Africa, Travel

How to Decide If Plane Tickets Are Too Much

How much is too much when it comes to traveling?

Not having seen my good buddy Mike in half a year, we wanted to take a trip together somewhere.  He had been living in Australia for the past several months, and I was working in Chicago.  Well, ideas became plans. Our destination needed to be somewhere affordable, equidistant, and exciting.  Leisurely looking through Skyscanner for flights, South Africa seemed like a cool option.

Unfortunately, at the time, tickets to South Africa were well over $1,400 from Chicago. YIKES!  While I’ll gladly spend money on plane tickets, there’s a point where I have to draw the line.  We ended up going to Jordan instead.

As if by fate, months later another friend asked me if I wanted to go to Cape Town – of course I was interested.  How much was it going to cost me, though?

When she first mentioned it, it was an idea to toy around with – but I ran into her recently and after checking, I found the prices were a remarkable $750 through Swiss Airlines.  How could I resist? So I bought them.

Tickets can vary depending on time of year, and surely depending where you’re flying from.  How far in advance are you booking?  What time of year are you looking at? Some people say Tuesdays are the best deals, others clear out their browser cookies or purchase flights in Google’s incognito mode.  There’s no perfect formula for buying tickets.  And if there is… let me know.

It’s important to ask yourself if spending the money will make you happy, or stress you out.  Are the flights nonstop?  Will expenses at home be affected by the purchase?  Is your job okay with you taking time off?  Everyone’s situations are unique.

I hit the jackpot.  $750 was a price I was more than willing to pay for South Africa.

If you see a price you’re willing and able to spend, don’t wait to see if it goes lower, because while yes, sometimes it will, it probably won’t (especially the closer you get to the date).

I’ll be leaving for South Africa on November 22nd and returning December 5th – this is the longest trip abroad I’ll ever have taken.  Be sure to check back and see what I’m planning for my trip – I’ll be mentioning safari info, hostels to stay at, and thing I’ve found to do while there.