Finding Your Perfect Match (In Airfare Deals)

I have always been the type of person who spends hours poring over Expedia, Kayak, and Orbitz, comparing airfare and hotel prices for imaginary (and sometimes not) vacations. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than doing travel research. Because of the possibility that it may lead to actual travel. Real, cultural, exotic, unforgettable brushes with new people, new tastes, and new environments. Within a few months’ time, I could be discovering another little swath of the earth. Also, because the high that washes over you when you know you’ve found that golden ticket of an air deal is just a notch more addictive than meth.

I usually start my “get my fix” search with a peek at Orbitz. There is a magical little tool on Orbitz called Flexible Dates Search. It recently disappeared on their main Flights page, but I searched Orbitz Flex Search and landed right on it!

 

Orbitz Flex Search Tutorial

1)   Enter your To/From cities at the top (see image above).

2)   Decide how much flexibility you have around your dates. Are you planning a weekend getaway, give or take a few days (fill in Option 1)?

3)   Do you have a particular range in mind, but can budge by a day or two (fill in Option 2)?

4)   Or, are you a free bird with the whole month to spare (fill in Option 3)? I usually choose the last one, or Option 3 on the Flex Search page because that incredible function actually shows you rates for every single date within a 30-day range, which pretty much covers the first two options anyway, and gives you insight on other travel times. And trust me, price has swayed my travel plans more than a few times.

5)   So. You’re staring option 3 in the face. It looks pretty darn good. Select how many days you want to go for (e.g., 2-4, 3-5, 5-6, or more).

6)   Then, choose a 30-day date range, and the quantity and ages of people traveling.

7)   Click Find! You’ve unearthed a money-saving treasure – the holy, sky-blue grid of round-trip airfare calculations.

 

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