Thursday, May 29, 2014

How To Save Money on Your Next Flight to India

One of the dreads of being married to an Indian while not living in India is knowing that you're going to have to travel to India multiple times in the future. It doesn't matter how many times you go, it just feels impossible to ever get used to the idea of flying for either 17 hours straight or spending 2 days in and out of airports on connecting flights. There simply is no way around the dreaded travel involved in getting you to your destination. Luckily, you don't have to always pay a small fortune for this misery honor.

First and foremost you must plan ahead for the trip if at all possible. Start looking at flight prices at least 6 to 7 months ahead of time. Yes, this will subject you to multiple flight changes but isn't that the norm these days anyway?

Look at this example when searching Priceline.com in late May for a mid-January flight and then a mid-July flight. (I'll be using the same selection criteria throughout the post to make this comparison more realistic.)
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Flight prices if booked 7 months ahead of time


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Flight prices if booked 7 weeks early
Check multiple websites. With so many deal sites available, it can often pay off to search more than one and never leave out the actual airlines website. Include big names like Delta, Qatar and Etihad. Book 7 months ahead of time, these are the ticket prices from CheapTickets.com.

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Comparing to Priceline, I could save an additional $22 on the cheapest ticket offered.
Change your airport selection. If you're not flying directly to a major city and will need to travel beyond the first stop, click the check box next to "Include airports....," which for cheap tickets also mentions it will select alternates within 80 miles.
The check box is under the "To" destination field.

Once you arrive at the main airport, you can book a train or connecting flight to reach your final stop. If you're lucky, you can find an airport close enough to your family that someone can come and pick you up or you can take a rickshaw.

What are some tricks and tips you use to save money on your international travel?

6 comments:

  1. Alexandra MadhavanMay 29, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Ugh, we are planning a trip right now and going through the same thing - that too in high season! I have noticed the flight dates depend on the date that you are leaving. For example, Dec 1st is more expensive than Nov.24th.

    I like vayama.com and kayak.com for all my flights.
    When I had to purchase last minute flight for my hubby the price was really good. I prefer to do it at least several months before though.

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  2. Must try this out. Sometimes landing some where close and chugging back home in a train is a good change.

    Congratulations in being in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs for 2013-14

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  3. Lol. I fared quite well with the dreaded squat toilet hahaha. It's definitely a different experience for someone who had never seen one before winding up at Beas and then not knowing what to do and it was way too late to ask anyone. :P Oh the stories I could never blog about.

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  4. Yeah, planning a trip for right now would be difficult. I've heard that sometimes Tuesday flights are cheaper and other times Thursday flights are cheaper. In my screen shots I had selected a Thursday for both the departing and return flights. I completely forgot to type that into the post though. Oops. :)

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  5. Oh yes, we have many adjustments to make and often you're not sure which choices are right.

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  6. I enjoyed taking the train from Delhi to Amritsar on my last trip. I know it takes longer but I found it more relaxing than flying. Maybe it's the movement that helps or it could be that when flying your body swells and the train seats were more comfy and spacious.

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