Just Book It! 4 Steps to Becoming Your Own Favorite Travel Agent

If there is a chance you will need to change or cancel, make sure that is a possibility before you book.

TRAVEL HACK
PHOTO LENA KAZER

1. Do Research.

The farther you look in advance the better your odds of finding a deal to book. Start with websites like Kayak and Expedia that scan the Internet for cheap fares and compare them by price, departure date, or duration. If your dates are flexible, use the fare calendars to find the cheapest flight days and come back to them often to see if they change. While these sites are convenient and perfect for research, be very careful when the time comes to purchase your ticket. Sites often pop up with bizarrely cheap fares that come with hidden charges and horrible customer service. If it sounds too good to be true, there is a possibility it is.  This leads me to number two.

TRAVEL HACK
PHOTO LENA KAZER

2. Reviews are gold.

Always do a “yelp” search and plow through user-reviews before you book with a travel site. Take the time to read through a variety of reviews and consider your own situation. Be critical of the reviewers as well: some horrible reviews are written by travelers who missed the large red writing that read “not subject to change” or “cancellations will not be refunded.” Sometimes to get a great deal you have to sign in blood, but as long as you know you can make the flight, go for it! However, if there is a chance you will need to change or cancel, make sure that is a possibility before you book.

TRAVEL HACK
PHOTO LENA KAZER

3, Reread the terms.

Once you are ready to put your credit card to use, read the ticket agreement one more time. Pay attention to features like free checked bags, the timing of your layovers, and make sure there is customer service information. Most importantly, if you are purchasing through a site that is not the airline itself, check on the airline website to make sure the flight exists. Sometimes airlines do discounted promotional flights that do not show up on their websites, but it is smart to confirm your flight exists before putting down your card number.

4. Relinquish your money.

Grip your engraved plastic with cold clammy hands, press the wrong keys on your keyboard due to your overwhelming trepidation, and then hover your pointer finger over the “purchase” icon until you hit it inadvertently with your trembling hand. Swallow your fear and accept what’s done is done, check your email for your confirmation, and print it as proof of purchase. Then log in to the airline website to pick your seats and mark your vegan/gluten-free/fruit only diet. Cheers.

TRAVEL HACK
PHOTO LENA KAZER

Lena Kazer

Lena is a Chicago native, her travel style consists of red cowboy boots that make her feel like she can take over the world. She adores Peru and can't travel without her journal to draw or write in.

Jetset Times in your inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.