How to book the best honeymoon flight deals. The Ultimate Guide | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

Hello!! After a little summer break where I was busy finishing renovating my house {the final bits where you think you should be almost done always take the longest right?}, the dust has disappeared and we can finally put down the tools. Which means I can get back to talking to you about my favourite subject again, honeymoons/travel! It was good timing as I expect you’ve been busy on your travels or honeymooning after getting married this summer anyway so you didn’t need any help from me? But if you’re new around here, or have something to plan for next year then I’m back and here to give you alll the inspiration and unsponsored completely honest advice. We have, and always will, promise to only ever recommend places {or travel agents} that I would want to honeymoon with myself {and trust me, I’m the pickiest!!}. This doesn’t mean the most expensive either, I want to keep sharing a range of my hand-picked collection – from Cornwall to California, Europe to the Indian Ocean and beyond. We have some fun ideas lined up, and a few hotel reviews that I think you will love {Mauritius, Barcelona, NYC and Sri Lanka are coming soon!}, but if you have a specific destination you’d like us to help you plan or if you have no idea at all then feel free to get in touch either via email or Instagram and we can put together a little guide for you.

Today I wanted to share some info on how I book the best flights. My husband and I travel a lot each year and have done for about the last 10 years, partly for work trips but also for personal trips too so I’ve learned a few helpful tips along the way. Unless you want to stay in the U.K or take the Eurostar/drive to Europe, booking flights will be a crucial part of your honeymoon.

First of all, different types of trips will mean different approaches;

  • Package honeymoons – For a lot of honeymoons {especially your typical fly and flop luxury honeymoon}, you probably won’t even have to think about flights if you’re booking through a dedicated honeymoon agent like Turquoise or Kuoni. This will be factored into the price and if you’re going somewhere far flung like the Maldives or other areas in the Indian Ocean will include transfers too that would be hard to arrange yourself or expensive through the hotels if booked separately. So if you’re looking for this kind of package trip then by all means shop around with a couple of different agents to make sure your quote is competitive but these agents should be able to get you good flight deals included and should offer you a couple of choices of airports/airlines.

 

  • Short haul European holidays – For your Greek Islands or romantic Italian trip or anywhere else in Europe, you’re more likely to book this as as DIY job. There are still some good agents/villa companies that may book flights for you as a package and charter their own planes but Ben and I personally have only ever booked our own flights to European destinations. For this I look to budget airlines and always book direct through their websites/apps. It’s hard to use flight comparison sites or flight call centres for these short, usually lower price airlines as a third party can’t make any margin so always book these direct. People make jokes about ‘Sleazyjet’ but Easyjet are actually our favourites and are v efficient, have an amazingly easy app to use {which scans your passport details and doubles up as your boarding pass etc} and have competitive prices for a large number of airports across the UK. We like them as most of their flights are from Luton close to us. We also use Ryanair occasionally {although they’re not my number 1 and remember with Ryanair that if you don’t print your boarding pass before going to the airport you’ll be charged!}. Monarch tend to be very good and slightly nicer than Easyjet whilst being price competitive too {most of their flights cost 35 pounds each!}
  • When booking these flights I look at the three carriers above websites direct and check their prices and flight times. If you can be flexible with dates {it helps with prices} then select month view and find when flights are cheapest. We’ve got return flights to Barcelona for us both for just 80 pounds doing this rather than picking the date first. Remember that earlier flights out and late flights home can maximise your holiday especially for short breaks.
  • With these you will have to pay extra for carry on baggage, we often share a case or just take hand luggage depending on how long we’re going for.
  • For these lower priced airlines it’s worth booking as soon as flights come out if you’re planning in advance. For this you can sign up to their email alerts or like their Facebook page. They only release flights around 6-9 months ahead compared to 11 months for long haul carriers.
  • Another little trick worth knowing is that if you book a flight with Easyjet ahead of time and the flight price goes down before you fly, you can claim a voucher with the price difference!

 

  • Long haul holidays – For other long haul trips that you’re not booking through Kuoni/Turquoise and the like the prices can vary hugely for flights. Depending on where you’re flying to {I’m guessing America or heading East via a Middle Eastern or Asian stopover?} there’s likely to be a large amount of airlines covering the route so there are deals to be done. For these types of trips in the past I’ve spent ages on flight comparison sites, Kayak/Expedia and the like but realised that actually they never show the best deals or they only show some flights with a million stops en route. Or your brain will just be in a headspin trying to work out the best options.
  • For these flights you don’t want to book direct with the airline unless you have Airmiles {more on this below}. Instead you want a trusted booking agent. We have used Dial A Flight for years and years and years. They constantly get the best prices. E.g. when flying last minute to Palm Springs in February this year I checked flight prices online that were about 1500 for us both. I called Dial a Flight and within minutes had a price, including car hire, with Virgin for 1000! I can’t recommend Dial a Flight enough but I guess there are others like the Flight Centre which might be similar? They just have these super computers with special search engines that you and I could never find online. I recommend building up a relationship, if you book trips regularly, with an agent there who will then give you extra discount and deposit schemes etc. When doing this, you can often get even better deals when booking a package through them {and get covered by the ATOL scheme} so check the prices to add a hotel on or car hire.
  • With this, again if you’re flexible on the days you can fly it can make a huge difference. Also ask about the best time to book flights. If you’ve got an honest agent then they’ll tell you if it’s best to book now if there’s a special sale on or whether you’re best holding fire until more fares have been released.
  • Another benefit of booking through an agent rather than direct with the airline is often the option to pay a deposit now and then pay the balance at a later date which can be helpful.
  • Depending on the length of your trip, and the destination you’re going to, it can be beneficial to book a night flight to save on a night’s accommodation. When flying to America we always book early morning flights to maximise our first day there but when flying East or to the Indian Ocean most flights are through the night so you then arrive in the morning.
  • Some people swear by SkyScanner and Kayak. I’ve tried these but again prefer Dial a Flight myself.

 

  • What does best even mean? By best I mean the cheapest/best value to a large extent. You don’t want to spend a lot more than you have to – even if it’s business class, you’re still effectively just stuck in a tin shell in the sky! – when you could be spending that on accommodation which you’ll enjoy a lot more. But equally the very cheapest can sometimes be a false economy.
  • Look at baggage allowance/food and drink. Airlines like Norwegian and Wow Air {equivalent to RyanAir/Easyjet} are now covering lots of long haul American destinations for prices never seen before with your large carriers {BA/Virgin/Delta and the like}. You might think great! But bear in mind that you then need to add your baggage on each way {no bags are included}, food and drink {no meals are served as standard} and even entertainment {no free movies!}. Also check if it’s direct as a lot fly via Iceland or have very long layovers. If you’re on a serious budget then it could be a good option for you. But personally I’d rather keep budget airlines for short haul European trips.
  • Value is important but so is being comfortable in the sky. Economy seats and spacing can vary hugely between different airlines. It depends how far you want to look into things but I’ve read a few articles in the Times Travel over the past few years and know that Emirates offers the best economy seating. There are whole websites that compare seat sizes I kid you not!
  • Decide what is important to you and your honeymoon and what you want to prioritise.

 

 

  • To business class/not to business class – I guess this really depends on your budget! I personally would rather save the extra few thousand pounds to use for another trip down the line. But if you can afford to do it, or it’s your one big blowout honeymoon trip then definitely do it! I can’t comment much on this as we’ve only ever got upgraded once for a short flight BUT in October we’re using our airmiles {Avios} to fly to NYC with Business Class out and First back for the first time and I’m crazy excited. We had to book these a whole year in advance as air mile seats are v limited and you still have to pay taxes so no flights are ever totally free. But I will report back! I think we may be spoilt for life!!

 

  • Airmiles/frequent flyer points – It’s worth noting that air mile schemes used to be amazing but recently they’ve been downgraded a lot making miles worth less and harder to book flights using them. If you fly with one airline {or their partner airlines} a lot then definitely sign up to their rewards scheme and start collecting your miles on flights taken. But the quickest way to build up points is with a credit card scheme. We collect Avios points with British Airways with American Express but I think there’s an equally good Virgin scheme and probably lots of other airlines too. If you spend a certain amount in a year then you’ll get miles but also a companion voucher which effectively lets you book a second flight for a partner without using anymore miles.
  • It’s better to use any miles you do have to upgrade flights rather than booking free flights but seats are limited to just 1 or 2 per flight so you’re often up against everybody else trying to use their miles! And you’ll need to book these a whole year in advance. You also still have to pay the taxes. There are whole websites and forums dedicated to tips and tricks with using miles.
  • Side note if you do want to start collecting Avios points which covers BA etc and want to start off 26,000 miles for free then drop me a line and I’ll send you a link to sign up.

 

  • When is the right time to book? – Airlines sell seats in bands, these bands all vary in price and once the cheapest seats in say Band X are all sold, it then moves up to Band Y etc and you’ll pay more. There are a number of different myths about when is best to book and countless websites about this. As a general rule we try and book our trips a year in advance when flights come out but in saying this you can sometimes grab some amazing last minute deals. Talk to agents and take a look at flight prices throughout the year to see how it differs. Airlines often have sales on which can be v good.

 

  • Jacks’ Flight club – I only found out about this recently when my v savvy friend Katie told me about it but this is a free email newsletter subscription by a guy called Jack who sends out the best flight deals. It’s great for people who don’t know where they want to go, or want to book something on a whim. Flights are often over half the price of regular fares and include a real range of airlines and airports/routes. He always states how long you’ve got to book and the date range for taking the flights. Definitely worth signing up to and keeping an eye out! It’s been recommended by The Times/Lonely Planet etc. Online here.

 

  • And finally.. avoid school holidays if at all possible –  As it really does make a huge difference to flight prices. I look ahead at school term dates to plan our trips to reduce the cost. Obviously this won’t work for teachers or those with children in school {sorry!} but if you’re not one of those categories then avoid at all costs!

 

I hope this was of some use to you?? Sorry if it’s a big of a long guide, I just wanted to share everything I know so you can maximise the value of your honeymoon. Let me know if you know any other tips/tricks I’m missing out on?

R <3 xx

{This post is completely unsponsored! First image courtesy of Cluse watches, second via this}

  • Rebecca

    I would love to find out about the 26,000 Avios points! Could you send me a link?

  • Rebecca

    Some great tips! We always book long haul trips with Trailfinders, it would be interesting to know how you find they compare to Kuoni and Turquoise?

    • Rebecca

      Hi Rebecca, I think if you’re happy with Trailfinders then stick with them 100%! I find Kuoni and Turquoise as specialist honeymoon operators so you get some extra special little touches from them but at the end of the day they’re all travel agents xx