Travel

Help booking flights for a newb

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  • May 17th, 2019 6:25 pm
[OP]
Banned
May 9, 2015
226 posts
298 upvotes
Guelph, ON

Help booking flights for a newb

I have never been outside of Canada before. Just got my passport and was looking for advice from the vrry knowledgeable RFD community. I was hoping to see Greece and Paris this June or Sept.

Im looking for ways to save money booking flights. It seems its super expensive because im looking for one way flights only. Like Toronto - Paris - Greece - Toronto for example. Is there a trick to save money like flying through some other country?
10 replies
Jr. Member
Jun 24, 2015
120 posts
90 upvotes
North York, ON
You may want to consider flying into one city and flying back home from another city (what's known as an open jaw ticket)

For example, you could get a return ticket to fly from Toronto to Paris and on the way back fly from Athens to Toronto. You'd need a separate ticket to go from Paris to Athens which is simple as travel inside Europe is comparatively cheaper than travelling inside Canada.

I use Google Flights and you can use to find open jaw tickets by changing "Round Trip" to Multi-City (red box in image) and entering your desired dates.
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I used June 5-19, flying into Paris and back from Athens and found tickets for $680.

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Sr. Member
Apr 19, 2017
933 posts
755 upvotes
Dont forget to purchase travel insurance.
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4745 posts
4315 upvotes
And a biggie for you, as a newbie -- when you book your ticket use your name exactly as it appears in your passport, no exceptions to this. No nicknames/short forms/middle initials/middle name only/etc.

So if your passport says ROBERT ALLEN SMITH, I don't care if you go by "Al" you do not book it as "Al Smith" or "Allen Smith". Or if people call you Bob you don't book "Bob Smith". Your airline ticket must have the full name as it appears in your passport including all given names you have in there.*

To be on the safe side, also use that same full name when signing up for the airline's frequent flier program.

* if you book it wrong and need to change it, the airline will hit you with HUGE fees. Or if you don't fix it and you show up at the airport you could be refused at the checkin counter.
[OP]
Banned
May 9, 2015
226 posts
298 upvotes
Guelph, ON
I appreciate all the advice so far. I never even knew about multi city as an option for flight searches!!

Can someone give me a quick rundown of what to expect when you enter paris customs for example and security. And what its like when you return home to canada. Im a canadian citizen. I seen videos of people using a touch screen to do something when you arrive home?
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2011
583 posts
376 upvotes
OTTAWA
no idea with paris exactly. Usually when entering a country you are asked where you are staying, You have to fill out a form stating how you're arriving (flight number etc) If you're staying in multiple places, you should be able to just put the first place down so have that address/contact info handy.

When you come home you're usually given a declaration form on the flight to fill out.. basic questionnaire about where you've been, what you're bringing back. The touch screen processing is in larger airports, but they essentially ask you the same things as the form. You then take that to the agent, they ask you similar stuff again, what you're bringing back how much it's worth etc. Your luggage may be inspected, if you are bringing stuff back you may need to show proof of what you paid for them, so keep receipts for any larger things or valuable things that might look like they exceed the 800$ exemption.

Bring a pen, have your flight itinerary handy as well as first hotel/place of lodging, a phone number you can be reached, etc.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2007
1457 posts
1679 upvotes
BC
Phoenix82 wrote: I use Google Flights and you can use to find open jaw tickets by changing "Round Trip" to Multi-City (red box in image) and entering your desired dates.
Ditto

Use Google Flights or Expedia and use Multi-City option if you're flying into 1 city and coming back from another. Check the baggage and other fee details when comparing prices as some carriers allow checked bags for free while others charge per bag, especially if you're flying intercity in Europe, Ryanair charges extra fees for everything.

There are many class options with different price points for each carrier: First-Class, Business Class, Economy, etc., each with different amenities and seating options. The cheapest is Economy, which gives you limited amenities and less legroom. If you book with Air Canada note that it operates two different services - Regular and Rouge. "Regular" offers legroom of 31" and "Rouge" is more cramped with legroom of 29". On a long flight that extra legroom can be a big difference, especially if you are a taller person and your knees bump into the seat in front of you. I tend to avoid "Rouge" even though I'm not a tall person as I found 29" just too uncomfortable on a long flight as I'm not able to stretch my legs

Also some carriers allow you to preselect your seats for free and others will charge a fee to preselect. If you choose not to preselect, then you have to wait until 24 hours before departure to select any seat that is available at that time. Use the website Seatguru.com to find out what the plane seat configuration will be and what seats to avoid. 24 hours before departure you will need to check in online with the airline using your reservation code and enter your passport information and number of bags you will check in vs. carrying on the plane. Carry on luggage must meet certain size requirements and also be careful with what you carry on - no liquids and gels that are more than 100 ml. as you have to go through security. Also any portable batteries/power packs you are taking cannot be put into checked bags, it must be in your carry-on.

Try to travel as light as possible with your luggage as many older subways and hotels lack elevators and you will be dragging your suitcases up and down stairs, not fun if you have 30 lbs of stuff.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
4981 posts
874 upvotes
Toronto
you can book a round trip flight for Toronto/Paris and look for a discounted airline from Paris to Greece. it might be cheaper that way.

don't know if you are asian or not. guessing from your username. be careful when you are on the subway in paris. there are a lot of thieves targetting "asian" tourists.
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[OP]
Banned
May 9, 2015
226 posts
298 upvotes
Guelph, ON
Ty to everyone who posted so far. These tips are so helpful and appreciated!

How do I bring my wallet around without it being stolen. Money belts? Lol. Do I need my passport with me while day travelling in Paris? I heard I need it to get tax back on clothes and stuff.
Deal Addict
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Dec 24, 2007
1457 posts
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phuong2006 wrote: How do I bring my wallet around without it being stolen. Money belts? Lol. Do I need my passport with me while day travelling in Paris? I heard I need it to get tax back on clothes and stuff.
I generally lock my passport and reserve cash in hotel room safe and only carry a copy of my passport and have day's spending money in a neck pouch. I use a money belt for carrying reserve cash/credit cards/ passport if there is no hotel room safe. I'll try to stay away from carrying a wallet as too many pickpocketers. If you do, keep it in a front pocket and not the back pocket.

Carry a Visa credit card in addition to a MasterCard as Europe tend to use Visa more than MasterCard
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
5483 posts
2291 upvotes
Toronto
My main piece of advice would be - take your time, and take it easy. Don't try to follow an itinerary where you absolutely rush from place to place to cram the most in. Expect that you will spend a lot of time not knowing whether to go left or right when you exit a station, wandering around, getting lost a little. Expect that you will occasionally fall for tourist traps and don't let it bother you that you didn't make it all the way out to an 'authentic' restaurant because it was difficult to get to. Don't book flights with short connections, or where you have to change airports. Most things you'll be able to figure out as you go, as long as you leave yourself enough time to do so. This is just the first time, there'll be other times and you'll know what to expect then - so don't stress that you need to squeeze every drop of juice out of this trip.

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