How to Plan an Independent Trip Abroad: Part 2 – Airfare

How to Plan an Independent Trip Abroad: Part 2 – Airfare

Denver to Brussels for 10 Days in August 2017 for only $377 a person ROUNDTRIP!

 

There are strategies on when to book flights. How long prior to your departure day should you book and what day of the week is best? It’s a crap shoot whether or not airfares will go up or down. 

 

While researching airfare examples for this post we found a killer deal from Denver to Brussels in August 2017, 10 days roundtrip for only $377 per person! This was a real, available fare,  from August 20th to August 30th. So we wanted to share this with you as an example of great deals out there. If we weren’t going to Europe in the middle of September we would have been on these flights.

 

There are numerous websites to research and book your airline tickets. Here are a few of our go-to sites for checking prices:

  • Google Flights
  • Kayak Explore
  • Momondo
  • Matrix Flights
  • JustFly
  • Expedia
  • International Airlines – often booking directly with an airline is the cheapest
  • When in the region, check the regional and local budget airlines

 

1. First, we went to KAYAK EXPLORE and searched the world map for locations and fares. This tool is great if you are flexible enough to choose when and where to travel. There are great deals to be had:

As you see, the Denver to Brussels fare is $411. By selecting a location and fare you will see the round trip dates in the right column. You can narrow your search criteria by adjusting the dates, fare cap, and hours of travel.

 

2. Once we found the Denver to Brussels fare at $411 on Kayak we went to compare at MOMONDO:

Momondo has the same search features and the fare has gone down to $344.

 

3. GOOGLE FLIGHTS is a great search tool and also contains a map with fares and locations:

The fare on Google is $378.

 

4. Then we went to JUSTFLY and compared using the same search criteria:

Here the fare is $408.

 

5. Next was MATRIX FLIGHTS, a good resource for comparing fares:

Matrix also gives you the option to adjust the dates to compare fares. Even adjusting one day can save you hundreds of dollars.

 

6. Now we will compare the airlines. First up is AIRFRANCE AIRLINES, they were seen in a previous search so worth a check:

AirFrance came in at $377. 

 

7. Let’s check KLM AIRLINES as they were also listed in a previous site search. Note that KLM also has a date comparison chart and the chart is listed below so you can see the feature:

You can see the price on the 20th is $378, but if we had selected the 19th as the exact date the fare would jump to $984. It is critical to compare dates if you are flexible.

 

8. EXPEDIA was the most expensive fare at $599:

So what would you select as the best airfare for you? We make our decision based on the information in the flight details and the fare cost: departure and arrival times, the number of en route stops, how many and length of layovers and overall travel time. There will be some compromises…there are no perfect schedules unless maybe flying the most direct route in first class, but our bank account doesn’t allow for this type of luxury.  It is just a matter of what you are willing to accept as a doable travel itinerary.

 

Stay with us, in Part 3 of this series we will explain how to look for accommodations and the various search criteria we use.

 

How to Plan an Independent Trip Abroad: Part 1 – Where & When

 

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