Friday, January 9, 2009

If You Haven't Made Summer Plans, Now Is the Time

Now that my Christmas vacation is almost over (I spent much of it playing with my niece!), it's high time to start thinking about summer. It seems that airline prices go up around the beginning of March and then climb steadily after that, so I always try to buy my ticket before Valentine's Day. With today's oil prices, though, it's hard to predict anything at all. Right now the best prices to Europe from Arizona are on British Airways. It's always a balance: knowing your plans well enough to buy the ticket, and buying the ticket before the prices go too high or the flight schedules become too inconvenient. (The BA change fee is now $200, so it's important to buy a ticket you can live with.)

Travel tip: It used to be quite expensive to travel any way but round trip. Last summer I actually used four airports for my transatlantic flights. I flew from Phoenix to Rome and then returned to St. Louis via Zuerich. The round-trip price from Phoenix to Rome was only $35 cheaper, but the "open-jaw" route saved me a long train ride and an extra flight.

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