Tag Archives: Airfare

Holiday Travel Tips

This is my first Thanksgiving that I’m not going home. Sad! I have to stay in Boston and study for my comprehensive exams to finish my program. Plus, I knew if I went home I wouldn’t be studying because I’d be playing with my dog or going shopping with my mom or going to the movies with my dad or going out with friends… anything but studying.

While I miss my parents and home terribly so this Thanksgiving, the one thing I won’t miss is holiday travel. Traffic on the highways… overcrowded planes… chaotic airports. Ugh, airports during the holidays are probably my least favorite place on earth EVER. But, I have come up with some tips to make your life easier.

1. If you’re in the city, book a towncar or taxi at least a day before you leave. Last Thanksgiving, when I was going home I ended up letting 2 other people into my towncar to Logan because they could not get a cab.

2. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport because traffic going to the airport tends to back up during the holidays. Also, the lines at security are extra long. I would try to get there at least 2 hours before my flight.

3. Make your life easier when you’re going through security and put your plastic baggie of liquids somewhere easy to reach. Wear shoes easy to slip off and on (check here for more tips on what to wear). Try not to wear a belt or too much jewelry that you’d have to take off.

4. If traveling by car or bus, take something to entertain you in traffic like a book on tape or a fun playlist. Don’t let traffic put you in a bad mood.

5. BREATHE… even though you’re more likely to get easily frustrated while traveling during the holidays just know that everyone around you just wants to get home too. So take it easy, you’ll get there.

Here are some more tips I found useful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Airfare, Travel

Bing: My New One-Stop Travel Search Engine

To be honest, when Bing first came out earlier this summer, I despised it. I didn’t have a valid reason or bad experience with it, but I was just so loyal to Google that I was angered by Microsoft’s latest attempt to dethrone Google. Then, I learned about Bing’s specialized travel search for booking flights. After I tried it, I was hooked.

Usually, when I was trying to find airfares and deals, I visited other sites like: Orbitz, SideStep, Expedia, Priceline or StudentUniverse. After I had researched all their deals, I would check the prices on different airlines’ sites. And, finally if I wasn’t successful whatsoever, I would give up and call my dad, the ultimate flight finder, for help.

Now I have Bing though, and it has made my life so much easier when booking flights. My favorite thing about Bing is that it aggregates all the fares from different travel websites and airlines all into one place for you. When you are ready to book, you just click on the flight that you want, and it will direct you to that site to start your transaction.

bing

I also love all the extra features that Bing adds like:

  • Direct links to other travel sites.
  • The number of tickets left at that price.
  • The ability to apply filters to your search.
  • “Price Predictors” (my favorite feature) helps see whether you should buy tickets now or wait for the price to drop in the next week.
  • “Flexible Search” gives you the ability to track fares over a period of time and identify best travel destinations, travel dates and lengths of travel.
  • “ Airfare Deals” can find real deals for you and it will actually tell you why it’s a deal. It will track airfares and determine for you when a fare is “record low-act fast”, “$X less than average on record” or “ save $X off average low found today.”

bing2

Bing travel also has a function for hotels, but I haven’t used it. If its anything like their flights function then I’m sure its great. Using Bing can be a little overwhelming at first so I recommend reading  this quick “How It Works” section.

You can also check out the Bing Travel Blog and get great content about travel. So, next time you are booking  a trip, try Bing and let me know how it goes.

Extra Tip:

The Today Show had a great report called “What Your Travel Agent Isn’t Telling You.” During this segment, they talked about how sometimes when you are booking tickets online cookies from that travel sites might mark you as a repeat customer and hike the price. So, to avoid this use different computers or clear the cookies on your browser. For other great tips watch this clip.

4 Comments

Filed under Airfare, flights