How Far In Advance To Book International Flights

The excitement of travel begins right from the time you book your ticket. You undoubtedly look forward with anticipation to the joys of exploring the world and meeting new people.

Perhaps like most people you agitate about the best time to book your ticket. Opinions vary on how far in advance international flights should be booked.

How Airlines Set Their Prices

Airlines open flights for reservation a year in advance, however, it’s best not to book your ticket that early. This is because fares fluctuate, hence you should aim to identify the best window that will yield the lowest fare.

Airlines are in business to market and sell their product. Their goal is to make a profit, therefore among the factors that determine ticket prices include the price of oil, the distance of the destination, and what the competition is offering. 

Governments collect taxes on air tickets, therefore this too can influence the fare. In addition, airlines set fares according to the category of traveler they wish to target. 

Leisure travelers are more likely to book in advance, and they are usually in search of budget fares. Business travelers on the other hand are less flexible with their dates and they are prepared to pay more.

How Pricing Works

Pricing is set on the basis of the principle of supply and demand. Weeks before a flight departs when the flight is still open, an airline will post reasonable fares. As it gets closer to the departure date and the demand increases, the fare will increase accordingly.

Since the airlines peg their fares to the availability of seats, this means that fares are never constant; they keep fluctuating. You may be surprised to obtain a cheap fare shortly before your departure if for some reason the airline was unable to sell seats on  that flight.

The Destination Has a Bearing

There are certain destinations that are popular and have a clearly defined ‘peak’ season. For example, everyone heads to Europe for the summer, starting from the end of May to August. Therefore, if you are intending to travel to Europe in summer, you need to book your flight by February at the latest. For travel in the Fall, you can make your reservations in March or April.

The Season, Time, And Day Of Travel Have A Bearing

Fares are highest when there is a demand for seats, hence advance ticket purchases are necessary for travel over long weekends, special holidays, sports tournaments, Christmas and New Year. Moreover, try to schedule your departure on a weekday; Monday and Wednesday are recommended, and Sunday too yields lower fares.

Similarly, you may opt to stay over at your destination on Saturday and commence your return journey on a weekday.

Early morning flights are unpopular, therefore you will find that fares are considerably lower if you take a 5am flight, for example. Late night flights too, tend to be affordable.

Try to make your reservations early in the morning. This is because airlines sometimes post promotional fares during the night. 

Experts say that from 4 months to 6 weeks prior to departure is the best time to reserve international flights. Therefore during this window, monitor deals that are posted on airline and travel websites, and you may succeed in zeroing in on an excellent deal.

4 Types of Souvenirs Worth Buying

Souvenirs are an invaluable part of your travel experience. The urge to take home mementos comes naturally to most of us as we want to hold onto memories of a special time and place. Here are ideas of souvenirs you can take home with you.

The Inexpensive Knick-Knacks

These are the readily available tourist souvenirs that are found at markets and road-side stalls. They make good giveaways and will be appreciated by friends and relatives. 

These include:

  • Fridge Magnets – For example, available in London are magnets of Big Ben, red double-decker buses, and Buckingham Palace. In Japan, popular magnets feature fake food images like sushi.
  • Dishcloths – In Madrid there are dish towels available with motifs of popular sites such are Puerta de Alcala.
  • Aprons – In Spain, you can obtain aprons with local recipes on them
  • In most countries, you will find key chains, t-shirts, and postcards that feature famous landmarks

Souvenirs That Are Decor Items

Many travelers source for souvenirs that will add interest to their decor and even choose their destination specifically with that goal in mind. Items that make great decorative pieces include:

Trunks

Trunks and chests that you pick up on your travels are a real showstopper. You can use them as a coffee table. In addition, you can paint or embellish them to fit in with the existing decor. Best of all, they are great for storage purposes.

Tribal Masks

African and Mexican masks have become collectibles and they make a bold statement when up on the wall. The colors, patterns and textures add an element to your decor that tells a story of its own.

Woven baskets and bowls

 A great idea is to group different sizes of woven bowls and hang them above a sofa to create a striking wall feature. Woven baskets can also be used as hanging plant holders and bathroom organizers.

Food Items as Souvenirs

Food is an essential part of the travel experience and specialty food makes great souvenirs and gifts for friends back home. Along with food, you may also choose to carry along some of the ingredients, such as spices, special herbs, and sauces.

The following destinations are well known for specialty foods:

Spain – A large percentage of the world’s olive oil comes from southern Spain, hence this is a good place to obtain your extra virgin olive oil.

 Singapore – Carry home some exotic Kaya Jam which is made from coconut milk, sugar, and eggs.

Italy – A perfect souvenir to take home with you is Italian cheese such as Pecorino Romano (Roman sheep milk cheese) and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Wine and Liquors as Souvenirs

Portugal – Obidos is home to a liquor known as Ginja, made of sour cherries and alcohol, a great memento to take home with you.

London – Freya Birch Spirit made from sap obtained from birch trees is a drink with a very unique taste, often compared to that of peach schnapps.

Paris – Chambord – This is a cognac based raspberry liquor that is flavored with blackberries and vanilla. 

Whatever your budget, it is possible to carry home a memento of your memorable experiences from somewhere special. By doing that, you will also give local artists and small business people your valuable support.