Last week I had quite possible the best idea ever. Literally. I’m a genius.
I was sitting at home, casually eating dinner while flipping through the channels when I landed on an E! News Special “I Am Britney Jean.” This gem of a television program is all about Britney Spears, her new album, and how she now lives at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas where she preforms almost nightly. And then all of the sudden it hit me – SEEING BRITNEY SPEARS IN VEGAS WOULD BE THE BEST BACHELORETTE PARTY EVER!
I immediately text my sister, feeling only 35% confident that she would think I was being serious. Lucky for me, her inner 16 year-old came through and she liked the idea enough to start checking when they had concert tickets available. I should have had more faith in her because she did spend most of her high school years in our living room wearing a head set and pleather pants and dancing to Britney, but then again she laughed me off when I suggested that she have a bacon bar at her cocktail hour so you just never can tell with her (I mean it’s a bacon bar. BACON.)
So, after much looking at tickets, hotels, and flights online, debating whether it was crazy of us to go through with it, and me sending pleading/threatening e-mails to the other bridesmaids, we made it official. We are going to Las Vegas in April to see Britney Spears for what will be the greatest bachelorette party in the history of weddings! Even if I do nothing else for the rest of the wedding, I feel like this contribution should get me some sort of “World’s Best Maid of Honor” award.
The purpose of this post is not just to brag about how great of a little sister I am. Although someday they will make a combination “Hangover”/ “Bridesmaids” type movie about our Vegas weekend, I think I learned a few money-saving tips in the process of booking the trip that are probably more applicable to your everyday needs.
I am by no ones a frequent flier, but I’d say on average I fly once or twice a year, which is just enough to be familiar with buying plane tickets but not enough to be a pro. I’m never 100% confident that I got the best deal on a plane ticket. So I’ve done some research and complied a few useful tips for purchasing flights on the cheap. I think they helped me find tickets to Las Vegas that didn’t totally empty out my “Darcie’s Wedding” Account (I think I have $0.25 in there 🙂 ).
1. Book Early – most sites seem to recommend booking your flight 6-8 weeks before you plan to travel. If you’re last minute, airlines can charge you more because there are less seats available and they know you need the ticket. Buying early gives you time to comparison shop for the price as well as the flight itinerary that best meets your schedule and your wallet.
2. Use Bing.com Travel – http://www.bing.com/travel/?FORM=L8SP22 The great thing about using Bing to help book your flights is that they actually seem to want you to get the best price! You type in your travel information (departing, arriving, date, etc.) and it not only lists possible flights but also gives you an indicator of whether or not now is a good time to buy. It gives you a green upwards arrow if prices are expected to rise and now is a good time to buy, or a downwards red arrow if you should wait because prices will drop. It also automatically pulls up results from travel sites like Priceline or Orbitz when you search with Bing so you can compare prices. It’s a great place to start your search.
3. Search Alternate Routes – Is you travel route flexible? How about your destination? Are you flexible about the dates of your trip? The more flexible your travel schedule, the better your chances are of finding a low-cost deal on flights. For example, it is way cheaper to fly on a Tuesday than on a Friday. Or having one or two lay-overs might be less expensive than a direct flight. Be open to different travel routes and you may save yourself some money. If you aren’t set on a certain date or location, maybe just looking into a vacation, try the Kayak Exlpore feature http://www.kayak.com/explore/. It lets you view a map of different locations around the world and deals on travel based on the date you fly. Very cool and great for the whimsical adventurer.
4.Get a Refund if Fares Go Down – Don’t be shy! If you booked a flight and a few days later you see it go down in price, ask the airline for a refund for the difference. They might not give it to you, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Orbitz even has a “Best Price Guarantee” where they pledge to refund you the difference if another user books the same itinerary as you for less. Check it out here: http://www.orbitz.com/mktg/best-price-guarantee/.
Even if your next trip doesn’t take you to see Britney in Sin City, it can still be cheap and easy! Hope these trips help you travel happier.