Aside from accommodations, the other big-ticket thing you’ll have to pay for when going on a trip – long-term or otherwise – is your transportation. It’s not cheap. And, even after having booked dozens of plane tickets online in my life, clicking “confirm” on the purchase screen still leaves a lump in my throat and my fingers trembling. Booking a flight makes a trip more real.
I don’t profess to be the most cost-savvy flyer in the sky (there are some people for whom it’s a game), but over the last few years I’ve developed some habits and have acquired some tips and tricks for chipping away the the expense of flying. Here is what I’ve learned.
It was a trip to London and Paris in 2012 which solidified my opinion on the importance of having access to mobile data while travelling.
While the City of Light is beautiful and I was able to check out all the major tourist attractions with ease using a paper map, something was missing from my visit. I felt like I was sticking to the well-worn path, rather than being adventurous in exploring side streets and hidden gems around the city. It wasn’t until I went to London on the second half of that trip when I found the missing piece of the puzzle.
In 2009, I went to Florida from Saskatchewan, Canada with my Sister and her family for a week at Walt Disney World – and back then I thought that was a long flight. Granted, it was a hectic day with two connections, lots of rushing around, and cramped quarters in packed airplanes. But, I look back at that trip now and laugh – that’s not the longest I’ve been in the air!
My first venture out of North America was to London in 2012 – and that was roughly an 8.5 hour flight from Minneapolis. My legs cramped up, I panicked a little waking up from a restless sleep to find the seatback in front of me reclined all the way – it was a little harried! I thought that was a long flight – and again, I laugh. I’ve been up in the clouds even longer.
Fast forward to this month’s trip to Tokyo. Minneapolis to Narita is a flight that lasts just over 12 hours. Half a day, up in the sky. Now, THAT is a long flight (or at least the longest I’ve been on so far – I’ve yet to make the journey from the South Pacific back to North America, but it’s coming.)
When I was telling family and friends about my upcoming half-a-day-in-the-sky, they cringed at the thought of spending so much time trapped inside a plane. “How will you spend the time,” they ask? Good question.