Split Group Travel Plan Ideas?

Recommended Posts

Posted

I am looking for brilliant ideas so I come to you. We are making plans for travel from Nov 2015 to May 2016. Details follow.... You will see why I need your genius input.

Party of 3 from USA. A married couple, Filipina wife, American hubby. The third wheel is American, guy if you are curious. All three will travel together to the Philippines in Nov. We want the same flights so we stay together. The single will return in Dec. The couple will retutn to USA in May.

Has anyone out there tried this?

Should I go to a travel agent? I have never used one.

Should I buy 3 round trips with Dec return and pay change fee?

If I wait longer the prices will go up. Also, can only reserve 330 days out

We are from MSP to CEB. Only realistic airlines I see are Delta and American on USA side.

Thanks ahead for your ideas, information, jokes and stupidity. LOL

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

I am looking for brilliant ideas so I come to you. We are making plans for travel from Nov 2015 to May 2016. Details follow.... You will see why I need your genius input.

Party of 3 from USA. A married couple, Filipina wife, American hubby. The third wheel is American, guy if you are curious. All three will travel together to the Philippines in Nov. We want the same flights so we stay together. The single will return in Dec. The couple will retutn to USA in May.

Has anyone out there tried this?

Should I go to a travel agent? I have never used one.

Should I buy 3 round trips with Dec return and pay change fee?

If I wait longer the prices will go up. Also, can only reserve 330 days out

We are from MSP to CEB. Only realistic airlines I see are Delta and American on USA side.

Thanks ahead for your ideas, information, jokes and stupidity. LOL

 

 

The way you describe it.

 

A travel agent doesn't "cost" anything extra. I use one, in this era of online booking, their job is to find you the best available flights, cheapest, most direct. Their will be a number of different airlines available, with connecting flights. it is a long complicated route, I would use an agent on your first venture here. True, you might score a discount flight online, avoid that, there are a lot of hidden charges and undesirable routes eg China Air, East  China Air, avoid those, the money saved might not be worth it.

 

Married Couple: advantage in that the wife is a Filipina. A round trip ticket 6 months validity, open return dates, but must be within 180 days. Nice idea, where is the wife originally from?

 

Third Wheel: same flight with a 30 day fixed return. who knows what happens to a single 'Cano, when he hits Cebu for the first time. Ultimately he's responsible for himself, unless he's disabled or something. Typically, the Cebuana, are amazing beauties, he might fall in love with the first one he sees. No one can advise on that, he will be on his own as we all were. And you don't hear any of us complaining.

 

Accomodation: you did not ask. Cebu can be a bit expensive, I am sure you have considered that.

 

Food: eat Filipino food, otherwise the whole trip will be a struggle.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

I use a website called Matrix to find flights (it's not a site where you can book flights from), it's basically the same one used by travel agents in the USA. Providing that your travel dates are a bit flexible you can use a nice feature - the ability to look at a 30 day calendar to see the lowest fares. Once I've located the flight(s) I go to directly the airlines site or a travel website, like Expedia, and book the flight. 

 

The very few times I've run into situations where I wasn't able to book the carriers on the route I wanted, via either their site or a travel site, I would simply take a screen shot of the flights I wanted, go to a travel agent and let them book it.  Note that it usually occurred when I was out of the USA; for example, American Airlines won't let you book from CEB or MNL online and their code share partner's (Cathay Pacific/Dragon Air) online price was astronomical for the same flight.

 

United's website also has the same 30 day feature, but seems to me that they're not as cheap as they were a year or so ago; for flights to CEB anyhow.

 

As Chris pointed out, a travel agent doesn't cost you anything. Me thinks that due to so many people  booking their own vacation's/flights online nowadays that they've gotten more aggressive in satisfying their customers. But it never hurts to at least have an idea of what your flights will cost for the travel period your interested in before you visit an agent. Fore warned is fore armed :)

 

 

 

 

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Support
Posted

Greg use a travel agent, what you ask is no problem at all. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

Long time no see, Greg!  Good to see you back again!

 

i have found that travel agents are a bit more than what you can find by using sites online such as Cheap Tickets...  But don't stop with just one -  go to several of these online sites.  Once you find the flight you desperately love, call the airline itself...  Tell them what the price is you found on line and often they will either match or beat that price!  Plus the odds of ever being bumped off a flight from overbooking goes way down!  Almost forgot - buy your tickets for the dates you want.  Changing dates later are going to cost you more than it's worth!

 

And, now for your friend...  You've spent enough time here to remember...  An American who has never been to the Philippines before?  Drop him off at the mall and tell him to go shopping...  If you see him again before he has to fly back, well, I doubt you will see him alone!

 

How's the RV?

 

:mocking:  :attention:  :thumbsup:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

I would book you/your wife tickets for the full time Nov-May and your friend Nov-Dec. Also, when you arrive have your wife ask for a balikbayan visa for you. That way you do not have to deal with immigrations while you are here. For your friend, make sure that he keeps track of his time here. If he is going to be here for longer than 30 days, have him get an extension at the earliest convenience. Depending on where you go, it can be as quick as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the input. I have that and a couple more ideas of my own. Will report after more research.

I will address the personal and non-flight stuff now, as I know those things. LOL The third person is my brother, already talking to a special someone or two to meet while there. He only has 3 weeks, so no visa trouble. I lived there for a while so have the lay of the land. We have the wife's family house for us, in Cebu City, and will find something temporary for him as only 1 air con room and I can't share.???? Wife was born on Mindanao and grew up between there and Cebu City.

Finally, RVing is great. Been to The Grand Canyon and all the way back to Virginia Beach last summer. Wintered in Florida with a trip to Wisconsin to check if it was cold. YUP! We are getting ready to sell everything and move into a house for a while though.... Until the flight in Nov.

Edited by GregZ
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

https://matrix.itasoftware.com/#search:research=MSPCEB-CEBMSP is that matrix site. Very nice. Found flights for under $1200, American & Philippine: MSP ORD NRT CEB, under 27 hours total travel time both ways. All taxes and fees included.

Will likely do the agent thing in person so I know that we are understanding each other. The return of the couple is still my hangup... Will have to learn about this open return date ticket? Cost? If I wait until 330 days before return I fear cheaper fares will disappear, for departure, as that will make June the purchase date. Changing dates on the cheap ticket is not out yet. I believe it was $250 per ticket when I changed the last time.

Anyone have trip insurance experience? I saw I could buy delay, interruption, etc coverage for $71 /ticket. Can you just get that and change because you want to? OR does someone in the party have to be in the hospital for it to work? I saw that on the One Travel site.

My reading is not done, but this is what I have now.

Edited by GregZ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

https://matrix.itasoftware.com/#search:research=MSPCEB-CEBMSP is that matrix site. Very nice. Found flights for under $1200, American & Philippine: MSP ORD NRT CEB, under 27 hours total travel time both ways. All taxes and fees included.

Will likely do the agent thing in person so I know that we are understanding each other. The return of the couple is still my hangup... Will have to learn about this open return date ticket? Cost? If I wait until 330 days before return I fear cheaper fares will disappear, for departure, as that will make June the purchase date. Changing dates on the cheap ticket is not out yet. I believe it was $250 per ticket when I changed the last time.

Anyone have trip insurance experience? I saw I could buy delay, interruption, etc coverage for $71 /ticket. Can you just get that and change because you want to? OR does someone in the party have to be in the hospital for it to work? I saw that on the One Travel site.

My reading is not done, but this is what I have now.

 

Mate, the terms of  trip travel insurance are quite tricky, if you change trip detail, the insurance might lapse,

 

I think to avail the cheapest price, you should fix the return date, why not? 1200, is amazing, I would snap that up, slight risk on you because it's non refundable. But yu seem to be a good planner, take it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

I do not have a ticket already because to buy the correct return date I have to wait until June 23; "you cannot purchase flights more than 330 days in advance".

I read the insurance stuff and do not want to mess with it. Maybe I will just wait and run the risk. Current price is $1139... Hate to miss that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...