At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Booked another flight deal!

Two years ago, I wrote an article titled How to Get the Best Airfare Deal.

The very first thing that I talk about is patience.

Well, for over three months, I've been watching for one particular airfare deal. But it had to be a fairly specific deal, because we need to end up near Alicante, Spain around January 6th in order to pick up the motorhome for two months. And ideally, we would be flying from and returning to, Ottawa.

Yesterday, my patience paid off!

It's often difficult for us to find a deal from Ottawa because Ottawa is located so close to both Toronto and Montreal. Montreal is closer to Ottawa, so if the price was right, we could have departed from Montreal. But it would have had to have been a ridiculously cheap flight in order to warrant departing from Toronto.

And so I was looking for flights departing from Ottawa or Montreal sometime between December 27th and January 3rd.

And the destination?

Well, we had some choices. Alicante is on the southern coast of Spain. That means that we'd like to arrive in either Madrid or Barcelona. But we could also arrive in either Paris or London, and take a cheap European discount flight from there to Alicante.

Alicante, Spain.

So you can see from the map above that Madrid and Barcelona are the closest major centers.

I had been looking for flights from Ottawa to Madrid, and return. But I had also been looking at the possibility of Ottawa to Madrid, but returning from Paris.

Checking the prices two or three times a day for the last three months only takes minutes per day. I have them set up on a link so that I simply hit the link on my favorites. Then, I also scan other prices if I have a few minutes. It's pretty easy to get an idea of the average price. This way, you know when a deal comes along.

Google flightsearch now has a historical indicator you can set up when you're watching a flight...

I set this one up about a month and a half ago, and then added a second flight to it.

Pretty easy to see that the average is around $720 return. You can see how often the price changes. Sometimes, it changes daily! The cheapest it went was $667, but I was pretty sure that it would go below $600 at some point.

Well the other day, I saw a flight that went from Ottawa to Barcelona return for $517. But the dates didn't line up, and it turned out that it was only for travel in May and June of 2017.

Yesterday morning, they had expanded those dates! I booked it for $519, plus we had a couple of $20 off coupons if we booked it through Flight Centre.

It turned out that you can only use one coupon per booking, and they beat the price by a buck, so we ended up paying $508 CAD ($395 USD) return per person, taxes included...a fantastic deal!

This morning, it is still on sale, but the price has increased to $536.

We fly out January 1st (what a great way to start the new year!) and return to Ottawa April 15th.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When we travel to different countries, we always buy travel guides. The Lonely Planet Travel Guides are on sale right now!


And in Canada...








18 comments:

  1. Great deal! Open jaws (flying into one place and out of another) are a great way to save when you don't want to pay to get back to where you started from. I keep looking for something late Spring but it is a little early to see anything yet. We are just too busy this fall with our business to get away any sooner other than our planned short weekend away in October (with wifi so we can still work if we absolutely have to).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This particular flight is in and out of Barcelona. One of the other flights Kevin was keeping his eye on one into Madrid and out of Paris but the price hadn't come down enough for Kevin to book it and then this other one came up with fantastic pricing so we couldn't not book it. :-)

      Keep looking you will find something, you still have lots of time.

      Delete
  2. We know you can always find a good deal, if you can wait, sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the pricing that Kevin was waiting for, it is a great price! :-)

      Delete
  3. Wow, your patience sure paid off! What a fantastic trip you're going to have! We'd love to do something extended in Europe some day. We've been fulltime in the US for 2 years so far. Loving it. Looking forward to your pics of that trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Debbie! Maybe after we do this trip it will make you think more seriously about doing a similar trip. Remember you only get to live once, so you want to make it worthwhile. Having said that, at least you are doing something that you love right now. :-)

      Delete
  4. Since Beach and I are retired and have more time to travel between point A and point B, we have included in our transportation search not just air travel but also sea travel to the UK and Europe. Right now on the Queen Mary II between Brooklyn, NY and Southhampton, England, there is a $549 rate per person for seven nights for an inside cabin and giving you a $150 onboard credit. This is for the date of January 3, 2017. Of course, I'm sure you need to add $130 per cabin for taxes, so that is $65 per person for taxes. Not bad for transportation, maid service, food, and entertainment all the way to the UK.

    Dee Tillotson
    Summerville, SC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dee,

      Yes, we have looked at doing a transatlantic or re-positioning cruise in the past. And we will, some day, it just hasn't worked out with the timing yet. And I've seen them at prices of under $40 a day including meals. Yes, you still have to add taxes and gratuities, but it's still good value if you're getting somewhere you wanted to go.

      Delete
  5. oops! I forgot you quoted your airfare rates in CAD prices. My sea transportation was quoted in USD.

    Dee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, we have to be careful of that now because we don't get very many U.S. in exchange for our Canadian dollars!

      And don't forget that our airfare prices are also for the return trip...

      Delete
    2. Yes, I did not figure in your air price was round trip! The only good things about that particular sea cruise are that IT IS the Queen Mary 2 and you get $150 on board credit to offset taxes and/or gratuities.

      Dee

      Delete
    3. One day we will do something like that! :-)

      Delete
  6. Icelanders are actually taking to their streets to stop tourism. On PBS News hour this week, Iceland has become a major tourist destination. They claim they don't have the infrastructure to handle the influx and renters are being kicked out to make way for AirBNBs. They feel their country will be destroyed or better is to rent out their homes and change countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe it! We were there in 2012 and it seems that even more people have been traveling there. It is a n absolutely beautiful country and I know we would certainly jump at a chance to go back there again and see even more of the country. I am glad that we have at least been. I can't see them stopping tourism there but maybe they could put a limit on the amount of people that come through, I guess only time will tell.

      Delete
  7. Good job on the flights! It's amazing how much the prices can fluctuate. That Google flight search looks interesting - I'll have to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ellen! Kevin loves Google flight search, it is his #1 place to go.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...