The excitement of booking a family flight to Bali has been building since the all-inclusive Bali hotel – Grand Mirage Resort first contacted me at the beginning of the year with a suggestion of working together.
Whilst we to and fro-ed with emails negotiating the finer details, I began searching for flights.
Well, I discovered some interesting facts whilst looking for the best flight at the best price!
5 Things I Discovered Booking Flights to Bali for a Family Holiday
1. Prices fluctuation all the time
I never realised how much flights alter in price over a short amount of time.
The first time I looked Garuda Indonesia (a full service airline) were having a sale, I could get the 3 of us to Bali for under $1000. By the end of the week that sale price had risen to $1300. You’ve got to be quick to get the best deals. Another week later the sale was finished and the price was up to nearly $3000.
Not to worry Virgin Australia now had a sale. Oops, a couple of days later and those fares are all gone.
Well, if all else fails there’s always the discount/low-cost carriers Jetstar and Air Asia. What’s that you say, “you want to take clothes.” That will be an extra $170 each and suddenly that cheap fare is now $2300. That isn’t so low-cost any more.
2. Comparing full service to low cost
This is the trick with comparing prices of full service airlines against low-cost carriers, by the time you add-on the extras like luggage, was the airfare that cheap? Not to mention the lack of blankets, beverages and entertainment.
Sure I’ve heard of many people who have got some absolute bargains with discount carriers – I just never find them 🙁 .
As a result I usually prefer to travel on a full service flight, especially when flying with kids. We get all our meals including children meals, activities, in-flight entertainment, pillows and blankets – which is great because Lewis usually sleeps on the flight.
3. Prepare to be flexible with your dates
So I’m back to looking at Garuda Indonesia again which now have some random dates with cheap fares. It was worth me pushing our travel dates along by a day and saving $1000.
Look at this chart and see the variance in fair prices.
You can save over $300 per person if you choose to fly a day later.
I’ve mentioned this before on my post 9 ways to get cheap flights for the family – be flexible.
4. You’ve got to act fast
One thing I was quickly learning during all this reviewing of flights when you see a cheap flight book it straight away.
In a matter of days flight prices were dramatically fluctuating both up and down.
So the next time I found a cheaper flight on Garuda Indonesia I just booked it, it wasn’t as cheap as the first fair price but way more discounted than the low-cost carriers.
5. Booking online is not as easy as it seems
But booking online was not as easy as I expected. You see during all this preparation I realised that Lewis’s passport had an insufficient amount of validity.
It is really important to check these details, making sure you’ve ticked off all the family travel essentials.
So earlier in the week I lodged a new passport application for Lewis at the post office. The Australian Passport website will provide you with all the information you need to apply for new and renewal of Australian passports.
However at this stage I do not have a new passport number. So when it came to the form for entering in passport details on the Garuda Indonesia website I could not complete the booking.
This resulted in me having to go to a trusted travel agent and pay a small service fee.
Look at the end of the day it has all worked and in 4 weeks we will be off to Bali to stay at the all-inclusive Bali hotel, Grand Mirage Resort.
But when you booking your air travel with kids to Bali remember these 5 little things.
What have you learned when booking flights?