Many bicycle adventures begin with a trip by plane. So if you’re looking for a great deal on a one-way, round-trip, or multi-stop flight for your next bike trip, I’ve put together a list of the eight best websites for booking a flight online.
VAYAMA – Specializing in international flights, Vayama is an excellent resource for one-way and round-trip airline tickets to and from major international airports. There is currently a $10 – $20 booking fee associated with most flights, but you won’t care about this small fee after you find a flight for hundreds of dollars less than what you’ve found on other sites. They have some great deals on one-way flights. (www.Vayama.com)
AIRTREKS – If you plan to hop from one city to the next, visiting multiple locations along the way, then AirTreks is the site for you. Their multiple connection flights are surprisingly inexpensive and this is the ideal site for the worldwide traveler. (www.AirTreks.com)
PRICELINE – The reason Priceline.com is so great is because you can “name your own price” on airfare. What does that mean? It means you can place a bid on the price of your airline ticket… and you can bid whatever price you want! Once you make a bid, the airlines in the Priceline database will decide whether or not they want to accept your offer and you’ll be notified immediately as to whether or not your offer has been accepted. For this reason, I recommend bidding as low as 50% less than what the suggested price of the ticket is and then you can work your way up from there. The only bad thing about the bidding system on Priceline is that if your offer is accepted, you are committed to that flight. You can’t change the time of your flight or any of the details. But if you’re willing to take the risk and live with the consequences, Priceline can save you a huge amount of money. Priceline.com is known best for its outstanding deals on hotel accommodations, so if you’re planning to stay in a hotel while on tour, then Priceline.com is definitely worth a look. (Priceline.com) or (PricelineEurope.com)
KAYAK – No, this website doesn’t sell kayaks. They list airfare deals… and they’re one of the best in the business at what they do. Kayak.com is different from other travel websites because they search through more than 140 different travel sites at once to find you the best deal on airfare. They don’t actually sell the airfare themselves, but allow you to search through countless flight databases to find the best deal. (www.Kayak.com)
EXPEDIA – Expecia.com is an all-around booking agent for airfare, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages, cruises, and more. They’re most known for their “Best Price Guarantee,” which states that “if you should find a better price online for the same trip within 24 hours, Expedia will refund the difference—and give you a travel coupon worth $50.” (www.Expedia.com)
TRAVELOCITY – Not known for being the best in any one area, Travelocity has made a niche for itself in the area of vacation packages. If you plan to book your flight, hotel, and/or rental car online, then Travelocity may be the site for you. There are no booking fees for vacation packages. (www.Travelocity.com )
ORBITZ – Another all-round travel booking site, Orbitz.com can be an excellent resource for comparing flights and finding last minute deals on domestic and international flights. (www.Orbitz.com)
HOTWIRE – Known for having the best customer service around, Hotwire.com is an superb site for the traveler with an open schedule. If you have flexible dates and an adventurous spirit, Hotwire’s special fares can be some of the lowest rates around. (www.Hotwire.com)
After searching the aforementioned websites, be sure to check out the individual carrier websites as well. The carriers themselves will often times have the lowest prices available.
Also, keep in mind that most airlines charge extra fees for bicycles (usually around $80.00 per direction). I’ll show you how you can get around these extra shipping fees in an upcoming article.