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BerndtCanada Travels

Travel frugally...Travel smart...Travel often!!!

This travel information site is geared for travelers who wish to travel frequently; exploring, learning, and appreciating the geography, culture and history of the places being visited. We believe a balance of independent wandering and guided local wisdom ensures the richest experiences. We hope you will find this website useful in imagining and planning your travels.

 

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Learn about some of our Travel Destinations

by clicking on any picture or label found below:

Scotland & Ireland

Mexico

Austro-Hungary

Mediterranean

Hawaii

Spain & Portugal

Baltic Cruise

Costa Rica & Panama

Caribbean Collection
 

Florida


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Flights

The cost of flights is often the most expensive part of a trip. There are ways to minimize these costs by  taking advantage of flight search engines and shopping around with different providers.

How to Book the Cheapest Fight Possible to Anywhere

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Cheap Flights in 2019
 

Using Travel Aggregators and Flight Search Engines

Flight prices fluctuate a lot as airlines strategize how to fill seats. Use a good search engine to get a visual of price patterns over time. Get price alerts from the flight websites. In our experience, our best prices were achieved by watching for a while within a 3 to 9 month time period and booking when the prices were reduced (usually around 5 months before travel). Generally speaking, the best fares or seat sales are offered on weekends. The cheapest flights are on Tuesdays. The best fares are off peak times and seasons, i.e. early mornings and evenings; non-holiday periods. Airlines’ websites often post a calendar that allows you to view all prices for different departure and return dates. Travel sites allow you to enter “flexible” dates, and post a calendar showing the range of prices for different dates. The following websites provide information about flight pricing trends:

 

       

              There are many specialized regional carriers.

 Flight Network

 Sky Scanner


 Fare Compare

Google Flights

Kayak Flight Search

 

 

Using Discount Airlines

There are many more flights around the world than what can be viewed on the major travel websites. Smaller regional carriers abound in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. They provide connections to some of the most interesting locations and realize significant savings. They are often cheaper for travelling within a country than using trains, buses or rental cars. Cheaper fares are often accomplished by flying into smaller, more distant airports. Most of these airports have convenient shuttle buses or transportation into the city center. Use Google Maps, the airline’s website, or the airport’s website to pinpoint the airport location and find out about transportation. We often have planned our travel itineraries by plotting a route based on the destinations of the discount airlines. An internet search “fly from X to Y” often yields the results you need. The following websites illustrate the many possible connections and the airlines that serve them, rank their quality, and provide tips for booking and travelling.

 

Which Budget: Flight Search Engine and Destination Finder

World’s best Low-Cost Airlines 2019

Your Guide to the Low Cost Airlines in Europe

Small is Still Beautiful in Asia

The Ten Best Budget Airlines in Asia


14 Cheapest Airlines in N and S America

 

Our TAP flight from Seville to Lisbon provided water, sandwiches and earplugs.

 

Experimenting with Booking Combinations

Book with various providers – The large travel aggregators purchase large numbers of seats in bulk and are often able to offer the best prices on flights and vacation packages to popular destinations. However, we have  found that navigating directly to an airline’s webpage could give us lower fares, especially for the small local carriers on less common routes.

Search multiple types of tickets - With the ease of internet searches, it is possible to experiment with different booking combinations to save some serious cash. Test different dates and mix and match airlines. Consider booking multiple legs of a journey as individual one way fares. Consider buying flights in bulk as return or multi-journey flights. Consider booking through affiliated flight partners. Consider using round the world tickets or regional passes offered by some airlines. Consider searching for one seat at a time, instead of in multiples for the whole family.  Airlines show the highest price in a group of tickets. Sometimes there are simply errors in pricing that can be taken advantage of.

 Create your own connections – Direct flights are generally preferred but are more expensive and not usually even possible, especially for long hauls. The flight search engines often show particular flight combinations based on airlines’ code sharing arrangements. In our experience, we have realized significant savings by booking with a large airline to get to a main hub in a particular country and booking separate connecting flights on budget airlines from there. For example, to go to Europe, we find a cheap flight to London Gatwick and then a connection from there. Likewise,  to go to Asia, we fly to Hong Kong or Singapore first. We prefer an overnight or longer stay there before taking the next leg of the journey to break up lengthy travel days.  Increasingly, airlines are offering free stop-over programs.

The Best Airlines for a Free Stopover
 

Considering Ease and Comfort

 Airlines are able to offer lower fares by providing bare-bones service, beyond which there are additional fees. For some types of travel this is sufficient. If you travel with a carry-on bag and bring your own food on board there are no additional charges. In other cases it is worth the extra fees to get the services you need. Increasingly, airlines offer a package of extras that can be purchased at a discounted rate at the time of booking. These include baggage allowance, seat selection and meals. In a competitive market, you may not pay much more for a higher quality airline and a higher quality airport experience. It may be worth it to you. See:                      

The World Airport and Airline Quality Rating Program
 

Airports have become destinations in themselves with upscale restaurants and shops, recreational and relaxation services and decor and artwork reflective of the host nation.
 

         Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali                                                         Vancouver International Airport, Canada


Being enrolled in airlines’ loyalty and frequent flyer plans often yield better seating and service on flights and in airports. Points can be used for additional offers and bonuses.
 

The 14 Best Airline Frequent Flier Loyalty Programs

There are some important considerations when dealing with connecting flights especially with regards to luggage transfers, immigration and customs clearances and the risks of missing connections due to delays for mechanical or weather-related issues. See:

 Tips for Making a Connecting Flight    

15 Tips to Make Airline Connections Smoother
  

 For more suggestions about how to optimize travel while saving money on flights, see:


The Ultimate Guide to Low Cost Airlines in Europe

How to Use Google Flights to Find Cheap Flights, Discover Destinations and More

 

 


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