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Entries about fare

An Irish Spring

Taking a chance with Great Value Vacations

semi-overcast 18 °C
View Southern Ireland, April 2019 on darrenesl's travel map.

Alaska was an incredible albeit cold summer vacation for 2018, so when it came time for 2019 trip planning, warmth was on the docket. Shorts, warmth and sun were in the plans until an advertisement for Ireland caught our attention. $699 for 8 days with lodging, airfare and a rental car. Really?

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The reviews for Great Value Vacations(GVV) who offers this special on Groupon appeared to be good. Not great, but a majority of people only leave negative reviews. Some of the issues were long wait times to get in contact with GVV and their call center. Other complaints included vouchers arriving just before people left for their trip. None of the reviews included people with flight, place-to-stay, or rental car issues that kept the traveler from making their destination. After more careful review and due diligence, we pulled the trigger and bought the Groupon.

Once you purchase the Groupon, the process is simple to book your trip. First off, select the dates you want, next go to the Great Value Vacations website and redeem your voucher. You will see your air tickets, rental car voucher and more. Two tips to make travel a little more convenient include upgrading your seat selection to a preferred location. This was a slight up-charge on Air France, however Terri and I will get our preferred seat for the lengthy portions of the flight. One other upgrade was choosing a rental car with an automatic transmission. Neither of us are wanting to drive a manual on the opposite side as we are accustomed to.

So far all has gone well with the initial process. Let's hope the rest goes as smoothly.

Posted by darrenesl 14:39 Archived in USA Tagged cities paris coast amsterdam city ireland dublin holiday fun air klm airlines fare darrenesl air_france 2019 Comments (0)

Taking the Plunge

There comes a time when it gets real, that time has now arrived.


View Eastern Europe on darrenesl's travel map.

There is a knot in the stomach, palms are sweaty, it is hard to concentrate and wonderment surrounds. That is the experience that surrounds the moment of no return, that moment when dreams become reality, when there can be no turning back. That is the moment when you actually purchase your airline tickets for the journey.

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Deciding to fly into Warsaw, Poland may have been the easiest part of the decision. What proved to be much more difficult was determining when and where to buy the tickets for our trip. You may wonder why Poland was an easy decision? When we first started discussing a trip to Eastern Europe (Yes, I know it is actually Central Europe, but as an 80's youth, when communism and the cold-war still existed, it was Eastern Europe to millions of Americans, myself included), we looked at tickets to Hungry, Croatia, Czech Republic, and some of the larger Western European countries. The average RT flight from Los Angeles (LAX), California, to the destination cities that I looked at were $1,500USD for airfare in June 2014. However, as we continued looking at the map we decided to check Poland for flights, sure enough $987USD.

Once we discovered the difference in prices, the decision was made. We will fly into Poland and travel via train from there. The whole process seems easy enough, where does the previously mentioned angst come from you ask? Let me tell you, curses on that little "roaming gnome," I mean really does anybody know what he does for Travelocity? Or Hotwire, Kayak, WebJet, Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, these companies quickly became a thorn in my side.

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All of the companies have handy fare alerts that will tell you when the prices are going up or down, and it is as bad as watching the stock market rise and fall hourly. Really, how often can the airfare rise and fall during a single day? And Orbitz, well, they have all these great fares, but a "this fare is no longer available comes up on all of their lowest flights," what's that all about?

Information abounds about where to get you tickets and when to buy them. We researched and continued to watch the numbers rise, rise some more, and fall a bit. Again, they fluctuate, day-in and day-out. Eventually, you have to take that step and we did. Finding a $1000USD fare among the prices of several others that had now risen to $1100+, it was time to jump.

Yes, I hit that purchase now button and won't be looking back. We will be traveling on Lufthansa from LAX to WAW. That's right it is now official Eastern Europe 2014 is no longer a dream but a reality for Terri and I!

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The stress of choosing a flight is gone, now it is time to plan some activities!

Posted by darrenesl 14:03 Archived in USA Tagged travel vacation eastern austria poland holiday air hungary croatia europe czech republic planning airlines fare Comments (1)

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