Monday, July 15, 2013

Should I Book My Flight or Hotel First? Order of Travel Booking Explained.

    Ok general answer, the flight. But it's not quite so easy. Here are some things to consider when deciding what to book first:

  • Will booking flight and hotel together save money? I've saved thousands using this option on Expedia and Orbitz. It's not always an option though for multi-city or multi-country trips.
  • What is the purpose of the trip? For instance, for World Cup 2014, I will book tickets to the games above all before anything, after that my flight, then hotels. While The Cup is a huge event, I am confident I will still be able to find a hotel or hostel, or couch to crash on, because Brazil is a huge country now for something like say....
  • A Place Where Hotels Will Sell Out: Do you want to stay in Times Square in New York for New Years? Or Pampalona Spain for the Running of the Bulls? Then hotel first may be a better option. Consider hotels are generally able to be cancelled with full refund with sufficient notice, flights are generally not, especially for budget travelers like us!
  • Will you need train tickets? 
  • Do you need a Visa or other entry requirement to enter that country? If yes, THAT SHOULD BE FIRST. No point in booking a $2,000 flight if you can't get into the country.
  • Rental car: is one of the last consideration in order of booking.
  • Will flights go up if I don't book in advance? Generally, yes. So factor in that.
My general routine:
  1. Visa if needed (assuming you already have your passport)
  2. Flight
  3. Hotel (if not booked with flight)
  4. Transport (train tickets, etc)
  5. Excursions/Adventure/Day Trips
  6. Medications/vaccinations if needed
  7. Supplies for trip if needed

   So, the flight is typically the first thing I book where a Visa is not necessary, or flight and hotel together, to be completely honest, in my travels throughout 6 of the 7 continents, I cannot remember one time ever booking hotel first. I've booked them together a few times. Hopefully this article helped! Please share it on Facebook, twitter, or give it a +1 if you enjoyed it!

Choose the continent!!!!

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