Do you love to travel and plan vacations? Are you always looking for a good deal? Kayak is a travel tool that many people don’t know about, but would use if they did! Our friend Veronique graciously wrote a guest blog to share her unique insider tips on planning a vacation using this tool!
Veronique has been married to Etienne for 15 years and they are from Montreal, Canada (which means they speak French)! Veronique and Etienne have three kids that range from 12 to 8 years of age. Veronique also guest blogged about the super cool Mophie I-Phone charger that is built into your phone case! From Veronique
Do you “Explore” with Kayak?
I know a kayak is a boat you can explore with….but have you ever used the Kayak website or the Kayak app? http://www.kayak.com/ I use it all the time and I think lots of people do not know all its potential!
Last spring, like every other spring before, I had the task to plan and organize our family vacation. I love traveling and I think I love the planning that comes with it just as much! I am blessed to have a husband that lets me do whatever I want (vacation wise) and is happy wherever I decide to go and will do any activities I plan. My only constraint was that it had to be under $ 1000 per person, which meant $5000 for our family of five to have a fun week vacation! I took this as a fun challenge and wanted to make the most out of it. That is where the web site/app Kayak.com came on a huge help.
Let me show you the cool stuff it can do!
On the right hand corner there is a filled hashtag (or pound sign depending on how old you are). If you click on it, it will give you the option to get into the “explore” map…and that is where magic can happen!
The site will then open up a world map that you can zoom in to locate specific regions you are more interested in. The map basically gives you all the plane ticket prices around the world according to your specifications.
You can narrow your searches by month, price, weather, region, flight time and activities. Don’t be afraid to zoom out to see the whole world at first because you might be surprised at the deals you can find!
Back to last spring
I had no idea where we were going. I opened the Explore map and put in the following: Houston Bush Airport, summer 2014 and a price limit for 1 plane ticket of $500. This is where it gets fun!
You can play around and change your specifications and see different prices for a whole month. Having the kids out of school between June 1st and August 25th gave me a good time frame to play with. I also put in Houston Hobby airport as well but my “Wow, really!?!” moment came when I changed to the Austin Airport.
I know what you all think…Austin airport? What? Way too far! Just hear me out.
I think that Houston may be able to charge a higher fair because it has so many oil and gas companies in the area and the planes stay full because of this. Searching an hour or so away from home can really make a difference and the larger your group, the larger the savings! So, my amazing explore map was showing me a flight from Austin (with a Phoenix AZ connection) to Anchorage AK for $374 tax included! If I had not checked the map and simply looked in the standard way, I would never have found this deal! The price for the same dates from Bush Airport were $650. To me, a 2hr drive to save $1380 was worth it. Otherwise, there is no way we could have gone to Alaska with our family on a $5000 budget!
My next step was to read on Alaska and see what we should do… To be continued!
Family Vacation (2 Adults and 3 Kids), Summer 2014
Destination: Anchorage Alaska
Dates: July 31st through August 9th
Plane tickets $1870
Our question for you, have you used Kayak, and if so, where did you go?