Traveling on a Budget: The Flights Version
As promised, a recap of the second half of our Mexico trip and tips for booking flights on a budget! If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed a recent post about family travel on a budget. I didn’t talk much about how to accomplish this when the vacation you’re wanting to take is outside of driving distance, but rest assured that I have many a tip for how to maximize your wallet when searching for flights for the whole family.
After leaving Cancun, we spent the second leg of our Mexico trip on the island of Holbox at hotel Zomay. Since our trip was 10 days long, we wanted to make time to explore and get a true beyond-the-resort experience. We ate at the most delicious local restaurants, and spent our days barefoot on the beach. We appreciated having the opportunity to see more of Mexico than what is housed inside the grounds of its beautiful resorts.
After our few days in Holbox, we actually decided to end our trip on a very relaxing and fun note at Club Med Cancun. It was our first time staying with this chain, but the fancy resort did not disappoint. For those who aren’t familiar with the Club Med experience, it’s basically the original all-inclusive resort - one of the most well-known in the world. They have premiere activities and restaurants, with very high-quality service, and a reputation that is unmatched in the resort world. Club Med also has ample kids activities for all ages of little ones - our Romi even participated in a kids dance show, it was the cutest thing. Family activities are offered around the clock, too!
I can’t stress enough how important offerings for children are on vacation. Yuli, Romi, and Ori were able to fully explore Club Med and had full vacation days playing with other kids from the around world. They had a blast meeting new friends and Noam and I had the opportunity to relax as a couple, knowing that our kids were safe and fully entertained. I highly recommend researching the activities for your kids ahead of time and having this aspect inform your decision when deciding where to stay during travel. It was a huge hit with our kids and a huge help to us parents!
As you can see, we travel a great deal as a family (cultural exploration and immersion is so important to Noam and me), so all of these pieces of advice come strictly from experience – this is NOT a sponsored post and all companies mentioned are ones that I actually utilize often in my life. We’ve just recently started paying for Romi’s seat since she’s turned two and we’ve been expanding our resources to minimize how much we feel this spending effect in our pockets ;) Surprisingly, finding reasonable prices for five people is totally doable. I highly encourage you to follow these easy steps when exploring the best options for you and your family. Don’t let the hesitation and trepidation surrounding flight prices stop you from traveling and making the best memories with your kiddos.
SkyScanner. I absolutely love this website. It lays out all of the travel options for me and shows the cheapest dates for each month. Usually, when I’m looking to book flights I know what my budget is and my dates are quite flexible (luckily I don't have a boss on my head or a corporate job!). When I first open SkyScanner, I’ll type in my travel destination (Israel) and choose the month (August). The website will show me the cheapest date and airline for departure and arrival. It honestly could not be more simple than this. Getting the eagle-eye view of my options helps transition planning from the hypothetical to reality.
Booking a round trip route doesn't mean that the price will be better! It doesn't always work out that way. Try playing around with different combinations on websites like Kayak, Travelocity, and Expedia (round-trip, one-way, etc.) and you may be surprised by what you find. Also, an interesting tip I heard from one of my interns (that actually works!) is trying to book flights on Tuesdays. I can’t explain why this works but it does! And, going incognito in your browser or opening up a new tab on these travel saver websites is also supposed to help produce the lowest rates! Thankful for those millennials and their little money-saving tricks, aren’t we?
Book a flight with a layover. This can make the tickets way cheaper and you'll have the option to see a new place/another city. This has been my favorite way to travel lately. What I mean by this is find a direct flight that has a stop-over in a city on the way – if the layover is over four hours, you can get a chance to take the airport shuttle into the main area and explore for a bit before your next flight. Fun fact: this can also help mitigate jetlag!
Think outside of the box. The prices to fly from NYC to Israel and back right before the Jewish holidays skyrocket – a single one-way ticket cost be upwards of $900! I checked some airports nearby and I found a flight from Boston to TLV for just $230 a ticket. Meaning $1150 for all five of us! I was able to save about $3000 just because I was eager to cut down our expenses and do some research. The trip to Boston could have been a fun excursion (we even planned to spend the night in a fancy hotel) but with our busy schedules we had to drive straight to the airport.
I hope these tips help you get the vacation you deserve with your loved ones! What tips do you use to save money when traveling with your kids? I’d love to know,