On Friday, Natalie and I booked our flights. Well, we still have 4 more flights to book as it happens but the 4 we have left are pretty small, mostly internal flights so aren’t worth worrying about too much as of yet. However, the big ones are all done and dusted and we got some pretty amazing deals on them. We will be leaving Seoul on Tuesday 28th August, bound for Bangkok via Kuala Lumpa (it’s only a 2 hour layover). We originally intented to leave on the Sunday or Monday but for some reason flying on the Tuesday was almost 150 pounds (no pound sign) cheaper, so we opted for that. We used two fantastic websites which I want to rave about.
Flight price comparison websites are irritating. They are often disorganised, overly complicated and don’t even present you with the best deals on offer. We actually started by checking some of the obvious ones Kayak, Skyscanner and Expedia but none of the flights we ended up booking were represented on any of those websites. If you’re looking for cheap flights (especially if your dates are flexible) I would recommend avoiding these websites. So, how do you find a flight? Well, I still used price comparison sites but they were sites with a difference.
The first was www.adioso.com. This inventive little site makes searching for a flight so easy. The home page is just a search box, you type in where you want to go ‘Seoul to Bangkok’ and when ‘August’ and you click search. You can be as specific or as brief as you wish, you can write ‘Asia in September’ and it’ll show you a tonne of super cheap flights. Adioso is specifically designed for people who don’t care when they fly and that’s why such great deals show up on the site, and you never know you might get lucky (as we did). Although we wanted to fly on the Monday the deal that was offered by the Adioso engine on the Tuesday was too good to pass up, and what’s in a day? Adioso provides you with a timeline of results that shows when prices rise and when they fall. It’s really clever and easy to use. Do it.
The second engine we used which is equally as amazing is Momondo.com. Yeah, it’s still a price comparison site, but it has access to some amazing deals that the other sites we used just didn’t pull up. The layout is fantastic and it makes it stress-free to search for flights. It is designed to find the cheapest deal available and it cross references your search with over 700 different travel websites to find the best deals. We booked our flight from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Beijing, China through this website and we were very excited with the price we got quoted. We’ll be flying from Cambodia to China on the 20th October with China Southern Airlines and we’ll be catching our Trans Mongolian Train on October 24th giving us 4 days in Beijing to get a feel for the place. It’s a shame that a Chinese visa is so expensive for such a short stint in the country.
The third flight we booked was from Vientiane, Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam. This probably isn’t the cheapest way to get into Vietnam but the Vietnam visa process gets complicated and when arriving by air that process is made very simple and doesn’t require much forward planning. So, we opted for the flight. We are flying with Lao Aviation which could be quite the experience and we depart Laos on 28th September.
The only flights left to book are an internal Thai flight from Phuket in the South to Chiang Mai in the North, an onward flight from Thailand that we won’t actually be boarding (a stupid visa restriction if you ask me), our flight from Moscow to Dortmund or Berlin, and our flight from Germany back to the UK (we’ve cut France off the tail end of the trip).
All this travel planning and budgeting has gotten me incredibly excited for the big trip. Natalie departed Korea for the last time this weekend, which means in three and a half months we’ll be flying. Very exciting, although, it’s lonely not having Natalie around anymore. I’ll miss her but know that the pay off at the end will be worthwhile. We’ve still got a lot of organising to do. It’s tough to know when you are micro-managing your trip too much so we’re trying to keep a steady balance between over-planning and not doing any planning at all. I think right now, we’re in a heavy planning phase but this is the time when flights need to be booked to try and grab those cheaper deals.
My friend Bob arrives this week, he’ll be at the end of a huge trip around the world and I’m sure he’ll be able to give me lots of valuable advice. I’m looking forward to seeing him and I’m sure he’ll have a great time here in Korea.
So, if you’re ever in need of a cheap flight check out www.adioso.com or www.momondo.com. For the purposes of my family who I’m sure are the main readership of this blog, below is the current travel itinerary for those who are interested.
24th August – Depart Sachang-ri for Seoul
28th August – Seoul to Bangkok
1st September – Bangkok to Krabi / Phuket
8th September – Phuket to Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai
16th September – Chiang Rai to Huay Xai (Laos)
20th September – Huay Xai to Luang Prabang
23rd September – Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng / Vientiane
28th September – Vientiane to Hanoi (Vietnam)
4th October – Hanoi to Hue / Danang / Dalat
11th October – Dalat to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
14th October – Saigon to Phnom Penh / Siem Reap (Cambodia)
20th October – Siem Reap to Beijing (China)
24th October – Beijing to Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
2nd November – 6th November Ulaanbaatar to Moscow (Trans Siberian Railway)
6th November – Arrive in Moscow
12th November – Moscow to Berlin / Dortmund (Germany)
17th November – Dortmund to London Luton