In the previous article I talked about when to start planning your Italian sojourn and how to go about the Visa. You can check it out here.
As promised, in this article I will guide you regarding the flight tickets. As the flight tickets to any European country is quite costly, proper planning and using all available hacks is important.
I will tell you tricks which I personally used, and some things which I got to know later and wished I knew beforehand. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to fly!
1. How much do tickets to Italy cost? – Well, depending upon how adventurous you are, it will vary from around Rs 40,000/- per person to Rs 65,000/- per person for roundtrip if you book in advance. Obviously, there are a lot of factors affecting this price and I will explain all of them in detail.
2. What do I mean by adventurous? – No, I don’t expect you to cling to the sides of an airplane like Tom Cruise did in Mission Impossible. Being adventurous here means booking tickets of separate airlines where you have to undertake self-transfer in the connecting airport. (Very few direct flights are available from India to Rome and they are also on the costlier side, so most likely you will have a layover in between). I would suggest opting for this only if you have sufficient time for transfer (minimum 5 hours). Otherwise you might find yourself scurrying through the airport in an unknown city in a race against time.
3. What are some of the hacks that you can use for booking a cheaper flight ticket?
I. Use Google flights: Open Google flights in incognito mode and select your source and estimated date of departure, but don’t give a destination. Google flights would open a map with the various destinations and their respective pricing. Sometimes you’ll find that a break journey is actually more cost effective than a direct one. E.g. travelling from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi and then from Abu Dhabi to Rome separately might be cheaper compared to a flight booked together for Mumbai to Rome via Abu Dhabi. But bear in mind that you will have to get a transit visa for the layover country (UAE in this case). You can use this option if you’re not too strained on time for the trip (also, exploring a new country for a day before reaching Italy could be a fun experience).
II. Look for ongoing sales and offers: Various apps and websites (makemytrip, yatra, easemytrip etc) keep coming up with new discount offers, so keep an eye for that.
III. Get a good credit card: A good credit card with good airmiles feature or cashback rewards comes in really handy for booking international flights. Some of the good cards in India currently are: HDFC regalia, Axis bank miles and more, HSBC premier etc. You can do your own research and select a card that fits your bill. My suggestion would be to select a credit card which comes with a Priority pass. If you have a priority pass you can access lounges in various international airports where you can have a buffet meal along with drinks (really comes in handy for those long layovers)
IV. Check the luggage policy: Some of the cheaper flights only have a carry-on luggage as complimentary. If you book such a flight you would find yourself in for a surprise at the airport where they will be charging exorbitant rates for your check-in luggage. So, check the luggage policy beforehand and buy check-in luggage services online, it’ll be much cheaper as compared to the counters.
Ok, I think we have covered the flights quite exhaustively here. You can mail me at email@example.com for any other specific query that you might have.
In the next article we will look into creating an itinerary for your coveted Italian sojourn. Till then, Stay tuned.