If I lived in the US, I would go to WDW a lot more. From what I believe (and tell me if I’m wrong) domestic flights are reasonably priced and if you can’t afford to fly, you guys sure don’t mind driving a long way. Road trips seem to be part of your life! Here in the UK you could travel the entire length of the country in a day, 2 top. Some of your states look geographically bigger than the whole of England!
So how does someone far across the pond get themselves sorted and booked up for a Trans-Atlantic holiday?
Firstly, we have to get there. I imagine 99.9% of people fly but we could sail across if it took our fancy. The QE2 was famous for this and to be honest, I’m not sure how many cruise ships there are that go all the way to the US but it is very expensive and takes ages. Ok if you’re rich or a celeb I guess?
The rest of us have to get on a jet plane.
But how do we book that over here?
Well there are 2 main ways.
1. You Do It Yourself.
2. You go through a Travel Agent.
I know from talking to you guys on Twitter etc. that quite a few of you are independent TAs that specialise in Disney. I’ve only ever come across one person here who does that and personally I’d be less inclined to use her than a big company. Normally I’m the other way around and prefer to give money to individuals than conglomerates (like the local store rather than Asda Walmart) but when I’m spending a lot of cash, I like to have it better protected. But next time we go I will be at least seeing what sort of a deal she could do for us.
We’ve been to WDW 4 times and we’ve booked flights both ways. With the first and last holiday we booked with the airline (once Continental and once Virgin) ourlseves on the Internet and both the second and third times we booked a package deal (flight and hotel) through a TA. Both times we used the TA we went to the office to do it face to face but we have booked other US holidays using a TA on the computer.
As with most things in life, booking your flight can be a bit of a gamble. If you book too early you may miss out on a sale, if you book too late you may be forced to pay a higher rate because you’re desperate for a seat. I tend to shop around for a bit before I book as I tend to know between 6 months to a year beforehand the dates that we want to travel. Here are some important points:-
* It really helps to be flexible too which days to fly and airports. As would be expected, Friday, Saturday and Sunday flights tend to cost more than a Tuesday or Wednesday.
* Time of year always effects costs too as it does with accommodation.
* If you can travel to a different airport then that can sometimes cut down total expenditure. I know of people who have travelled halfway across Britain and stayed in a cheap motel overnight, and this has cost them less than flying out of their home town, crazy huh?
And that is pretty much it. Once I’ve trolled through hundreds of flights I pick the one best suited to us, which is not always the cheapest. One way to really cut down cost is to fly indirect, like to NYC or Chicago first and then get a connecting flight. We’ve never done this to FL but once did London to NYC and then on to Vegas. All in all it was about 24 hours travelling and was HELL and we decided to NEVER do it again!
I love to fly and am one of those people who looks forward to the flight and enjoys the IFE. But next time it’ll be with our then just 4 year old DD so I guess it’ll be a whole different ball game …