• Jessica Stough

We Booked the Flight!

Updated: Jan 23

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” - Susan Sontag


It always takes so much debate to figure out where we want to travel to. We want to go everywhere, but there are just never enough plane rides or vacation days to accommodate our wishes. Instead, we have to pick and choose those places that are toward the top of our list.


When I searched and filtered through four random choices for our upcoming September trip, I had no idea if any of them would even be the place we would choose to adventure to. This past weekend, though, we sat down and talked through the options and made a decision. We booked our flight!


Now, of course I will share where we booked a flight to, but first I want to go through a bit about our process on how we chose what to book, what to bundle, and what to reserve separately.

 

As you may remember, I searched flight and hotel bundles for each of our four choices. Each location I researched, I also reviewed price differences for flights out of Des Moines compared to flights out of Chicago. Once we made a decision, we played around with our departure date. That changed the pricing of the flight a bit (and - of course - also changed the price of the hotel stay by increasing or lowering the nights we would be there).


The next thing we did was un-bundle the hotel stay and review both flights and hotel stays individually. This allowed us to check the prices of each, but also allowed us more flexibility in our stay. Instead of having to remain in one location the entire time, it allowed us the chance to play around with staying in multiple hotels. It also allowed us the option to look into both hotels and Airbnb.


Another option we had to think about was whether to bundle a rental car in with the trip. Just as we did with flights and hotel stays, we checked into rental car prices separately. We were shocked when a large number of rental cars for a week were $1,200 or more, which was more than double what it has ever been in the past.


This led us to look into Turo, an option for renting a car that is similar to Airbnb for lodging. The prices for Turo were much more reasonable. However, Turo created a few concerns: one, there were multiple people who had their reservations unexpectedly cancelled on them just hours before their trip; two, there was no knowledge of car servicing or any issues that each car may have; and three, a lot of the cars had fairly significant mileage restraints.


It was at this point that we decided to table the rental car and book the flights only. We booked our flight through Expedia, which is what we typically use. Once we had logged in as members, we realized that the rental car prices had been cut by more than half. Obviously, the takeaway here was that Expedia members have significant deals.


Our price for the rental car (after logging into Expedia) ended up being cheaper than the majority of the Turo cars. I was absolutely relieved to know that we wouldn’t have to worry about the concerns over Turo. Plus, we got extra Expedia points for the rental car. The points are great - by using Expedia as often as we do, we actually even get free hotel stays quite a bit with our points.


Now that we have the flight booked and the rental car in our name, we will continue to make more in-depth plans about our trip to decide where we would like to stay while there. Over the course of the next week or so, we will build the itinerary and book hotels and Airbnbs for while there.


As I sit here typing this, it is seventy-two degrees outside and I am bundled up with a blanket by the fireplace. I am always cold. Zac always picks on me for it, to be honest. In case anyone needs to learn a random fact today, I constantly remind him that women tend to have lower skin temperature than men, just as this article states. Even so, I absolutely cannot wait until we board our flight to Alaska in just a few short months.


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