Recently, I purchased my very first international flight, and I have to say it is a terrifying process. Most flights are expensive overseas. Typically in the hundred or thousands. I wanted to make sure I got the best deal out there. Here are some things I recommend.
Purchase Your Ticket Early
Since I am going on a study abroad trip I had to wait until my instructor gave us information about which flight to book. When I first began browsing for flights the tickets were around $800 (from North Carolina, U.S. to Rome, Italy). After my instructor gave me the flight information the price had risen to around $1,200. Needless to say I was a little mad that the flight information was not given out to us earlier. Booking around three-six months before you depart is a good way to ensure you are getting the best price.
If You Are A Student Take Advantage Discount Sites
I used Student Universe to purchase my ticket. This was the website recommended to me by the University and by other students who had studied abroad. It is super easy to navigate and the prices are typically cheaper. All you do is select where you are flying out of, where you are going, and the date. It will give you lots of options to choose from, starting with the cheapest flights available. STA is another great site to use for students, considering it is the largest student travel agency out there. Both Student Universe and STA are user friendly and offer cheaper options for those of us still working towards and education.
If You Are Not A Student Check Out These Sights
I won’t be a student for much longer, and I am thankful for more options. Expedia, CheapOAir, and Kayak.com make purchasing flights cheaper and simpler to use. Most of my family uses Expedia almost every time they fly. By using these sights you are making the process easier, and less expensive. Also if you are looking to rent a car or stay in a hotel you can book it all together.
Purchase Travel Insurance!
Not Sure About Exact Departure Or Arrival?Worried Lost Luggage Might Cost A Fortune?I still have not decided if I am going to stay over in Europe and do some traveling or come back to the States. Because of this I bought travel insurance so that I can cancel my flight at anytime with no fees. Travel insurance also covers lost luggage or reschulincg of flights. Even if you are certain of your arrival and departure it is not a bad idea to think about getting travel insurance along with your flight. It is an $80 purchase that covers all of my belongings. If my laptop were lost that is $2,000 I would not have to pay. I simply added travel insurance along with the purchase of my flight ticket, so it is all included in the same price.
Make Sure To Book The Same Airline If You Have A Layover
For flight in the United States this is not an issue, but international flights are a different story. I made sure that I booked United Airlines for my first and connecting flight. If you book two separate airlines there are a couple problems that could arise. For example, if your first flight is delayed and you miss your second flight the airline does not have to reimburse you because you used a separate airline. You would have to purchase another ticket. Given that it would be last minute this one would likely be more expensive than your first.
Hope this helps!