Booking Your Flight: When to Buy and What Else to Know

There’s a rumor out there that best time to purchase airline tickets is on a Tuesday, at 3pm, in the week that is five weeks before your departure date. Or maybe it’s actually two months / eight weeks before you plan on taking off? Or maybe it’s Wednesday at 10am?

Travel industry insiders, seasoned passengers — and your Uncle Marty— all probably have some advice on this topic. Luckily for us, the good folks at Expedia, Inc., and the Airlines Reporting Corporation released a study. They took a long hard look at data mined, analyzed it for trends and best practices, and made some thoughtful predictions.

Here are the highlights:

  • Ticket prices have declined. And cheers to that. Purchase prices have declined by about 8 percent on average – with July and August seeing the biggest drops. And while it may not seem like a huge decrease, that covers your Uber ride to the airport on a $350 ticket or buys you dinner – or maybe even a hotel night’s stay – on a pricier fare.
  • It’s all about Europe. During the travel time period that was analyzed, the biggest bargains came from tickets purchased for flights within Europe. For so many years, travelers that wanted to bum around Europe opted for train travel. Now, with airline prices dropping as much as 23 percent, it’s just as easy – and maybe more affordable – to jump on a plane to get to and from your European destinations. It gives you a greater travel range as well. Why not fly from Rome to Barcelona or jet from Prague to Vilnius?
  • Buy your ticket early. Depending on your origin and your destination, the savings vary, but a good, solid, general rule-of-thumb is to buy your ticket in advance – even up to six months in advance if your plans allow for it. Even at 21 days ahead of your trip, you can save money. For those travelers who have a week of vacation set aside on the work calendar, but are unsure of vacation location, it is best for them to make a decision and buy about two months ahead of time. In fact, 57 days from departure date seems to be a magic number in the analysis – but please don’t worry if you hit “bill me later” 60 days out. Your savings will be about the same.
  • Just don’t buy your ticket on a Friday. For years, everyone said – and data showed – that the best time to buy your ticket was on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Recent data mixed it up and revealed that weekends also prove to offer great opportunities to find excellent deals on flights. This is true for both economy class and premium class fares. But, please do avoid Friday – prices can skyrocket.
  • Consider package deals. The report finds that travelers can save 20 percent or more by booking airline tickets, hotel rooms, and car rentals at the same time. For single travelers looking to embark on a group vacation, once you book your bargain flight based on our tips above, we can take care of the rest by offering you affordable packages that include everything from hotels, to local ground transportation, to meals and excursions.

Contact us to learn more.

Choosing the Perfect Singles Vacation

When single travelers are planning a getaway, many decide that a singles vacation would be a fun and exciting experience. Since we couldn’t agree more here at Singles Travel Service, we’re happy to offer you some of our expert tips on how to choose the perfect singles vacation.

  • Be thoughtful about your destination or activity. It’s important to pick a destination that you’ve always wanted to visit – or a vacation centered on a sport or activity (skiing, scuba, camping) that you love. This way, no matter what other experiences you have on the trip, you will be doing or seeing something you truly enjoy. Some single travelers go on a group vacation to meet someone special. And while that very often does happen, it’s not always the case. If you have selected a vacation because you have a passion for the activity or place, you’ll never come home disappointed.
  • Embrace the idea of single travel and go alone. Some single travelers love the idea of a singles vacation, but think it might be a better idea to bring a friend along for support and companionship. The best part about a singles vacation is that everyone is single – so everyone is there to make new friends. When you are alone, it is easier to integrate into the larger group and have some new and great experiences.
  • Wisely consider having a roommate – or not. There are definite advantages to sharing a room on a singles group vacation. First of all, shared-room trip packages are less expensive and therefore friendlier to your budget. Secondly, your roommate might possibly become an instant friend – or at least a pal to help navigate through the details of the trip. However, if you live alone and like alone time – or if you just aren’t comfortable sharing a room with a stranger (and don’t want flashbacks to freshman year of college) – then opt for a single room.
  • Enjoy the silence – and feel good about that choice. We have many guests who come on our vacations – especially cruises – who truly want to use that time to relax, get away from it all, read some books, and be alone most of the time. And that’s wonderful! While we encourage mixing and mingling, we do have guests that just join the larger group for meals on occasion. If this is the kind of trip that you have in mind, go for it. It’s a great option to organize your own day and just join the group for some meals and perhaps a happy hour. There is no need to feel obligated to join in all the activities, but keep in mind that some great conversations with like-minded travelers can be had over dinner or cocktails.
  • Remember to keep an open mind. If you have selected your vacation destination because you have a passion for the activity or the place, you are going to be part of an exciting group of guests with similar interests. During our 11 years organizing and hosting singles group vacations, we have seen many long term relationships and marriages evolve from casual conversations during a group dinner. We think this is because our guests are relaxed and enjoying the company of other travelers with common interests – who they otherwise would not have met. So keep an open mind if you are interested in meeting someone new – you might just end up sharing a ski lift with your future mate.

Ready to plan your next vacation? Contact us.

Travel Etiquette

Travel Etiquette for Single Travelers

Social manners and travel etiquette are something to always keep in mind. When traveling as part of a singles group vacation, it’s especially important to follow the good advice of Emily Post, America’s grand dame of social etiquette, who once said that “Good manners reflect something from inside — an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.”

At Singles Travel Service, we begin our trips with a group orientation where we like to review the basics of appropriate travel etiquette for our brand of adventure. While our travelers almost always have the best manners, we know that reminders can be helpful, and it makes us feel good to know that we have covered the basics before we say bon voyage. We have found that this makes our guests comfortable, too, knowing that everyone is on the same page.

With that in mind, here is some helpful travel etiquette advice for anyone embarking on a singles travel vacation:

  1. Pack light. Not only do you not want to lug around more than you need, but, and this is especially true if you are sharing a room, you also don’t want to take up all the closet, dresser, and counter space with too many things.
  2. Respect your roommate. Some travelers opt for a shared room, while others end up with one if it’s the only available choice. Either way, think about common courtesy stuff. If your roommate is sleeping in the room when you get back to it, keep the room lights low, dim the brightness on your phone or tablet, and be sure to wear headphones if listening to music or watching a movie. When getting ready for the day, work out a shower schedule — and keep the bathroom neat.
  3. Be on time. Always arrive on time for planned events and departures. The group should not have to wait on one person, causing travel delays and missed opportunities for everyone.
  4. Split the check. You know this from going out to dinner with friends and colleagues. No one wants to get into a nickel-and-dime discussion about who had the salmon and who had the steak. Some restaurants, especially in tourist destinations, are pros at offering separate checks. But when that’s not an option, ask your server to split the bill evenly. If you’ve had alcohol and others haven’t, ask add extra to your tab – or offer to pay the tip. And always be sure that everyone stays at the table until the bill is settled.
  5. Mind your alcohol intake. While it can be easy to get carried away when off the clock and in a new and interesting location, it is best to keep in mind that you are not with friends or family, and no one on a trip like this is prepared to take care of – or frankly put up with – an intoxicated guest.
  6. Keep the conversation light. You know what they say about politics and religion. (Avoid.)
  7. Stay positive. Everyone is on the trip to have a good time. There are always hiccups and glitches in travel, and some things might not quite meet your expectations. Always feel free to discuss concerns with your tour host, but try to not complain to your fellow travelers.
  8. And finally…. Many people opt for a singles group vacation because they want to take an adventure on their own with the security of a group. Others embark on one hoping to meet someone special – either for the long term or perhaps for just a spring fling. If meeting someone on a trip is one of your goals, and it doesn’t happen, try not to let it ruin your trip. Just enjoy the vacation. If you meet someone in the group, have a great time together. And if you meet someone outside of the group, keep your time together separate from the planned tour activities. Enjoy your new friend, but break away and do you own things. Group vacations include mostly paid, hosted events, and these activities cannot accommodate additional guests.

As always, contact us with any questions. And if you have any other helpful travel etiquette tips for single travelers, please share with us.