May 19, 2015
Vancouver to Dublin
Air fares seem incredibly random and unfathomable. Two seats, side by side, on the same flight can sell for vastly different prices. If you want to get the best deals you have got to do your research. As a general rule, I plan on buying my tickets about 6 weeks in advance of travel. that seems to be the time when prices drop to a reasonable level. Buy too early or too late, and you may end up paying hundreds of dollars more. I have seen lots of “tips” stating that travel on certain days of the week are less expensive, or buying your tickets at certain times of day on specific days of the week will save money. I have not found these rules to hold true. My favorite research tool is the ITA Matrix by Google. It is available online, and free to use at matrix.itasoftware.com
ITA lets you search flights just from your home airport, or from airports within a specified range of your chosen airport. A drop down menu lets you choose the range. Options are: 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, 300, 500, 1000, or 2000 miles from your base. Or, if your travel dates are flexible, you can request the lowest fare calendar. ITA searches the data bases of all the same airlines that are listed on sites like Expedia or Orbitz. The ITA calendar shows you the lowest available fare for your chosen destination for a whole month, starting on the date that you select. Choose your date and time from their offerings, then go to the airline’s website to book it.