No matter where you go or how you get there, there’s lots of planning involved. The way we travel now is significantly different from the way we went places 30 years ago. Way back then we simply threw the camping gear in the Jeep and took off. Now we are more likely to explore places that are a flight or two or three away, making getting there much more complicated.
The plane, the plane…
|Waiting to board an American Airlines flight|
Choosing an airline isn’t particularly complicated. If you don’t have a preferred airline there are several ways to go about finding flights that fit your schedule and budget. There are many websites (Expedia, Priceline, CheapOair, Cheap Tickets, OneTravel, CheapFlights, Kayak, Orbitz, etc.) that will compare multiple carriers over a particular set of days and times. However, cheaper isn’t necessarily better. Some airlines have an extra charge for everything, including water. By the time you add on the ‘extras’, your cost may equal what you would have paid on a more well-known airline. Once you’ve chosen an airline from one of the ‘compare-all’ sites, it’s a good idea to take a look at the actual website for the airline. It’s not unusual to find additional flights, equal or better prices, and other information that you won’t find on sites such as CheapOair. You’ve probably heard that Wednesday is the best day to purchase your tickets and this is generally true, but the best day to fly is Thursday. On Thursday flights you can generally get better seats and have a better chance of an upgrade. My first choice is American Airlines and their affiliates partly because I live near an AA hub which makes getting good flights easier and cheaper. Several of my friends choose United Airlines for the same reason: they live near a United hub, making their travel simpler and less expensive. I also choose AA because Dave and I rack up ‘mileage points’, letting us qualify for upgrades, better seats, and free entry into the airline clubs and so forth. There is another website that is really helpful when you’re getting ready to travel: TSA. This site will tell you what you can and cannot take on a plane. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to things that are confiscated by TSA be sure to visit ‘What happens to things that are left with TSA’.