If you’ve never booked a big trip with a company such as AirTreks there may be quite a few things you want to know about the process. While it may seem impenetrably complicated at first glance, it actually breaks down to a simple six steps.
Here they are in order:
1. Choose it
This is the beginning and arguably the most difficult part of the process, not because it’s complicated but because there are so many places to go, and narrowing them down can be an exercise in anguish. It’s thrilling to be choosing your destinations but downright painful to have to omit desirable ones. Use the TripPlanner and see which places are easy to remove. Prices often rise and drop precipitously depending where you go, so price some different versions and choose according to your budget. You’re not bound to it at this point but it’s nice to have a framework. Take a look at our website’s “where-to-go” planning guide.
2. Time it
When you travel is almost as important as where you travel, at least when it comes to price and level of enjoyment. Comfort is closely tied in with time of year – consider summer in India, winter in Sweden, rainy season in Thailand and dry season in Syria – but money, at this stage, is often the clear winner in terms of importance. High season travel is always more expensive and when you add several seasonal flights into the mix you could end up with a dramatically altered price. Find out what constitutes high, shoulder and low seasons – click here for a good seasonality guide.
This is also the moment you’ll submit your trip to an AirTreks Personal Travel Consultant and kick your booking into high gear. They’ll typically get back to you within one day.
3. Tweak it
Once you start working with a travel consultant you’ll begin to make the final tweaks to your itinerary. These can be based on their suggestions or your own gut feelings about price and destination. It’s still possible to make changes for free at this point, but it’s best not to get too caught up in tweaking. Prices don’t vary much whether you end up leaving from Sydney or Melbourne. Try to make most of your route decisions before you get to this stage – it will save you losing sleep in those final anxiety-rich moments.
4. Date it
The next and important step is to choose the dates for your flights. We do require all you flights to be on specific dates because we hand confirm all your reservations. Once you’ve decided on what date each of the flights will be, your travel consultant will send you a complete itinerary to review.
5. Confirm it
This may be the best part, the most jubilant part, the most nerve-wracking part. Once the trip finally looks the way you want it, time to pull the trigger! We accept payment over the phone or via our website.
6. Verify it
One you get the final itinerary, with flight numbers and times, in your hands go over each one line by line. Use one of those fine tooth combs if necessary since you won’t be able to make any changes from here on out without a fee.
For more on the AirTreks trip planning process, we have a whole section on our site dedicated to it. Take a look.
Photo by antwerpenR. Image by N Crisafulli