When booking multi-destination flights, sometimes you have to think about more than just cost.
Are you able to give us some advice on the most economical way to fly to multiple countries in Asia? Next year we are thinking of visiting our son who will be working in Vietnam - planned stay, one week. Then on to see friends in Taipei, one week, Guangzhou, one week, Shanghai for one week and Manila for two weeks. Then back to Melbourne.
Ideally, we would also have a couple of days in Hong Kong. Are we better off booking all our flights from Melbourne or should we book return flights to Hong Kong, then book our other flights from HK?
A. This sounds like a fabulous trip and as you’re planning on visiting quite a few areas, I think you probably want to make your journey progressive, rather than have to fly in and out of Hong Kong.
There are a few websites which will enable you to book multi-destination trips and will calculate the best fare, or most flexible ticket based on the dates you input. I personally find Expedia.com.au one of the easiest websites to use and you can always take the information given and use it to compare what is being offered on other websites. It will look at partner airlines which fly to the destinations to which you wish to travel, this means you should get the best priced fare and be booked all the way through, so should something go wrong along the way, such as a delay or missed flight, then you will find getting rebooked much easier.
Of course, as you have family and friends in some of the areas you plan on visiting, you can ask them for recommendations of which airlines fly in and out of your chosen destinations. You may wish to book a flight into Vietnam, your return from Hong Kong and then make your travel plans along the way. However, you will obviously be at the mercy of airlines having the availability.
You may also wish to sign up to a number of travel sites such as Cheapflights, Webjet and Travelzoo to receive notifications of specials.
If you’re not comfortable using the internet to book your flights, use it to research the route you wish to take and get a rough idea of cost and then ask a travel agent to book the flights you want, although you may pay more for booking in this way.
You may also find some useful information in YOURLifeChoices article Best time to book flights.
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