Home > Starting to Plan the Next Visit to the UK

Starting to Plan the Next Visit to the UK

July 21st, 2015 at 11:00 pm

D and I realized it's time to start planning our next visit to the UK. For those of you who don't know: we go every other year to see D's family. His mum was able to travel here this past Spring (after several years of medical issues), but his dad can't travel and his sister won't come to the US (long story). So to see everyone (including our nephews and niece), we have to go there. Oh - and I forgot all of D's cousins!

Anyway, we always add a vacation on to the end of the trip, since at that point we're already in Europe and Ryanair flights are pretty inexpensive if you don't check anything.

After our trip to Las Vegas, F was pretty enchanted by the Venetian, and we thought it might be nice to at least have a day in Venice (it's beautiful, but not really the type of place we'd like to stay for a week - we like a more low-key, small vacation town and a weekly let). We've been to Italy before (actually we were in that region in a town called Montalto de la Marche which was quite a bit less expensive and more real than Italian tourist spots). But this time, we're thinking outside Italy a little bit... Our current options are coastal Slovenia or coastal Croatia. (Somewhat cheaper than Italy, close to Venice, especially by boat, and there are several towns that are exactly what we're looking for).

We have $2770 in the airfare category and $650 in the rewards category, plus I have another $691 that I can redeem in rewards. At the moment, flights next summer are about $5300 for all three of us - gulp. Is there a better time to buy tickets? (We have to do summer, but if we purchase them 6 months in advance, is that better than purchasing them a year in advance?).

6 Responses to “Starting to Plan the Next Visit to the UK”

  1. SecretarySaving Says:

    Here is what I do. Under my favorites, I have a folder called travel. I sign up for airlines that go to the place I want to go and monitor sales. I sign up for at least 2 airfare watch websites and one is I go to Go to and when you search leave out the return date sometimes you'll get a cheaper rate. When you select the date select 'whole month' or 'cheapest month' depending on how flexible you are, you can plug in your destination in the go field or leave it blank and just make sure you put your airport you are departing from or maybe in a bigger area close to you. It will give you a list if you leave the country blank you can go down that list and see the fares and narrow it down that way. When you choose dates, remember that booking on a Tuesday and Wednesday you get a cheaper airfare and flying on a Tuesday and Thursday are normally cheaper too! Check Kayak, hipmunk and mobissimo. I like to search travelzoo under vacations and see what the air and hotel deals are. Before booking go through Ebates and see what sites you can use to get % back on your money. if you book 10 nights you get a fee night worth the average of the 10 stays, staying in homes that people rent out are nice too, using a coupon for parking at a lot at the airport. Hope this helps! See why the folder under favorites is a good idea? Keep us posted!

  2. Buendia Says:

    That is GREAT info! I am going to print that out and try everything! We won't have any hotels in the UK (staying with family) and usually do airbnb or something like that for the vacation portion. I am hoping no airport parking... what we've done in the past is leave the car at home and have a friend drive us (If we are using the airport in our city) or leave the car with a friend (if using the airport in the larger city an hour away). I am setting up a folder NOW!!

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    I'd also look for any UK specialty websites. I stumbled upon a great Hawaii Travel site when planning our upcoming Hawaii trip. They had a general outline of the best time to buy tickets for each season, projected ticket prices, and I subscribe for updates of any airfare sales. I tried some other websites (like airfarewatchdog), but this was by far more specific and more helpful. I found a link for 5% off airfare and we also got a lead on a great car rental company. So it was helpful beyond just the airfare.

    Also, use google flights. You can save flights you have looked up and it will keep a graph of prices over time, for each flight you save. I think in the end I chose an entirely different flight when it went on sale, but it's interesting to see the historical price fluctuations. The downside of google flights is for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get notifications of price drops. ??? But I did just check it every Tuesday because that is usually when domestic flights are cheaper. (I don't know if that is true for international flights, though I think I recall that Tuesdays were cheaper when shopping for Japan flights).

  4. SecretarySaving Says:

    I used when booking my Italy, United Arab Emirates and China travel. I waited til they had a sale where the price was under $1K per person (air, hotel, car, breakfast, guided tours). They will have $300 off booking fee for booking early then will have a $100 coupon code on things. I sign up for their email list. Others I don't unless I'm really looking for something. I'm waiting to see if will have anything good black Friday for next year.

    One thing I do is instead of picking out a place I look for a cheap deal somewhere then go there. I am excited for you Buendia!

    Search Pinterest too. Research = $save money

  5. bluesfemme Says:

    What fun! Spent four days in Split and three in Dubrovnik last summer along with a Sail Croatia tour. Beautiful country - reminds me of NZ and Scotland - except they still smoke in restaurants (even though they shouldn't). Lush and historical and you will love the fresh mediterranean food. Flying to Split is problematic - we ferried from Italy o/night and wouldn't suggest it but others on the tour flew to Zagreb and hired a car. Have fun!

  6. Buendia Says:

    We'll be flying into Trieste from the UK... We're definitely hiring a car! Probably won't make it down to Dubrovnik - it's so far! But it's a 2+ hour ferry ride to Venice...

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