Scoring low-cost airfare is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But before you book your flight, make sure you do your research. A few years ago, I booked a trip through Expedia to Niagara Falls via Air Canada. The flight deal was perfect. I jumped for joy! Expedia suggested that I fly from New York City to Toronto. Unbeknownst to me, Toronto is 1 hour and 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, Ontario. When we landed in Toronto, I jumped in a cab to get to my hotel and the car service charged me $200.00. I was blindsided by the cost. Here I thought I got a dream fare through Expedia, but it turned out to be a nightmare that almost ruined my vacation.
At the end of our trip, we took a shuttle van service that picked us up from our hotel and took us back to Toronto Pearson International Airport for an additional $189.00 for two people, raising the cost of the trip by nearly $400.00. I now know that it will probably be better to fly from New York City to Buffalo then take a cab across the border. We see beautiful photographs of people traveling, but we don’t know what really happens behind the scene of every trip.
It is so important that you do your research when planning your vacations. Check the distance between the airport and lodging. You may feel like you are getting a good deal, but it can cost you a lot more in the end. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is so look into it deeply before going forward with booking your vacation. Besides the surprise in cost, the inconvenience of commuting almost an hour and a half to get from city to city during an already short stay in Canada turned out to be quite cumbersome. It wasn’t worth the value.
Do not base your final decision on the booking site suggestions. I assumed Expedia was suggesting the closest airport to Niagara Falls, Ontario. Being a reputable site, I didn’t think they would provide skewed information. It is the travelers’ responsibility, however, to do their due diligence. The ultimate goal is to find the best fares, but you have to identify what you may be sacrificing to get low-cost airfare and lodging. You may not be sacrificing anything at all. And with pure luck, you’ve found your pot of gold.
More often than not, travel deals come at a price negatively impacting things like service, amenities, ease of travel, and safety. There are so many things you may, ultimately, be giving up for a low cost experience. If you are not a backpacker then it’s likely you would not be willing to sacrifice some of the luxuries most travelers seek, so make sure you are aware of what you may have to accept for a low cost vacation.
I can’t stress it enough, do your research, ask questions, and follow a travel discussion board/forum on a site like Tripadvisor. As a beginner traveler, you may not know what questions to ask so it’s important to join travel communities on sites like Facebook where experienced travelers are willing to guide you in the right direction.