International Flights: What You Need to Know When Booking & Traveling

Trying to book a flight can be time consuming and mentally exhausting. With so many online options available, it is easy to get overwhelmed and spend hours if not days researching dates, prices, airlines, layovers, etc. Tenon Tours can offer flight assistance to confirmed travelers, however, if you’re looking to book your own international flights we’ve outlined some things that you need to know.

When to purchase airline tickets.

The best time to purchase international airline tickets online is six to eight weeks prior to departure. Airlines start offering cheaper seats about five months prior to departure for international flights. The day of the week is also important. The best day to buy airline tickets online is either Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Fare sales are often launched on Monday nights, so it may be worth checking after midnight if you really want to stay on top of things. Other airlines will have matched their prices by Tuesday morning, and after Wednesday, prices will typically increase.

Be flexible.
Shifting your itinerary by a month, a week or even a few days can sometimes make a huge difference in fares. If possible, try to keep your schedule flexible when in the early stages of airfare shopping to see what your options are.

Look out for:

  • Low Fares. Although it may be tempting, its always worth double checking the flight details. What is the total flight time? How many layovers do you have, and what is the length of each one? A cheaper flight might mean longer time on the plane, and less in your destination.
  • Airfare Trends. Online pricing can fluctuate up to three times a day. Subscribe to email or text alerts to stay in the know when prices drop. There are many resources available to help you predict the future trend of airline prices as well.
  • Third-Party Sites. Third-party sites such as Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. are beneficial in helping compare airline prices, however it’s always to good to ensure that you research the airline you’re booking through. There may be additional fees that these third-party sites don’t account for, such as luggage, flight selection, meals and more.

How to overcome jet lag.

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder caused from traveling between time zones. When traveling internationally to Europe, its likely you will experience this. While it is common, you can prepare yourself to alleviate any oncoming symptoms of jet lag.

Stay hydrated.
Hydration is key to keeping your body functioning during travel to Ireland. All your body systems rely on water as a way to eliminate waste and keep cells healthy. Tenon Tours insider tip: Bring an empty bottle with you and fill it at water fountains so you don’t spend big money on airport bottled water.

Stretch often.
Sitting for long stretches may cause blood to coagulate in your legs. It’s important to get up and move around every so often to keep your blood flowing. Tenon Tours insider tip: Practice little stretches right in your seat, like ankle flexes and neck rolls. Raise your arms above your head and stretch the back of your arms. Another consideration is to invest in compression socks.

Be prepared and travel smart.

The days you spend traveling will be long and tiresome. Make it easy for you and others by getting prepared ahead of time.

Traveling with kids.
Taking a trip with the family? Keep spare toys, snacks and anything to keep your little one occupied and entertained. While an upset child on a flight can be bothersome to others, it will also be draining on you.

Be aware of your surroundings.
This is something that we probably don’t need to tell you, but it is worth mentioning. Keep an eye on your belongings, both in the airport and during flight. You don’t want anything to get lost or to be invading another traveler’s personal space.

Check the requirements.
Save yourself time by checking the airline luggage size and weight limits, additional baggage fees, carry-on policies and identification requirements. Knowing these in advance will save you time and stress.

Have a plan in case of delay or cancellation.

We’ve all been there: You’re sitting at the airport, waiting to go on your vacation, watching the departures board, and you see that your flight’s been delayed. Only an hour – no big deal. But then after that hour, it’s delayed another hour, then another, then another, until finally you see the big CANCELLED sign next to your flight number. Remember to stay calm and remember these suggestions.

Ask for help.
A good rule of thumb when traveling is general is to know when to ask locals for help. In this instance, go to the attendant’s desk to see if there are other flights available. In case of inclement weather, your options may be limited. They will assist you in finding another flight or accommodations if necessary.

Keep your receipts.
In the eyes of the insurance company, you’ll be able to claim more if you have the evidence to back it up. If your airline doesn’t give you food vouchers, then keep your receipts for any meals you didn’t intend to buy at the airport – same rules apply if you don’t receive a hotel voucher and you have to stay overnight somewhere other than the airport. Your insurance company should be able to cover up to a certain amount per person per day of those types of incurred expenses (it depends on the policy). If you’ve booked through us, the travel insurance company will then contact Tenon Tours for the actual amounts due for missed hotel nights, transfers, tours, etc. The earlier you are able to start a claim, the faster you’ll be able to receive a reimbursement check.

Call Tenon Tours.
Unless your flight’s delay will drastically affect your arrival time, we don’t need to know about it. We DO need to know about your flight cancellation, though. If your flight is cancelled, figure out the next flight you’ll be able to get on and then call our 24-hour traveler hotline. If you’ve pre-booked accommodations through us, we’ll do everything we can to notify them of your updated arrival time. Please note – it doesn’t matter why you have to cancel a hotel room, you will most likely lose the money you put down for that night. Tenon Tours is not be able to refund you if the hotel will not refund our payment to them.

We hope this helps you navigate the online airfare world as well as whichever airport you are traveling to (or from). Happy traveling!