Making Flight Arrangements

The key to making your flight arrangements is to book the best flight times you can find, with the shortest trip durations, and for the best price.

Since this will be one of the major expenses for your trip, be strategic in making your flight purchases. Passengers on any plane have paid differing amounts for their seats, even aside from whether they are flying First Class, Business Class or Coach.

Five variables impact the cost of your tickets (from For updated information and tips about flight arrangements, go to

  1. How far ahead you book. Don’t book too soon or wait too late. For International tickets, book at least 1½ months ahead. For domestic flights, buy tickets at least one month before departure.
  2. If you fly hub to hub. Check to see if flying out of or into a nearby airport will save you significant money. Larger airports, particularly hubs, often have cheaper fares.
  3. What day of the week you book. The optimum day to book is Tuesday at around 3 pm. This is when airlines release a restricted number of seats with deep discounts.
  4. What days of the week you fly. If possible, plan to fly on less popular days, since these are cheaper. Flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays tends to cost the least. Fridays and Sundays are the most expensive days.
  5. How many tickets you book at a time. Book one ticket at a time, even if two or more of you will be traveling. When you reserve multiple tickets at the same time, you will pay the same price for both, even if one ticket otherwise would have cost less.

Making Train Arrangements

Train tickets can be booked only after the timetable for those dates has been released. This will generally be 3–6 months before travel. For your initial planning, use fake dates on the or website.

Two or more traveling together will receive a discount, as will senior travelers over 60. So specify both of these to receive accurate pricing. Then determine what your options are, based on:

  1. Type of train service—regional or city-to-city.
  2. Departure and arrival times.
  3. Duration of the trip.
  4. Number of train changes.
  5. 1st versus 2nd class costs.
  6. Are reservations required?

Use RailEurope or Trainline to Plan

During your planning stages, the easiest website to use for your train bookings is Primarily owned by the French and Swiss rail companies, RailEurope has been in business for many decades and provides a robust, easy-to-use site that shows you your options and walks you through the steps to purchase your tickets. Additional options are and

When you actually do book your tickets, you may be able to save money by using the SNCF site, the rail system for France ( Country sites can be confusing, but they generally offer better fares. So use RailEurope for planning, even if you opt to use to make your ticket purchases.

If you do use the SNCF site, click the down arrow in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select “English” for easier navigation. When you are asked your country of origin, select “Australia” to avoid being rerouted back to RailEurope.