cancellations with flying around the globe. Insurance will ensure you are covered for any flow on affects from delays and cancellations. READ the fine print and make sure you have the correct coverage for your situation.
  12. Check Visa Requirements:
    • Ensure that you are aware of and meet the visa requirements for your destination. Some flights might have layovers in countries where you need a transit visa.
    • Make sure you have international drivers licence for driving overseas. Make sure you have the right visa for different countries, however in saying that we didn’t need any visas for UK and Europe. When we entered Santorini from London, we got a stamp there and then after that we didn’t get any stamps or even checked our passports throughout Italy, Switzerland and France.