I like to think of myself as a bit of a traveler – I mean, I’ve been to Costa Rica 4 times, did a trip to Europe on my own, lived in The Bahamas, and am moving to Australia next month. I am by no means an expert, but planning my upcoming trip to Peru and Australia has demonstrated how much learning I still have left to do.
I follow most, if not all of the tips, you see on travel blogs. I research flights using incognito tabs and try different routes to find the best price. I research the best way to get around the country. I do research on my “must-see” sights and leave room for exploring. My biggest travel faux pas? I wait too long to buy airplane tickets.
I could research and find the best price weeks out from the trip, but instead of purchasing the flights when I find the lowest price, I sit on it. I sit on it too long, and I always end up paying at least a couple hundred dollars more than I originally anticipated. For this trip to Peru next week, I waited too long. Waiting too long to buy plane tickets meant that I had to sacrifice a part of my trip that I had my heart set on – Macchu Picchu. Between the travel from Lima to Cusco, the train ride up to Machu Picchu, MP’s Entrance Fee, and a flight out of Cusco, it was going to add on at least another $400 to my trip. Also, because I am moving to Australia a week after I return, I have very little wiggle room between my conference and my move.
I did better this time around, when searching for flights for Australia, but I think I paid a bit too much for a one-way plane ticket. Flying from Chicago, it ended up being around $800, which isn’t too bad, but I think if I had planned ahead and “pulled the trigger” when I found the best deals, I wouldn’t consistently be in this predicament.
I’m still learning and I think I still do a pretty great job of doing my research, but if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that I need to be confident in my research and do what’s best for my budget and I. Traveling on a budget is fun and exciting, but spending a bit more money on plane tickets means less money available to spend on experiences in the destination. Nevertheless, I’m pumped to fly out to Peru!