Last minute cruising arrangements

My last two cruises have been organized suddenly and that poses some challenges that we could have avoided by booking earlier. Two of the most significant were the airfare and hotel room.
Booking just a little over a week to go to Juneau meant paying what I would have expected to pay to go to New Zealand. I just bit the bullet and rationalized the excessive fare. Flying to Juneau means flying with Alaska Airlines, the only major carrier servicing that city. Which means that they can set their price to whatever they want and we have to pay it. In this case the cost of Seattle to Juneau was more than half of the fare.
Now we are headed to Europe and need a one-way ticket. Our two one-ways cost less than one round-trip to Juneau. At least, I had two weeks to book the one-way to Copenhagen.
I am still working on a hotel in Copenhagen and may end up CouchSurfing if necessary.

So, where do I search for airfares?
Here is a list:

Mobissimo
Kayak
SideStep
Priceline
Booking Buddy

I also look at Hotwire, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and the individual airline websites.

There aren’t the airfare deals that there used to be. In fact, airfare is often the same or lower on the airline sites themselves as it is on other booking sites. Checking several sites is especially helpful when you are booking at the last minute. On a recent trip to Alaska, doing a little research saved me at least $300.

Price isn’t the only thing to consider. We are flying in a day early to be safe, but I still factored in several considerations. The lowest priced flight got us to Europe quickly, but the route had only one flight per day from our airport. No other airline from our home airport flies to our connecting destination. If that first flight were cancelled or significantly delayed, we would have no options for getting to the airport to catch our international flight. Although we will now be flying backwards to Chicago to fly to Europe, at least we know that there are several flights per day to Chicago.

Next time, we will look at booking last minute hotels.

Sail Away

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