Can We Afford Visiting Our Homeland?
We want to visit home! We want it mainly because the kids really want to visit and I know our family back home will love it! We are on the road almost 20 months and we did not expect to be that long. Before we left, I was sure we will not last more than 3-6 months. I was confident that we will go insane and go bananas. To be honest, I think we did go insane, at least I did, but this did not stop us from traveling. The return date is basically open and the only issue now is financial. How long can we keep going on the funds we currently have? I don’t know. And now that we want to visit home, I am not sure we can afford it…
As you probably already know, flight prices are not decreasing over time. And they don’t stay the same neither. Lately, purchasing flight tickets had became a luxurious matter. A flight between two continents can cost as much as 2 months of travel in countries such as Cambodia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and many other countries. And when you have to pay for five flight tickets, the cost is unspeakably high.
Until now, we were using Gabi’s mom privileges due to the fact she is working for United Airlines. Consequently, we paid the cost of about one ticket for all five of us. We have to be on a waiting list to board the plane, but we were never left behind. How great it was (this is one of the reasons we manage to save for such a dream). And since United is a US based airline, to from any one destination to another, we had to travel via USA. It worked great when we traveled from Israel to Latin America. But here, in SE Asia, the picture if different. It would make no sense to fly to USA in order to visit Israel. It would takes us days to get there with so many hours in the air and it would cost us the same or even more.
So what are our options? Local flight in SE Asia are cheap. And when I say local, I mean even flights between countries in SE Asia. The are several airlines that can offer you deals on flights, for example, about 6 weeks ago I found a deal from Cambodia to the Philippines for only $29. was so excited and thrilled to be able to visit the Philippines and for so little. So I went via the whole booking process on line and was disapp0nted to see that by the time of the real checkout, this ‘great’ price almost tripled itself. In addition to the advertised on-sale price, I had some additions such as check in luggage, meals, fuel charges, online reservation fee, seat reservation and so on… I guess some of you already know how such airline work as for the ‘great’ price. I did not but now I do. I asked myself “Why can’t they just publish the final price instead of misleading the clients?“. We consider taking a flight to Turkey and from there to Israel but it turned out that the final price is not cheaper than a direct flight. We dropped that option.
On the other hand, when wanting to travel via Europe, you can use sites such as Expedia UK or bookingbuddy.com, for example, where the process seems to be easier and lest frustrating. You can plan your whole vacation from A to Z. And the best part you pay for what it says with no hidden costs. Though I might end up paying the same, I must admit that the booking process if far smoother and clearer.
One more thing I had discovered while comparing the different airlines and the varied sites is that some of those flight booking sites will allow you to use your PayPal account. For us, who are not thrilled to put our credit card info out there, is perfect.
So good luck on your journeys wherever you go and remember “If you don’t where you are going, you will never get there… “. And if you have any interesting experiences when trying to book a flight, please share.
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Travel On Holiday)
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Airline Route On World Map)
Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Woman Showing Booking Button)