The ups and downs of travel planning

I finally booked my flight! Everything is so last-minute it is completely against my nature. It makes me nervous and yet the gambling/risk aspect of it is very exhilarating!

I read tons of blog posts, looked at all the best flight finder and settled on the following sites:

Kayak.com gathers the most up to date flights, the best part is it combines flights using multiple airlines to give you the best deal. The price includes tax and fees so you know what you get upfront.

Bing.com/Travel is great for predicting flight prices but is not so great for multi city flights like mine, but it’s good to have a comparison to Kayak because surprisingly their prices aren’t always the same.

Orbitz.com turned out to the GOLD. Kayak led me to the site, but the price was even lower than Kayak found AND they give a price guarantee. Therefore, if my flight goes down in price, I automatically get a refund up to $250 (it takes time to get the check tho 😦 ) or if you find the SAME flight at a lower price you can get a price adjustment.

I booked my flight at the “Magic hour”. Wednesday 12:30AM EST and it was like watching the stocks go up and down, you can’t even imagine how many times I pressed refresh. It was CRAZY. I’d be purchasing my flight at one price and then all of sudden BAM it says it’s found an even better price. I kept WAITING it out, but I knew it was time to buy when the prices started rising again.

I’ve read that the biggest gamble is purchasing your flight 21 days before departure, because it could be either the LOWEST possible price or your flight could be GONE. If my dates were more flexible I’d try that, but with work and tours being on a certain date, it makes it tougher. My Contiki tour starts at 6PM in Istanbul, so I have to arrive by at least 3PM and I want time to settle in and explore the city by myself. It takes a WHOLE day just to travel to turkey!

MORAL of the story: within that magic hour, I saved $100!

So here’s what I ended up with:

Leave Friday Sept 24 6:30AM LAX

Arrive Saturday Sept 25 10:30AM Istanbul

Leave Saturday Oct 2 9:00AM Istanbul

Arrive Saturday Oct 2 11:40AM Paris

Leave Wednesday Oct 6 4:35PM Paris

Arrive Wednesday Oct 6 7:05PM LAX

ACK so much flying!! I’m gonna need my Melatonin.

Last thing to do is book my Hostel in Paris. HELP!!!! I need advice 😦

I seriously am having the hardest time picking the hostel. Based on reviews, the best choices are down to TWO.

Oops! Hostel which is in a great location, the Latin Quarter. Closer to everything and has a 4 female dorm but the rooms are TINY. BUT it doesn’t sound as fun, it doesn’t allow drinking in the location, it has a lock out from 11-4pm for cleaning and there are no lockers meaning the luggage is left by the front desk.

St. Christopher’s Inn is the social hostel and there’s a bar downstairs with happy hour. But this probably means noisy. BUT the rooms are bigger and they have lockers in the room (which i read are metal and very noisy) and there are curtains on the bed so you can have semi privacy. The female dorm is 8-10 people, which could be sucky. AND the hardest part for me to decide is the fact that it’s in Montmartre which is the northern part of Paris, can anyone say DANGEROUS for a solo female perhaps??

Really it’s down to social hostel with bar but so so location or good location hostel but I’d have to go outside to go to bars….

what to do….

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