Preparations to Make Prior to a Trip

I am not usually a detail travel planner but on occasion, I make a fully planned out trip.  Preplanning a trip does leave less room for things to spontaneously go wrong.  Planning ahead can ensure many things like ensure that tours aren’t fully booked ahead of time.  Planning ahead prevents some of the issue, I have run into over my travels (like my disaster in Krakow, Poland) or lacking a proper clothing for the weather (aka snowstorm while in Boston).  Here are just a few of the preparations that you will need to make before you leave on a trip.Buy your plane tickets

Buy your plane tickets

Plane tickets can vary in price wildly.  There are many factors which will determine how much plane tickets cost. These factors vary from time of year, how popular the route is, is there an event at the same time.  A major factor is how full the plane is.  The closer to departure generally the more expensive the plane ticket is.  However, if you plan ahead and buy your tickets far in advance you can save hundreds of dollars. The airlines will give discounts to people who buy their tickets in advance. Major cost saving can make up for not flying with your preferred airline. Try to buy your tickets several months in advance and then you don’t have to worry about the price increases later.

Layover make for cheaper flights

I have found, that flights with layovers are almost always cheaper than direct flights.  My favorite booking was a direct flight from Richmond to Houston was $900 and yet Richmond to New Orleans with a layover in Houston was $300.  There is a balance between the number of layovers verse cost.  I always try to balance the cost verse the amount of time sitting in an airport.  The bigger concern is the more layover, the greater the risk of connections going wrong.  It is possible to save a lot of money on a flight if you are willing to accept a few extra connections (and maybe get a couple hours to explore a new city.

Take a red-eye flight

I have taken many a red-eye flight (aka an overnight flight).  I love taking these flight on vacation because they can help maximize my time at my destination plus they can be several hundred dollars cheaper than a day time flight.  I always pick a seat further back in the plane on red eye flights.  This increases my odds of having an empty seat next to me.  The airlines are also more likely to provide an upgrade on an overnight flight.

Fly on off peak times

When you fly can have as much of an effect on cost as what route you fly.  In general, plane tickets cost significantly more on weekends (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday).  As such flights tend to be fuller during those times.  Airlines know they can charge more for these tickets so they do.  My favorite day to fly is Tuesday and Thursday.  Most business travel takes place on Monday and Friday so I try to avoid the weekend travelers and business travelers.  This tactic has saved me lots of money on flights.

Pick luggage that matches your travel style

Selecting your travel luggage can be a challenge.  It really depends on what your needs are.  I prefer to travel with something I can carry easily.  I tend to go up and down lots of stairs so this is important for me.  Most travelers I know travel with some form of spinner luggage that they can roll around.  If you get a well priced carry on spinner luggage; it can be a great investment and make travel much easier. I like luggage that is well made because airlines are that careful with the luggage they are entrusted and I don’t want my belongings damaged while I travel.

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