There is no doubt that buying the airplane tickets to depart from the starting point is one very important step to make the trip happen. Maybe even not so much practically, but psychologically.
I mean, if it was 1500 EUR instead of 500 EUR, we would buy them anyway - we can't be stopped by such a small obstacle as expensive tickets, right? (Well, we can't, but if we can pay little bit less, it could be worth the struggle, no?)
So, first of all we are very happy with the fact that at last we have reserved the tickets! Thats the most important thing, and a big relief.
But also I would like to elaborate a little about the process of buying the tickets.
At first we were discussing a few options:
- Should the flight originate from Vilnius, or any other place in Europe?
- Are we buying one-way or round-trip tickets?
- What is the reasonable budget? (In 2004 we paid 580 EUR, Vilnius - Helsinki - Bangkok, round trip)
The discussions kept going on, the tickets were still not reserved, and everybody started to feel anxious.
We needed the solution. What could help us? The internet, naturally!
So we threw ourselves into browsing the internet like crazy, looking through every possible cheap flights site, digging through email newsletters and bombing Google with various queries. On a daily basis.
Guess what. Nothing good.
The cheapest thing we found was around 600 EUR, but that included a cheap flight to Dusseldorf, staying overnight and then flying one way to Bangkok. But we did not feel that was a comfortable and secure option. What if the cheap flight is cancelled? And what if we won't get tickets back from Bangkok in half a year time?
We naturally had an option to buy a one way ticket from Vilnius, via Moscow and to Bangkok, with Siberian airlines, but that 50% chance of the plane falling somehow did not seduce us.
So what did we do? We called the travel agent, and offered her a nice 50 EUR cash-in-her-pocket bonus, if she can find a good trip for us.
Same evening, we already had our dream tickets reserved, costing 985 EUR, round trip Vilnius - Helsinki - Bangkok, flying with Finnair, and most importantly, tickets valid 1 year after departure. 75 EUR to change the return date, if we'd wish.
As they always ask in the cartoons - "what have we learned from this story, children?"
The answer this time is: Don't overestimate the power of internet, and try to rely more on human contact and interaction. And remember that small cash incentives always help.
Please have in mind, that this advice comes from an Internet addict :)