Tag Archives: condor

Save Money on Flights

12 Mar

Another few weeks have slipped by in Paju, South Korea.  Mostly it’s life as usual in the unusual world of Gyeonggi English Village. This week the ROK Military joins us for a break in their busy routine and a big dip in the pools of the English language.

The winter freeze is slowly melting away no thanks to an unexpected snow shower earlier this week. Nevertheless, Spring is still on the horizon.  As many of us are finding our way out of winter hibernation, it seems like an appropriate time to share some money saving travel tips.

Let’s begin with the basics for any good journey – an affordable flight.  Finding the cheapest rate and best flight schedule is paramount for me in creating my trip itinerary.  Tenacity is often your best friend when looking for the most suitable rate and flight.  But here are a few shortcuts I’ve discovered to save you some time and money.

Flight Search Engines
Not all search engines are created equal.  In the mission to find the best flight, I find it never hurts to peruse the gamut.  There are, however, a few search engines that are my go-to sites in the adventures of flight finding.  Let’s begin.

kayak

Kayak.  Kayak is a reliable search engine and a great starting point for a flight inquiry.  They offer a wide array of airlines with a good selection of budget-friendly flights.  You can choose a three-day date flexibility in their searching parameters allowing you to see rates and times on a variety of days.  This is a great way to find the best prices as they can vary daily.

whichbudget

Which Budget.  I learned of this search engine while living in Europe.  If you are on the hunt for the lowest price ticket, you should definitely check this out.  On Which Budget you can glimpse prices for a wide range of dates and easily investigate the cheapest flights over a period of time.  They include a broad spectrum of budget airlines making it a good source for finding the best priced flights. (Note:  For some reason, I have had less success using this search engine in Asia.)

cheapflights

Insanely Cheap Flights.   I think the name says it all.  I used this search engine to purchase my flight from the US to South Korea.  On several occasions I have found them to offer the cheapest flight I could find.  My flight to Korea was purchased and redeemed with no problems.  I easily bought the ticket, was able to speak to a real customer service person when I had a question, and arrived in South Korea at a price I could afford.

More Good Ideas

condor

Cheap Flights from Europe.  If you are in Europe looking to purchase a flight for the next leg of your journey, you must check out Condor Airline’s listing of their Longhaul Flights.   Condor is a German-based airline with a regular listing of discounted flights leaving from Frankfurt International to all over the world.  Cancun, Chiang Mai, San Jose, Lima… just to name a few.  No matter where you are in Europe, you can easily catch a cheap flight to Frankfurt and then save big bucks on your long distance flight.  I purchased my ticket from Europe to the States from Condor.  I saved some money and was happy with the flight and service.

travelzoo

Travelzoo.  Have you subscribed to Travelzoo?  If you haven’t you should!  They provide regular emails with travel deals for destinations all over the world and their offers often include flight sales.  I bought my first ticket from US to Europe through a flight deal I discovered through Travelzoo.  Worth checking out!

No matter where your next adventure may take you, some persistence and these resources will help you save some money and find that flight that best meets your needs.  Happy travels… wherever you are going!

Do you have any great flight finding tips to share?  It’s always good to hear from you!

Featured image a Spring snow shower at Gyeonggi English Village.

I’m home

2 Oct

From the very beginning, this journey has been an adventure.  A big part of the experience has been the practice of being in the present moment while exploring multiple options for the future and seeing what unfolds.  And so it seems on this journey that just when I think the road is taking me in one direction, a new possibility presents itself and another path is considered.  Just four weeks ago I was in the countryside in France.  I had connected with various hosts through the website helpx in different areas of Europe with the intent of continuing my time in Europe.  And just when it seemed the next step was there to take… something would change.  I had considered various possibilities… house sitting on an Island in Greece, working at a Bed and Breakfast in Italy…. none of them it seemed was just the right fit…

Then about 6 weeks ago I got an email.  A new opportunity was presented to me… an opportunity that for now I will keep secret… but with that opportunity my travel considerations looked… different.  I followed up with the email.  As things began to unfold it seemed a new direction was emerging.  A new thought entered my brain in the face of this opportunity… Maybe I should return to the States for a bit… wow, that… is unexpected!  This presented a few challenges for me, the lightest of which was, “what will I call my website if I am no longer a wondering flower growing in Europe…”  Alas, I digressed and started opening doors to possibly return to the States…

I began with my trusted friend helpx.net and started sending off letters of interests to many different hosts in the States that looked inviting and welcoming to me…  An artist in Hollywood, a bed and breakfast on a boat in the bay near San Francisco, picking fruit in Hawaii.  I shopped hastily for cheap flights back to the States.  I had a time clock that was ticking… my commitment was to leave my current host in France at the end of August… the number of days remaining were getting fewer and fewer.  There was new possibility… but still no definite plans.

I eagerly checked my email daily, hourly, moment to moment awaiting news from possible helpx hosts who could provide me with a place to land in the States.  Simultaneously I was also considering a possibility to visit with a host in Northern Spain, an opportunity that was still tempting.  Days ticked by until… finally… I got a reply from a host in the States that seemed like the right connection.  A few more precious days passed until clearly I had an agreement with the helpx host in the States and I had a green light to purchase a ticket.

I used the search engine whichbudget.com and found some very affordable flights back to the States on just a few weeks notice.  And so, in somewhat of a daze I booked a ticket and it seemed I was going back to the States.

After being in Europe for 15 months with a mind focused on travel and moving forward, going back to the States was unexpected.  But I did the only thing there is to do on this journey… I walked step by step through the path and plans I laid out for myself.  I couldn’t believe I was going back.  Boarding the plane in Paris seemed like going through a wormhole… like some sort of time travel from one way of being to another that was familiar… and yet not the same.

My journey back was long enough.  I flew from Paris to Frankfurt Germany and then Frankfurt to Baltimore, Maryland.  In Baltimore I took a train to my destination and so I now  find myself… in Philadelphia.  The City of Brotherly Love.  I flew Condor airlines back to the States after discovering their great last-minute deals on International flights.  Oddly enough, there was a great deal flying from Frankfurt to Baltimore.

When I arrived in the States, I prepared to go through customs.  I showed my passport to the officer and he said to me, “welcome home”.  While I wasn’t exactly weepy eyed to return, it felt good to be someplace where I was a “member”, where the information on my passport communicated very clearly “you are welcome here!”…

It took about a week for my mind and body to more fully arrive in the States.  I stayed at first with a friend from New Orleans now living in Philadelphia who graciously offered me her futon, a place of refuge to relax a bit before beginning my next adventure in trading.  I walked in legs that didn’t feel like my own through the familiar strangeness of an American city.  It was joyful for me to be able to communicate with strangers in the streets after months of limiting conversation in the midst of foreign languages.  Even though I was in a new city, after negotiating foreign cities in Europe where I didn’t speak the language, finding my way in Philly was easy… and liberating. It took me a few weeks to get used to the idea that the people in the city around me did indeed speak English and that when I picked up a paper, magazine, or grocery item, I could read whatever it might say on the headline or package.  I woke up once in the middle of the night truly startled and unclear about where I was… “I don’t understand what’s going on…” I cried.  My kind friend immediately responded, “You’re in Philadelphia”.    Her words came through a thick wall… just a glimmer of information received while I put the pieces together and slowly laid down and went back to sleep.

After a week of much-needed time for adaptation, I connected with my new hosts.  I hitched a ride with my friend’s friend as she was heading just a few miles from my host’s home.  We easily connected and I hopped into her 1994 gold Mercedes and we were off.  A new adventure to begin.

Since I am back in the States, I must admit, I feel less like a traveler.  Sure I am in a new place and I have seen some touristy things like visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, very cool by the way.  But here, in the States, the syncopation feels more to me like… my regular life then daily living in Europe.  While I am here I have a little business to take care of… like renewing my driver’s license that expired some time ago and preparations for my new possibility more easily sewn from home soil.

And so I continue… my practice of being present in the midst of change and new plans unfolding.  My helpx hosts in Philadelphia are a busy family living in a sweet historic area just within the city limits called Mt. Airy.  I am happily placed in a private room on the third floor amidst a busy family, running a business from home and two young boys, ages 4 and 7.  It is a big change for me from the quiet respite of the French countryside.   Since arriving, I have found my way here in little ways… attending yoga classes at a studio down the street, meeting with my New Orleans connection for a Reiki exchange.  The neighborhood here is filled with regular faces who I am already recognizing as I make my way in their world… to the neighborhood street festival and local co-op.

I am doing a variety of things here as part of my help exchange.  I am using my design and marketing skills to help support their growing home business.  I also help with basic things around the house like keeping the kitchen clean and organizing places and corners in need of attention.  From time to time I am able to give my hosts a Reiki treatment and sometimes give an extra hand with caring for the children.

But here I am, back in the States.  Just another step in my unexpected journey.

And so, I leave you pondering one of  the deeper questions of life… what should I call my website now that I am no longer “a wandering flower in Europe”…  Any suggestions?

Photo of the Liberty Bell, up close and personal.

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